In one breath, Aldon Smith says he has moved past the disappointment of not winning the Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. In the next, he still simmers.
All Smith can do now is set his sights even higher.
After racking up a franchise-rookie record 14 sacks, the San Francisco 49ers linebacker says his new goal is ''to be the best defensive player in the NFL'' this season. He also says he ''hasn't forgotten'' about finishing runner-up to Denver's Von Miller in a tight race for the prestigious award.
Smith is working to be more than a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme this offseason. He's adjusting to chasing running backs and receivers in hopes of being an every down player for the NFL's best defense.