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Friday, November 14, 2008
49ers' Smith rose to occasion

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The fallout from San Francisco's narrow defeat at Arizona on Monday night overshadowed a strong performance from the 49ers' Justin Smith.

Smith doesn't appear to be great at any one thing, but he does several things well and tends to cause problems through his relentlessness. He won't get enough sacks for Pro Bowl consideration. The 49ers won't win enough games for Smith to receive other recognition. But the next time someone tells you he isn't an impact player, tell them otherwise.

A few examples from Monday night (this should constitute pleasure reading for 49ers fans tired of reading about everything that has gone wrong):

The 49ers have played a few quarterbacks who get rid of the football quickly. Warner is doing that better this season. Drew Brees and Matt Hasselbeck get rid of it quickly.

This game against the Rams on Sunday might give Smith a better opportunity for sacks. If I'm the 49ers, I move him around, as usual, and take advantage of matchups with right tackle Alex Barron.

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