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Aldon Smith: 49ers didn't target Big Ben's ankle

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made waves last week when he suggested the San Francisco 49ers might have targeted his sore left ankle in their Monday night meeting last December.

Defensive end Aldon Smith, who terrorized Big Ben with 2.5 sacks in the 49ers' 20-3 win in Week 15, denies any malicious intent.

"Our goal was to win the game," Smith told Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. "We don't go out and talk about hurting other players, their ankles or injuries or any of that. We were going out to win the game. The quarterback, he controls the game. So if he got hit, it happens."

Roethlisberger hinted at the matter last week during an interview with "The Dan Patrick Show".

"Um wow -- that's tough," Roethlisberger said. "I don't really complain about that stuff, either. But I think when we played San Fran, I felt like there were some things going on, some extra ... Now, obviously, I did have the ankle (injury) and I was playing, so there was kind of a bull's-eye on there anyway. But for the most part, guys play tough and you go into a game expecting it. I expect to be tougher than them."

Barrows points out that ESPN's Mike Sando tracked every snap by Pittsburgh and witnessed nothing suspicious. We invite you to pull the curtains closed, hook up the projector and do the same. Tell us what you think.

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