49ers' Smith: NFL defenses are 'all out to get you'

Alex Smith insists he was simply absorbed in the moment.

In the final seconds of San Francisco's 36-32 win over New Orleans in January's NFC divisional playoff, the 49ers quarterback was seen jawing -- in fact, woofing -- at Saints players. Not typical Smith behavior, but he insists it had nothing to do with the Saints' aggressive play in that game. Nothing to do with bounties. Nothing to do with cheap shots.

"No, no absolutely not," Smith told The Sacramento Bee on Thursday. "I think you have to go along with ... when a team's talking trash to you, you know. It was the last touchdown. I knew they couldn't do anything about it, and there were a lot of emotions on my chest, and I felt like getting them off."

Audio released Thursday revealed former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams urging his defense to target and injure specific 49ers players in the playoff game.

During the audio, Williams allegedly rubbed his fingers together, indicating he would award cash for a monster hit on Smith.

"As far as New Orleans goes -- the Saints -- I really don't have anything to say about that," Smith said. "It's not my job. It's really outside of what I want to be talking about. And I don't feel like I have a great perspective on it anyway, because as a quarterback you feel they're all out to get you. I don't really want to talk about that I guess."

From the perspective of Smith, a player roundly dismissed by his critics, the playoff victory was a powerful dose of redemption. The emotion was genuine and personal for a quarterback many felt wouldn't show up against the Saints, much less torch them for 299 yards and four total touchdowns -- for the win.