Reggie Smith is ready for a breakout year in 2010. Drafted as a cornerback in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft, Smith was converted to safety following his first year in the league. With a year of experience under his belt at his new position, Smith is eyeing this upcoming season as his best to date. 49ers.com caught up with Smith for an offseason Q&A following a recent workout at the team's offseason conditioning program.**
Q: Being that this is year three for you with the 49ers, how much more prepared are you for this season than year's past?
A: Everything I've learned in my time here has helped me get ready. I've been around here going on my third year and it's about time I start stepping up and contributing even more to the team. I'll finally be at the same position for more than one year, so hopefully that will be the biggest difference for me than in past years.
Q: What experience or moment in your 49ers career has given you confidence that you can play at a high level in the NFL?
A: I think it's my versatility, being able to go back-and-forth from different positions. I was supposed to play safety last season, but ended up playing more cornerback than safety. Knowing that I have that flexibility and experience lets me know I'm able to help the team in whatever position that's needed.
Q: Beyond the instruction you get from your defensive back coaches, what have the veteran defensive backs on the 49ers roster specifically told you that's helped your career develop?**
A: Really all of the older guys have helped me out a whole lot. The safeties especially helped me, guys like Michael Lewis and Dashon Goldson have helped me a lot. They know the defense even better than I do from their time in the system. I've really picked up on some of the tricks of each of the coverages and that's going to help me out a lot.
Q: In your time away from 49ers headquarters, how were you challenging yourself to get better?
A: I was at home working out with a couple of guys that went to my high school. They're doing well in the Canadian League (CFL) and we worked out and challenged each other. We were running routes against each other and stuff like that. That helped out a lot. And I've been getting stronger. I've put on about six pounds since I've been gone. I'm really just trying to get bigger for the season.
Q: What are your main goals in coming to the 49ers offseason conditioning program?A: Work out, talk with my coaches and I've been in the books a lot too. I took a lot of CDs home over the offseason and studied so I'll be more mentally sound. I think my athleticism is right where it needs to be, I just need to focus on the mental side of the game at times.
Q: Is this most excited you've been for a season in all your years of playing football?
A: Oh yeah. All of the guys are excited and for me personally, I want to produce more this year. It's time for me to do even more.