CULVER CITY, Calif. -- A season in which you finish with 19.5 sacks never can be deemed a failure.
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"I'm a tough dude. Honestly, I'm able to fight through a lot of things that I think might hamper other people," Aldon Smith said. "It was there and it affected me, but it is what it is."
Smith said his slump in production went back to a "number of things," including changes in how teams attacked the Niners' front line. Smith said the opposition will "be at a disadvantage" if they consult the tape and do the same things again.
Smith might be the player best suited to topple Michael Strahan's single-season sack record of 22.5, set in 2001. We asked Smith how much that drives him.
"It's a goal, but I'm not punching myself in the face at the end of the season if I don't get it," Smith said. "I'm young, and I'm learning a lot and I'm getting better. My goal is really just to get better every year. As long as I do that, if it was 14, then 19.5, at that rate it should keep going. Hopefully, I should be able to trump that record and keep going."