SANTA CLARA – Today Justin Smith answered questions about his teammates and about playing both defense and offense. Here’s what he said.
Q: How much of a head start does the defense have this year as opposed to last year?
JUSTIN SMITH: I think the biggest thing is you can actually see some of the things you did last year and some of the things you need to work on instead of just implementing the playbook and understanding what they want and what you can get accomplished. We can actually start tweaking the defense and do some subtle things to make us better, instead of starting from square one, which is nuts.
Q: You had a great rapport with Aldon Smith when he came into game last year. Is there more you two can do now that he’s going to be on the field for every defensive down?
JUSTIN SMITH: Having a guy who can rush the passer first and second down, hopefully that translates into more sacks and longer third down and second downs, which will help us on defense. Hopefully we have more first and second down pressures. I think that’s big. If you can get a sack on first or second down, it keeps you from being so predictable.
Q: What jumps out to you about Demarcus Dobbs?
JUSTIN SMITH: He’s a pretty physically talented guy, very coachable, listens – he’s the type of guy you don’t have to be repetitive with, which is huge. Lots of ability – he can rush the passer, he can play the run, they’ve got him on offense now too. He’s doing real well.
Q: You played a little offense last season. How difficult is it to play both?
JUSTIN SMITH: Mine was pretty easy. They’re trying to use him on multiple sets, shifts motions, things like that. It’s a little bit different.
Q: Did you like playing offense?
JUSTIN SMITH: I really don’t care one way or the other. I was just trying to win. It was different. It was the first time I’d been in an offensive huddle since high school. It’s a little bit different than a defensive huddle. A little more quiet and stuff.
Q: Do you anticipate playing more offense this year?
JUSTIN SMITH: No, we’ve got Will (Tukuafu) and Demarcus (Dobbs) over there, we’ve got big Leonard (Davis) in the mix, Randy (Moss) in the mix – they’ll do pretty good without me.
Q: Why is a defensive huddle so noisy?
JUSTIN SMITH: Our calls aren’t so long. It’s a different mentality on that side. Not so focused. We tend to jabber.