SANTA CLARA – Aldon Smith spoke in the 49ers’ auditorium Sunday afternoon. Here are selected quotes.
Q: How has your interaction been with Jim Tomsula?
ALDON SMITH: We know each other pretty well. We’re going into our fifth year together. It has been the same as usual. I’m just excited about this season, excited about where we’re going to go and focused on starting off on a good note.
Q: How do you view the depth on the defensive line? Are you excited about the rotations and the combinations you guys can have this year?
ALDON SMITH: Yeah, definitely. With all the depth, we have so many things we can do, so much talent. We’ve got the pass rushers, the guys who can stop the run. We’ll put it all together, and we’ll be able to rotate in. We’ll make sure we’ve got a fresh lineup every time.
Q: What do you have to do to get on the same page as Glenn Dorsey, who will be playing next to you this year?
ALDON SMITH: Glenn has been in the league for a while, so he can adjust to anything. With him, just making sure he knows how to feed off of us. He has moved around his position a little bit. He has played with us before, so I’m sure he can pick up where he left off.
Q: Do you guys have to develop a chemistry so you’re able to see the same things and know what adjustments you have to make in the course of a game.
ALDON SMITH: Anybody that’s filling Justin’s spot, we’re going to have to create chemistry because that’s the guy that has been beside me since I’ve been here. But people learn fast, and we’ve got a good coaching staff and a good group of guys who make everything easy. It will all work out.
Q: Tomsula is emphasizing tempo in the team drills, getting the offense out of the huddle real fast. What’s it like defensively to deal with an offense moving that rapidly?
ALDON SMITH: It makes us adjust a lot faster, and make sure we have our stuff ready to go so whenever they come up to the line, whether it’s 10 seconds before the ball is snapped or it’s right before the ball is snapped, we’re ready to be where we need to be and make plays.
Q: It looks like you’re in the best shape you’ve been in. Is that a fair assessment and how do you feel?
ALDON SMITH: I feel real good. My body feels good. I’m ready to go.
Q: Do you anticipate moving around the defense and rushing from different spots more than you did in the past?
ALDON SMITH: I’ve moved around a lot. I’m not sure if it’s going to be more than I have, but I’m comfortable with whatever. The more places I can be, the better.
Q: What are your impressions of Eli Harold so far?
ALDON SMITH: I like Eli. Eli has a good motor on him, he plays with a lot of intensity and he learns pretty well. I’m excited to see where he’s going to go.
Q: Do you sense that the players are rallying around the fact that a lot of guys nationally are counting you guys out this year?
ALDON SMITH: I don’t think anybody really pays attention to it like that. We’re just focusing on ourselves, making sure that we know what we’re supposed to do and everybody does their job correctly.
Q: But when you look around the locker room do feel like, “We’re being underestimated here”?
ALDON SMITH: When I look around the locker room, I just see a lot of new faces. That’s all. If anybody underestimates us that’s their problem. We’re confident in ourselves and we’ll be where we need to be when the season starts.
Q: Darnell Dockett is supposed to be, for lack of a better word, nuts. Have you noticed that?
ALDON SMITH: What was the word you used?
Q: Nuts – in a good way. How does that work with communication on the field when you’re trying to get to know a guy like that?
ALDON SMITH: We’re doing good, because I think everybody’s a little nuts.