Aldon Smith listened to Haley's pass-rush tips

Fangio: 'He hasn't had sack in five games; we won four of them'

Aldon Smith listened to Haley's pass-rush tips
January 23, 2013, 4:45 pm
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Aldon Smith recorded 31.5 sacks in his first 28 games in the NFL. Charles Haley recorded 18.5 sacks in his first 28 games in the NFL. (AP/USA TODAY IMAGES)

SANTA CLARA -- Charles Haley, one of the most dominant pass-rushers in 49ers history, did not wait long to get to the point Sunday when he saw Aldon Smith before the NFC Championship Game.

"He gave me tips in our first five seconds of talking," Smith told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday. "It was legit. He said, 'You need to turn your foot like this and start rushing like that.' And I was like, 'All right.' "

Smith, who set the 49ers record with 19.5 sacks in the regular season, has not thrown the opposing quarterback for a loss since Dec. 9 against the Miami Dolphins. That streak continued in the 49ers' 28-24 victory over the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, but Smith had an impact as the 49ers' defense did not allow a point in the second half.

"He hasn't had a sack in five games and we won four of those," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said.

Smith's pass rush was not a problem on Sunday. The 49ers' coaches review of the film credited Smith with eight hits on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and 10 pressures.

"I did the tips," Smith said of Haley's suggestions. "They worked and helped out a little bit. I was in there."

Haley is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which will be selected on Saturday, Feb. 2. The five-time Pro Bowl player was an honorary team captain for the 49ers for the NFC Championship Game, along with Eddie DeBartolo and Bryant Young.

"You can tell he played football and was a great player," Smith said, who spoke with Haley before and after the game. "He was really intense. You can tell it's still inside of him. He has a lot of things that made him successful, and he wants to share his knowledge."

Haley played on five Super Bowl-winning teams in his career. He won two Super Bowls with the 49ers, then was traded to the Dallas Cowboys, where he won three more rings.

"Yeah, he did throw that in my face a little bit," Smith said.

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