Monday morning, it was announced that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith would leave the team in order to straighten out his substance abuse issues. Adam Schefter has reported that Smith will be away from the team for about a month, and will look to address his health in the meantime.
“I am taking a leave of absence to address my health,” Smith said via a team statement. “I am sorry that I have affected my team, my family and the organization. I will do everything in my power to handle this situation the best way possible. I appreciate the support of the 49ers and our fans.”
After being arrested on drunk driving charges Friday, Smith has come to the realization that he has a problem that must be fixed. For that, I give the man the utmost respect.
While many may think Smith’s issues are big, the 49ers’ problems as a whole are much bigger. After starting out the season with a bang against the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has sputtered into a downward spiral. Not only that, but the defense can’t figure out how to get off the field.
Post-412 yard performance in week one, Kaepernick has thrown for just 277 yards, zero touchdowns and four interceptions with an average completion percentage hovering right around 47 percent. Of course, it’s tough to work with a group of receivers that are so inexperienced beyond Anquan Boldin. And, yes, Vernon Davis was out in week three.
However, Kaepernick hasn’t shown nearly the amount of poise in the pocket nor the accuracy that he possessed in 2012 — heck, in week one.
The defense, on the other hand, couldn’t stop the run on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts controlled the line of scrimmage as well as the clock, and ran for 179 yards on 39 carries as a team. After a 27-7 beat down by Indianapolis, the 49ers are left frantically searching for answers.
“There’s no one thing, we just didn’t execute this offense,” Kaepernick said after the game.
Well, he’s got that right. There’s a whole lot of things the 49ers have to straighten out — and none of those include their troubled linebacker at the moment. San Francisco is sitting at 1-2 in a very tough division. Their one-time multi-dimensionally talented quarterback has looked more like a rookie with stage fright and the defense is getting man-handled.
It’s early on in the season and far too early to hit the panic button if you’re any franchise at the moment. But, San Francisco is awfully close.