Found June 20, 2013 on Football and Futbol:
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The San Francisco 49ers extended the contract of All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith. This shows the 49ers have full faith that Smith’s durability will not be in question for the upcoming 2013 season. The 49ers extension with Smith shows commitment to the veteran leader, who is the known enforcer up front. It also shows Justin Smith’s commitment to his team, as the defensive stud takes a pay cut that helps the 49ers clear more than 4 million in cap room. The 49ers now stand 6.423 million under the cap, with enough room to sign 1st Round Pick Eric Reid. The 49ers know how much Justin Smith means to this defense. Last season with both Justin and Aldon Smith Healthy the 49ers defense thrived and stood out as one of the best in the league. Aldon was on a tear and when healthy is considered one of the more dynamic pass rushers in the game. Justin is considered a force and one of the more dominant and respected football players whenever on the field. Both compliment each other with their command for attention due to exceptional play against the run (Justin) and exceptional pass rushing skills (Aldon). With Justin forcing double teams and Aldon demanding them they set the tone for 49ers defense, allowing the 49er linebackers to be on their assignments and fill the gaps against the run, and putting pressure on opposing Quarterbacks allowing the secondary to be on their jobs and clean up mistakes often made due to the push up front. All of that changed when Justin Smith partially tore his triceps in week 15, as Aldon Smith faced more double and even triple teams without the push from the “cowboy” on the other end. Without Justin, Aldon did not record a sack for the last 6 weeks of the season. Even when Justin returned at half strength he was not the same and neither was the 49er defense. With both Smiths back at 100 percent in 2013, even with new additions up front and in the secondary, expect the 49er defense to dominate as usual.
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