It seems so long ago.
The 49ers All-Pro defensive tackle returned to form in San Francisco’s Week 1 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Smith routinely collapsed the pocket on Aaron Rodgers and remained a dominant force in the run game. The 13-year veteran was credited with three tackles.
Smith used the offseason to recover from offseason triceps surgery and showed no signs of slowing down against the Packers. The injury was key last season. It caused him to snap a 185-game consecutive start streak. Smith missed two regular season games, beginning in Week 16 of last season, a 49ers loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
READ: NFC RIVAL REPORT
The 49ers, however, return to Seattle this week with Justin Smith in the lineup.
Smith’s presence is a boost to San Francisco’s starting front seven. In particular, Jim Harbaugh praised the defensive line for being in tip-top shape against Green Bay.
Harbaugh pointed out that five of Green Bay’s 13 drives were three-and-outs. On three other occasions, the Packers had short possessions that led to punts.
“That was a real positive,” Harbaugh said. “I thought our conditioning was a real positive for us.”
The 49ers defensive line rotation will be strengthened this week with the return of
San Francisco spent much of Week 1 in nickel and dime personnel, but when in the base, 3-4 alignment, Harbaugh was pleased with the outing. It was also nose tackle
Harbaugh liked what he saw from the young anchor to San Francisco’s defensive line.
“I thought really the interior guys played very well,” Harbaugh said. “The four down lineman, we were in nickel most, almost the entire day. They did a good job stopping the run, tackling, getting pressure on the quarterback and they threw the ball very quickly. I thought all of our defensive linemen played well.”
More notes on the 49ers in today’s Morning Tailgate.
Bill Williamson of ESPN.com offered more thoughts from San Francisco’s win over Green Bay.Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury Newsprovided game grades.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reviewed film from the win.Michael Silver of NFL.comhighlighted the big outing from
Andrew Pentis of 49ers.com looked at how the 49ers plan to address missed tackles.