(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

No Win-Win Situation

The 49ers got back on track with a victory over the Rams on Thursday. But that doesn’t excuse them for losing their way with Aldon Smith ... plus 11 thoughts about emerging teams, falling players and trends around the league

By
Greg A. Bedard
· More from Greg·

The 49ers finally won another football game on Thursday night for the first time since the season opener, which happened 19 days ago but seems like 38.

They did so without All-Pro outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who is in a treatment center, reportedly for a substance abuse problem, and has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team. So, coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke have weathered their first “crisis”—this is football, after all, not the real word—since coming into power in 2011. And the 49ers would be very happy if you just forgot about what happened last weekend.

Sorry, but I can’t do that. Just because the 49ers played another game, and just because Smith is finally getting help, doesn’t excuse the team for allowing Smith to play every snap against the Colts on Sept. 22. The decision was deplorable; it showed that San Francisco doesn’t stand for anything but winning games—or at least trying to, as they suffered the double-embarrassment of losing by 20. Harbaugh proved that he is every bit the football-focused zealot he purports himself to be, and not in a good way.

jim-harbaugh-sideline360
Jim Harbaugh allowed Aldon Smith (pictured atop page) to practice just hours after being arrested on Sept. 20, then play two days later. (Robert Beck/Sports Illustrated)

To quickly recap: Smith was arrested at 7:02 a.m. on Sept. 20 morning for suspicion of drunken driving and marijuana possession after running his truck into a tree. His blood alcohol level was .15, nearly twice the legal limit, according to the San Jose Mercury News. A witness told the newspaper that the wheels were still spinning after the accident. This comes after Smith was arrested for suspicion of DUI in Miami Beach in January 2012, charges that were later reduced to reckless driving after he agreed to attend DUI school and perform community service. In June 2012, Smith hosted a house party at which two people were shot and he was stabbed. Smith still faces possible charges for possessing illegal assault rifles on the premises.

Despite this backdrop, despite Smith being arrested again, the 49ers let him practice just four hours after running his truck into a tree. “I encouraged it,” Harbaugh said after that day’s practice. “I felt like he needs to go to work, face his teammates and soldier through it.”

Gee-whiz, Jim, did you make him run extra wind sprints as extra punishment, too?

If Smith had gone into work and pointed a gun at people, would the 49ers have acted differently? Of course. See, to me—and I know I’m not alone—I don’t see any difference between the two. Smith made the decision to put himself behind the wheel while allegedly impaired. And, yes, I understand people make mistakes and I do believe in second chances. But how many chances are the 49ers going to give Smith?

The 49ers allowed Smith to play for a few reasons. They liked that he wanted to show accountability to his teammates and to the media after the game. And the 49ers didn’t want to do anything to disrupt what is really important here, that Smith admitted he has a problem and wanted to seek treatment during an NFL season. It’s really an unprecedented step, and Smith should be commended for that part. It’s just that everything else is wrong.

San Francisco won again, Smith is finally getting help, but don’t think for a second that everything about this situation is right.

This is what the team should have done: After his arrest, Smith never should have been allowed to practice. He should have been ordered to watch practice from the sidelines, then address his teammates afterward. Accountability. On game day against the Colts, deactivate Smith. But make him stand on the sideline in full view of the crowd and television cameras. Force him to watch his teammates play without him, then make him address the media. More accountability. Smith would still get his full salary, so no issue could be raised by the players’ union. Instead, the 49ers chose the most expedient option for the game against the Colts. The game plan was finished, Smith was in it, so accountability could wait.

It was the wrong decision then—and even now as Smith is getting help—it remains wrong, a calculated choice the 49ers hope you’ll forget about. Funny how things worked out on the field though. The Niners used Smith against the Colts and got humiliated at home—with Smith blowing his assignment on Andrew Luck’s game-sealing touchdown on a bootleg. Without Smith on Thursday, San Francisco cruised to a 35-11 win over the Rams, allowing just 188 yards. San Francisco won again, Smith is finally getting help, but don’t think for a second that everything about this situation is right.

First …

(Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)
Brady has completed just 57.5% of his throws, the worst rate of his career. (Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)

Despite beating the Buccaneers, 23-3, the Patriots’ offense is still out of whack. Quarterback Tom Brady has not played well to this point, partly because he’s faced three defenses (Bills, Jets and Bucs) that specialize in changing their pre- and post-snap looks. Those kinds of schemes always put doubt in Brady’s mind, where there normally is none. He’ll face another this week from Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. In games against these varied schemes, Brady has to trust (more than usual) that his receivers will be in the right places. But the Pats’ young receivers are still repeating many of the same mistakes: making cautious, rounded-off cuts at the top of routes (Kenbrell Thompkins); not adjusting routes quickly enough based on coverage (Aaron Dobson); unable to beat coverage (Michael Hoomanawanui and Zach Sudfeld); and showing an overall lack of polish in the system (Josh Boyce). With Julian Edelman commanding more double teams, Brady is running out of options. It would really help if the Patriots doubled down more on the running game. It has been impressive most of the time, and their best plays have come off hard run action. This offense must start showing gradual improvement if it hopes to be executing at a high level later in the season.

… and 10

1. I tried looking for clues as to how the Colts bottled up the 49ers’ running game so well after the Niners rushed for 67 yards on their only scoring drive in the first quarter—they would get just 24 more on the ground. Couldn’t really find any, though. The Colts basically played the same techniques up front. They might have had their inside linebackers play a shade deeper to give them a better shot at fitting the run. But that’s it. The Colts simply out-executed the 49ers up front.

2. One thing that is more certain when it comes to defending 49ers: teams have no trouble slamming one safety into the box on early downs. It’s tough to run against that. This won’t change until Colin Kaepernick starts hitting on deep passes more consistently. Including Thursday night’s Rams game, he’s 4 of 16 for 119 yards with one touchdown and one interception (52.9 rating) on deep passes, according to the anlaytics website ProFootballFocus.com. Last season, with Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, he was 25 of 49 for 779 yards, five touchdowns and one interception (122.2). Kaepernick’s deep accuracy is what made the 49ers (and the read-option) so dangerous. Anyone can defend any running scheme when you have little concern about getting beat deep. But when you have to defend that deep part of the field and be aggressive near the line of scrimmage, that spells trouble. Kaepernick and his lack of viable deep targets isn’t posing a deep threat, and I don’t see how the Niners rectify that.

(Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)
Rookie QB Mike Glennon will make his NFL debut in place of Josh Freeman on Sunday. (Cliff Welch/Icon SMI)

3. The Buccaneers (0-3) benched quarterback Josh Freeman this week. The problems so far have been partly his fault. For whatever reasons, he doesn’t look well-prepared. Whether that’s entirely his fault for not putting in the work, or if offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan should share some of the blame, I’m not sure. There have been times when Freeman’s teammates are running one play, and he’s running another. Of course, it doesn’t help when receiver Mike Williams is running the wrong route, which he appeared to do twice last weekend against the Patriots. And, in what has been a Greg Schiano staple since his Rutgers days, the Buccaneers’ scheme is outdated, unimaginative and too reliant on short plays. The short and intermediate passing game that is so crucial in today’s NFL is essentially nonexistent in Tampa’s system. It’s difficult to win without it. The thing is, the Buccaneers have solid pass protection—the line ranks No. 8 in our pressure points/per snap rankings—and running back Doug Martin is second in the league, averaging 99 yards a game. Those are two essential components of playing Schiano’s preferred style of offense. It means something is amiss with the quarterback and receivers. From my vantage point, both positions share the blame here. It’s just easier to replace one quarterback than get several receivers to play better.

4. I thought the Titans’ game-winning drive against the Chargers last Sunday said more about San Diego’s defense than it did Jake Locker and Tennessee’s offense. The Chargers’ secondary played very passively; the front line brought pressure just twice, making things easy for Locker. He did make two very nice throws: a sideline pass to Damian Williams when cornerback Derek Cox had his back turned, and the pass dropped by Delanie Walker. The touchdown was a tremendous individual effort by rookie Justin Hunter against a cornerback in Crezdon Butler, who had recently joined the team. That said, the game appears to be slowing down a little for Locker. But we’ll see if he’s really improving when he faces the Jets on Sunday.

5. The Dolphins’ 3-0 start has belied some of the concerns that could trip them up. There’s no question that Miami’s defense is terrific. Cornerback Brent Grimes, whom nobody wanted coming off ACL surgery, has fortified the secondary. The defensive line, anchored by Paul Soliai and Randy Starks, has been tough against the run. First-round pick Dion Jordan looks like he is going to be an impact player later this season. But the offensive line continues to be an issue, and there aren’t many chain-movers among the tight ends and receivers. The receivers are very good on the outside; the offense just lacks inside threats for easy throws. The Dolphins will get a very good test on Monday night. New Orleans is a brutal place to play, and Rob Ryan’s defense will test the offensive line and outside weapons. And Drew Brees & Co. will show us just how good the Dolphins’ defense really is.

6. Another top-notch physical opponent, another poor performance by quarterback Matt Schaub and the Texans’ offense. And another loss for Houston, this time to the Ravens. It’s the same blueprint that we’ve seen from the Texans in recent losses to the Patriots (twice last season) and Ravens (2011 playoffs). No one is going to take Schaub, who shrinks in the biggest games, and the Texans seriously until they knock off one of the league’s top teams. Houston has a prime opportunity to show how tough it is when the Seahawks visit on Sunday. There isn’t a more physical team on either side of the ball.

(John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated)
Texans QB Matt Schaub isn’t thriving against the league’s best teams. (John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated)

7. The Giants and the Steelers are mirror images of each other up front. Both offensive lines have been terrible in pass protection and run blocking. When those offenses can’t establish the run, the quarterbacks try to compensate and do too much. It’s not a recipe for success. Ask Drew Brees about last season.

8. Speaking of the Giants, their struggling line now gets to face the league’s leading sack team on Sunday. The Chiefs have 15 so far, and outside linebacker Justin Houston leads all players with 7.5. Somebody in the NFL’s scheduling department must really like Houston. This will mark the third time in four starts he’s gone against a rookie right tackle: Luke Joeckel (Jaguars), Lane Johnson (Eagles) and now Justin Pugh (Giants). “It’s not a bad way to start off the season,” Houston told me this week.”

9. It’s becoming more and more noticeable: pass protection from running backs is on the decline, perhaps due to the league’s recent practice restrictions. Some of the guys who have been brutal, according to the Pro Football Focus ratings: Alfred Morris (Redskins), Chris Ogbonnaya (Browns), Jordan Todman (Jaguars), Ray Rice (Ravens), Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas (Dolphins), Darren McFadden (Raiders) and Jason Snelling (Falcons). Not surprisingly, all of those teams have overall pass protection problems—reinforcing the idea that it’s a protection unit (line, back, tight ends, quarterback) and not just the linemen. Should be interesting to see if the Patriots attack Snelling on Sunday night with blitz-crazy Brandon Spikes. I would bet on it.

10. Here’s a stat that may only interest me, but I like it: average time per play on offense. The five fastest teams: Bills (21.22 seconds), Eagles (22.12), Browns (24.33), Packers (25.06), Broncos (25.15). Slowest five: Cowboys (31.40), Raiders (30.35), Chargers (30.13), Seahawks (30.10), Falcons (30.5). The Patriots led the league last season at 24.44. Now they’re 10th (25.48). The Saints, without Sean Payton, were second (25.44). With the general back, the Saints are 25th (29.31). Don’t really know what that means. I just find it interesting.

More from The MMQB
58 comments
KendrickWells
KendrickWells

Im commenting on Aldon Smith.  I'd like to mention the obvious that the writer of this article is filled with hate.  I'd also like to point out that maybe things dont always work out the old way.  I commend Harbaugh for going with his mind on this.  As much as I hate losing it was a great lesson overall to have us lose with that distraction of him in the game and come together when he leaves.  I also find It redeeming that they let him exit like a man.  Something you descendants of slave owners know nothing about.  yes he could have hurt someone but I know from years of being a Niner fan is that they truly care about their guys and take care of business in house.  You wont hear of Latrell sprewell incidents outside of 4949 and items like JR's great massage parlour incident gets written up as a prank.  My point here is we generate championship football here.  This sport is filled with thousands of poor kids turned millionaire.   Some of these kids dont understand your form of "Daddy-ship".  Harbaughs actions not only make the other 52 kids realise they have to pay the piper but they get to keep their dignity too.  Those other teamates will gladly continue to jump through fire fore Harbaugh.  I call it a WIN WIN.

Azn
Azn

In America, we like to say "innocent until proven guilty." From what I've read, don't hold it against me, the details, paperwork and what not that goes along with these things weren't done until 6:30 EST on that Sunday, well after the Colts game started. So I'm guessing they didn't want to bench Smith until the final verdict was out.

jaredbechthold
jaredbechthold

Your a piece of s Greg A Bernard.  I'm guessing Pete Carrol/Seahawks org paid you to write this article???

His job is to play football and last time i check Jim harbaugh job is to win football games not pass out girl scout cookies.  


chloesbsb
chloesbsb

Punishing Smith like he's a 12 year old boy and grounding him from practice forcing him to further hurt and watch the game from the sidelines is what you had in mind? Yet Harbaugh is the sick and twisted one? Aldon Smith's position as a defensive lineman is a job, his career. Society makes football an American tradition causing us to feel we have to right to know about people like Aldon or every other player and their life outside of their career. Do the people who read your columns know about when you have drinks with friends or get togethers at your house? When your cousin gets too drunk and starts a fight at a bar or when you sleep around etc. Nope. If you made mistakes and were allegedly charged for something would your job punish you on the spot? Nope. After convictions and trails your work and its corporation would penalize you with whatever necessary which is what Harbaugh, the 49ers, and the NFL were going to do once further convictions were made. Harbaugh knows his players. If you knew Aldon or even the mind of someone like Aldon, maybe someone different than you and the conservative well rounded life you've grown up in you may come to understand why his career is playing football. That his work his career his team is what brings out the best in him. That he was probably feeling PRETTY shitty after his dui arrest and his downward spiral and that practicing and playing and apologizing and being there for his team was actually good for him like Harbaugh said. Look at what a good decision came out of that playing? Checked himself out of the season to get help. I hope you understand that reading your column only made me feel sad for you. That you have trouble sleeping at night because you believe Aldon should have been punished more. That you look at the 49ers association and Jim Harbaugh and the coaching staff and the other people who made the decision to let Aldon play as some sort of monsters who should have made Aldon suffer when if you read that sentence the only twisted thought is making someone suffer more when you could help them. Maybe, hopefully, you'll be able to look at that differently. Watch some Friday Night Lights and see what the game of football should really be about and what coaches stand for outside of telling them what plays to run. Why 13 year olds like Aldon start playing in the first place. 

BobSmith6
BobSmith6

Hey Vancouver  -- Charge against Michaels was dropped. Rogue cop -- no evidence. Cop should apologize. Stop believing that TMZ crap and pay attention to the facts, A phony charge to begin with.

peter.io
peter.io

I would like to thank Mr. Bedard for having the courage of his convictions in writing what he did about the deplorable manner in which the 49er's and, in particular their head coach, Jim Harbaugh responded in the wake of Aldon Smith's most recent unacceptable and irresponsible behaviour. I also applaud you for going one step further in pointing out what Harbaugh's response to the situation says about him, both as a person and as a coach. A thoughtful and reasoned column. Well done.

esgalan2
esgalan2

Am I the only one here to believe that Mr Bedard crossed a line that merits further action ? 

I for one just sent the answer I posted previously,  to talkback@themmqb.com which seems to be the appropiate email address.

I suggest any one who shares my view to send an email in protest, as I'm quite sure the MMQB don't even bother to take a serious look at the comments...

RajeevSharma
RajeevSharma

Not sure how you get to decide who plays and who doesn't. The league has incredible power to come in and suspend any player they choose for the right reasons. Yes Aldon Smith had 2 DUIs, and yes he played football 3-4 days after, but that is about it. Yes he has a problem and he has come out and admitted it and is getting the help he needs and not playing football. Who are you to decide how it is handled? His DUI was a very very poor choice, but that doesn't mean his life just stops? Why are you even writing an article on this? Did you get tired of doing real work and compiling stats to discuss better topics? It's funny that uncelebrities write about celebrities and overanalyze everything when they themselves don't have even one iota of a clue what that life is like. We think it is so easy and simple, it really is not when everyone around you is scrutinizing your every move. Your article easily glides over that simple fact. I am not impressed with this journalism, and nor should any football fan.

markhi57
markhi57

This article is a great example of the media today. Your take on Aldon Smith and the Niners is an opinion but it is just that. In my opinion, you wrote the article with biases already in place. We don't know the conversations that took place. We don't know what went on behind the scenes. He is in treatment now. What is the message that he played? That Harbaugh only cares about winning? You're entitled to your opinion. I'm entitled to mine. And my opinion is that you are way off base and that you should perhaps look at a situation with an open mind. Perhaps then you would not come off looking like an idiot.

evileyefleagle
evileyefleagle

Good to see you report that Alfred Morris plays for the Redskins and not the Washington franchise.

nave1er24
nave1er24

your a fucken idiot quit your dayjob and stop voicing your opinions on this type of matter you piece of shit what a RTARD! fat fuck crap article

LittleOne4u
LittleOne4u

i believe your ideas of what should have happened to A. Smith are the antithesis of the SF 49er but your ideas fail for similiar reasons. Public displays of punishment really don't change the person or society. Smith needs jail or treatment. Depending on who you ask you will get a different oppinion as to the effectiveness of either. Frankly, a little of both won't hurt him. cyndi lauper said it best "Money Changes Everything" 

Mike26
Mike26

Re:  #6 = Schaub didn't play against the Ravens in the 2011 playoffs.  That was 3rd string, 5th round rookie TJ Yates, who after Jacoby Jones gave the Ravens two easy scores (while still a TEXAN player), took the team all the way to the last 3 minutes before giving way by throwing an INT near the goal line.


Bedard is still much like King:  heavy, heavy, emphasis on the East Coast with specialization in the NE.  

RobRenfrew
RobRenfrew

So i guess your way of handling Aldon Smith is the way it should be done? Any other advice for the other 31 teams and their roster? I mean your in the dressing room every day, you know whats best for a player, oh right, your not around them every day, maybe what they did isnt right to you, but at that time maybe they, and by they, its not just Harbaugh, its the whole 49ers coaching staff and front office had a different feeling for what that player needed at that time, please report sports news, this is not an advice column.

DeeEmm1
DeeEmm1

I like that bit about the Saints. I've always thought that having Payton in his ear allowed Drew to see more things because he'd point them out. They take as much time as they can per play to get the matchup they want. Last year, it seemed like Drew was pressing all year, he felt like he needed to be the hero every game with Sean gone.

Truthtackle
Truthtackle

Don't you guys research? The league didn't allow the niners to suspend smith for the colts game because of the collective bargaining agreement. RESEARCH BEFORE YOU WRITE AN ARTICLE.

ChrisArnold
ChrisArnold

I think this writer needs to get of his high horse. Because you play in the nfl you are not expected to do your job? Any other real world job you would be expected to be back to work. So why in major sports are you expected to be held out of work if you get a DUI?

BudPhyte
BudPhyte

And how do you want your employers to deal with journalists who get a DUI charge? Sports journalists are great at setting high standards and calling people out but they don't walk their talk. The word for that is hypocrisy.

TriTran
TriTran

He seems to be more concerned about punishment than helping Aldon Smith and possibly avoiding another catastrophe. If they had done what the writer wanted, that might have caused Smith to retreat and he might not have gone to get the help that he needed and possibly get another DUI and the next time he might have not been so lucky and somebody could have gotten hurt.

JD56
JD56

I had to read the Aldon Smith portion of this article in 3 seperate sittings. It is so easy to say Smith got his second DUI so he should be gone, suspended until he goes through treatment, the 49ers are a disgrace because they let him play a final game, they make me sick, blah, blah, blah. DUI's are terrible and Smith is an idiot to get a second let alone a first. But you can't blame Smith for killing someone because he didn't. He was lucky this time and next time it could be a different story. Smith and the 49ers organization has a chance to work on the problem now before something terrible happens. I read somewhere that Smith asked to play this last game before he sought treatment. Some will argue he shouldn't get that option, but unless you have dealt with a loved one with substance abuse issues you should shut your mouth. People say that addicts need to hit rock bottom before they seek help and I tend to agree with that. However, there is no reason you can't start helping that person climb out of their hole on the way to treatment. Allowing Smith to play a final game let's him go to treatment on a positive note. I have lost two immediate family members to drug issues. After seeing them struggle with recovery I can tell you that their longest sober periods came after recovery started on a positive note. If things started badly, recovery came to an ugly end in a hurry. Because Smith hit a tree and not a person the organization has a unique opportunity to do the best thing for Smith and his long term health. With that said, I think this is one time opportunity. If Smith gets in further trouble he couldn't be allowed such a cushy recovery. At that point, if the 49ers let him off easy, by all means angry sports writers tee off.

DasDweeb
DasDweeb

I'm so glad to see all the comments calling Mr. Bedard out for his sanctimonious moralizing. We all have our strengths, Mr. Bedard, and passing judgment on the souls of others (and their organizations) is apparently not one of yours.

lignas41
lignas41

Oh great another freaking media acting sanctimous preaching what is right and wrong to Organization. Ahem where is my Miley Cyrus article about Twerking??

AVL
AVL

We have laws and courts to process people who break the law. I get so sick of the media and court of brainwashed public opinion trying to do the job first.

Mike26
Mike26

@chloesbsb That was an incredibly long and rambling sermon "poor Aldon, be nice to Aldon" that basically said it's OK for Aldon Smith to be a drunk, for the 49ers to enable, and for society as a whole just to accept the fact that people with personal issues should be allowed to do as they please - no matter the constant threat of injury to others they present.  Got it.

peter.io
peter.io

@chloesbsb Mr. Smith is a celebrity in a society that confers status, prestige and enormous wealth upon those upon which such status is conferred. With this enormous privilege comes some small responsibility like, for instance, not threatening the live's of others by driving drunk and not showing up for practice while under the influence. It is, unfortunately part of what Mr. Smith signed up for and for which he is well compensated. If he is uncomfortable with the scrutiny that accrues to him as a result of his position as a sports figure, he is of course free to opt out and do something else. He has not, to my knowledge, done that. There are a million things that Mr. Smith can do if he wishes to continue on the irresponsible and self destructive path upon which he has set his feet. Otherwise, he should grow up, come to grips with the reality that is professional sports in modern America (the health of which is another matter all to gether), get well, and get back on the field when he is ready to handle what is expected of someone who does what he seems to want to do for a living. In the meantime, I am afraid I will have to reserve my sympathy for those who might suffer at his hands the next time he gets behind the wheel of a car while drunk. I certainly cannot muster any sympathy for how Mr. Smith was feeling after being arrested (his second such arrest) for driving his car off the road at 7am on a Monday morning while on his way to practice. His team has had lots of time to "bring out the best in him". His "best" appears to be two drunk driving charges as well as getting stabbed and the implication that he was somehow involved in a shooting that happened as I understand it, at a party he was hosting. He had no business on the field following his most recent transgression and, if I was a member of the 49er's who showed up every day committed to my team and my teammates and ready to work hard, I would resent the heck out him getting a pass. As to the assertion that he checked himself into rehab as a result of being allowed to play, that is a fiction that you have invented (and which I am sure the 49er's brass hope catches on) to justify your opinion and for which there is no evidence at all. It seems at least as likely that 49er's management saw the negative coverage that there handling of the situation received in the week leading up to his final game and came up with a plan that involved him taking an indefinite leave to get treatment to save face. Either way, that is not material. They could have worked with him to get him help while still treating the situation as seriously as obviously is while having him sit.

On a related note, in reading Mr. Bedard's column I don't recall him even insinuating that Jim Harbaugh was a "monster" as you have written above. He simply makes the observation that the response of Coach Harbaugh and the 49er's is the product of a disappointingly skewed systems of priorities. Period.

chloesbsb
chloesbsb

****i don't know why I said defensive lineman. He's a linebacker. Sorry

HeyVancouver
HeyVancouver

@BobSmith6  Dude Puhleeeez ... Al Michaels struck a deal with the prosecutors -- agreeing to plead no contest to a lesser charge of reckless driving --  he was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and placed on probation ... Do you think you or I could have convinced the prosecutors to make the same plea bargain ?  NOT 

KendrickWells
KendrickWells

@peter.io Glad you feel that way.  Even more glad we have a coach that thinks outside the box


peter.io
peter.io

Yes, I'm certain you think so. I noticed your post just below mine. For my part I have difficulty understanding how an informed and reasonable person could hold the opinion you do. You will however note that of the two of us, I am the only one that has not descended into name calling in defence of their argument. I think that speaks volumes.

Have a nice day :)

peter.io
peter.io

@nave1er24 This post is an excellent example of why most sites should simply shut down their comments section. It would appear that this is someone's idea of how to raise the level of discourse about what is a serious issue. Both sub-literate and shameful...

Mike26
Mike26

@RobRenfrew Rob, you and Dan are a frightening yet growing section of our population that believe in a rules-free society - after all, rules and consequences hurt feelings!

Dan18
Dan18

Exactly.  These people that have never been within 100 miles of Aldon Smith somehow know what is best for him......and the people that work with him every day, know his mindset, consulted with people who know about substance abuse, and thought about this long and hard are "deplorable".  Effin sanctimonious know-it-alls.  

scarbarough
scarbarough

@Truthtackle As the article said, it would have been perfectly acceptable for the 49ers to declare him inactive and have him on the sideline...Nowhere in the article does it say they should have suspended him for the game.

Mike26
Mike26

@ChrisArnold Chris, MANY jobs would expect a "leave of absence" for a company drunk - whether voluntary or forced.

Mike26
Mike26

@BudPhyte Name 5 DUI's of known sportswriters in the past year - it must be a huge problem if you're bringing it up.

Mike26
Mike26

@TriTran Smith has had issues since college.  This isn't new and you're only enabling him Tri, so the next dead body will be on YOU!

FranklinMint
FranklinMint

@TriTran It's obvious from his track record that Smith isn't getting the message. And what you call "punishment" others would call "sending a stronger message". Harbaugh apparently prefers the message "we can't let anything get in the way with our trying to win".

Dan18
Dan18

@JD56 But its like pointing a loaded gun at somebody!!!!  People are absolute spazzes about DUIs.....they're serious business, but people act like its russian roulette.  

peter.io
peter.io

@DasDweebCoach Harbaugh and the 49er's did a big thing badly. Mr. Bedard is doing nothing more than his job in calling them on it. To suggest that Mr. Bedard was engaged in "sanctimonious moralizing" and "passing judgement on the souls of others" in his reasoned and thoughtful piece is hyperbole of the highest order and serves as nothing more than a distraction in the face of an intellectually and morally superior argument. Mr. Bedard points to those responsible for the handling of Aldon Simth's most recent colossally irresponsible and dangerous misstep and calls it what it clearly is... a response born of a misguided and distorted value system.

What if he had slammed his car into a person instead of thankfully only hitting a tree? What of the disrespect Mr. Smith demonstrated to his teammates by attempting to attend practice on a Monday morning drunk only to have his behaviour validated by then being allowed onto the field? And what if it had not been Aldon Smith but some marginal special teams player that had done this? How do you suppose Coach Harbaugh would have dealt with that? The same or different?

The bottom line is that how Jim Harbaugh and the 49er's chose to handle this matter and what that says about their priorities is extraordinarily disappointing.

JackWilliams
JackWilliams

Bedard is being a good SI.com soldier by mimicking Peter King 2.0 in the Shameless Finger-Pointing Club. I can't wait for one of these writers to be stopped on suspicion of DUI. Let's see how they react when they are sent home by their boss and are banned from their job until their case is decided.

KendrickWells
KendrickWells

@chloesbsb Semantics.  By all acounts he is a D-Lineman.  You will never see him backing the line.

Mike26
Mike26

@esgalan2 @peter.io esgalan:  Not sure why you're in support of enabling a drunk to keep drinking.  Guess the requirements are pretty low for a bathroom cleaner at 7-11.

Mike26
Mike26

@Dan18 @JD56 They ARE Russian roulette - only drunks would even bother treating them as anything else.

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