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Aldon Smith Expects Consistent Pass Rush on Robert Griffin III

Posted Nov 21, 2014

The San Francisco 49ers star outside linebacker recorded two sacks against RG III in their first meeting.

Last week in New York...

Ahmad Brooks apologized. Aaron Lynch emerged.

And Aldon Smith, the team's most potent pass-rusher, returned in a big way.

Put all three talented outside linebackers on the field together, and the San Francisco 49ers could have one of the best pass-rushing trios in the National Football League.

At least that's the expectation when San Francisco hosts Washington on Sunday at Levi's® Stadium.

Smith, Brooks and Lynch's working relationship must, of course, be ironed out before the Week 12 contest. Brooks was benched last week against the Giants for his inflamatory comments towards defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Brooks has since apologized and said he expects to be heavily involved against Washington.

As for Smith, who returned to the field after a nine-game suspension, he sounded eager to put all of San Francisco's pass-rushing pieces together. The team also has a reliable veteran in Dan Skuta, who could return to the field afer missing the past two games with an ankle injury. Skuta is officially listed as questionable to play.

Smith expects the 49ers to "keep a consistent pass rush."

This sounds good on paper when facing a dual-threat quarterback in Robert Griffin III.

"He's an athletic guy," said Smith of the quarterback whom he sacked twice last season. "If he takes off, he can hurt you. But he also has a good arm, too. You've got to think about both when you're rushing him."

Smith will have a little more on his plate this week.

Washington's Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams is listed as questionable with a knee inury. He did not play in last week's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rookie tackle Morgan Moses filled in for Williams.

Smith said he's been studying both linemen.

"They're both good tackles," Smith said. "You pick up on their tendencies, things they do well, things they don't do good.

"I know Moses has long arms and he's tall, but I've got to be on my game."

Smith's conditioning was commended this week by defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Being in top shape only plays to Smith' strengths. The edge-rusher appeared to get stronger as his playing time increased last week.

And after reporters asked Smith about physical shape following his full football game in more than 10 months, Smith said he was more fatigued after his first padded-practice.

The 49ers linebacker sounded confident that he'll be even fresher for Sunday's important game.

"The more I'm practicing, the more I'm getting back into football (shape)," he said. "I'm getting back to how I play."

Smith hinted at new pass-rushing moves last week. He didn't, however, showcase them in his 57-snap outing against the Giants.

"Couldn't give it all in the first one," he said.

Perhaps he will have something new to display in his first regular season game in San Francisco's new billion-dollar home venue.

"It'll be exciting getting back out here," Smith said.

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