49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

November 14, 2011
Justin Smith: Mind the gap


Defensive end Justin Smith: durable, hard-working ... clairvoyant?

That's what Jim Harbaugh suggested in his press conference today when describing Smith's victory-preserving batted pass at game's end. Here's Harbaugh's account:

"The neat thing about it - and these things don't show up in the stats - they don't show up in tackles for loss, etc. But Justin - Justin's walking out onto the field. He's walking out with Ray (McDonald). He's telling Ray, 'Ray, be conscious of the B gap. Stay in your lane. Take away the B gap. Keep your hands up. He's going to throw it in the B gap.' How Justin Smith knows that? It's an example of him thinking through the game and communicating that to Ray. And sure enough, Eli (Manning) sets up and he was trying to hit the little short post throw right through the B gap. And there is Justin to knock it down."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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