Fangio compares Justin Smith's play to 'The Catch'

October 6, 2011, 8:48 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is not one to get too carried away with hyperbole.But he could not resist the superlatives when asked about Justin Smith's fumble-causing, possible game-saving play Sunday for the 49ers against the Philadelphia Eagles."That play was the defensive equivalent of 'The Catch,'" Fangio said Thursday.Smith, a 285-pound defensive end, was on the field for all 72 snaps (including plays wiped out by penalties) in the game. Yet, he still had the energy and desire to run down speedy Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin and cause a fumble that safety Dashon Goldson recovered with 2:06 remaining.The play helped the 49ers preserve a 24-23 victory over Philadelphia.Of course, there is one major difference between Dwight Clark's catch and Smith's hustle and strip."That was the NFC championship game, which added to the luster,' Fangio said. "This was the fourth regular-season game. But it was a tremendous effort."