Aldon Smith talked to the media for the first time since his sentencing hearing on Friday. Like countless other professional athletes before him, Smith proclaimed himself to be in the best shape of his life. Only with Smith, such an update actually gets people to notice. If he has actually been sober since checking into rehabilitation facility in late September of last year, the improvements in body and mind he mentioned are probably legitimate.
Smith’s blood alcohol level was not tested when LAX police detained him, but Sgt. Karla Ortiz said eyewitnesses told police that he “appeared” to have been drinking.
Now his responsibilities include staying out of trouble and serving his sentence: 12 days on work crew, with one day credited.
If Smith works on July 28, he’ll be finished with his work crew duties one week before Monday Night Football against the Rams in Week 6 (Oct. 13).
“The times that I have free time, I’ll take care of it,” Smith said.
That quote and all the rest can be found below in the full transcript of Smith’s interview today, which also includes a lot about personal growth and his current conditioning level.
Q: How do you feel?
Q: Where were your feelings last week to get that behind you as far as the sentencing goes?
Smith: I’m glad it’s behind me. I’m glad it got behind me and I’m ready to move on.
Q: Were you satisfied with the ruling?
Smith: I’m glad how it worked out. So I’m just focused on moving forward right now.
Q: Do you have any expectations as far as what the NFL is going to do?
Smith: You know, I don’t know. I’ve never been in this situation. I’m not going to speculate.
Q: Have you been following other guys’ cases like Ray Rice this morning?
Smith: I saw it come across the news.
Q: Do you think that’s good news for you?
Smith: I’m not sure. I’m not Ray Rice.
Q: Do you have an appointment with the commissioner’s office? Do you know of any scheduling, anything like that?
Smith: I know I’m meeting with him in the near future.
Q: You don’t know what date, though.
Q: Some time in August, probably?
Smith: As soon as possible.
Q: How are you going to handle the work portion of the sentence? Is that going to happen on Mondays during the season?
Smith: I don’t know if there’s a specific day. But the times that I have free time, I’ll take care of it.
Q: Aldon, do you know if you’ll be meeting with them when you guys are back in Baltimore?
Smith: Once again, we don’t have a solid date. I’m not sure.
Q: Have you started serving those Mondays, Aldon?
Smith: No, I haven’t had time yet.
Q: Do you feel focused on football at this point? How do you feel coming into this training camp?
Smith: I’m in the best shape I’ve been in coming into a camp. My mind’s probably in the best spot it’s been in. So, I’m feeling great.
Q: Do you feel like you’re a different person now than you were a year ago?
Smith: Yeah. I’m thinking everything’s about growth and I just keep growing. This is process has been a growing process, and I’m in a better spot than I have been.
Q: What kind of reaction did you get from teammates on Friday after the sentencing, and texts or phone calls or the way that you were received?
Smith: It was a lot of supportive comments. My team supports me a lot. Everybody here supports me a lot. It was just good (that they) have your back.
Q: Does it feel good to just get your mind back into football?
Smith: Yeah, it’s good to be back on the field. Doing something I love, doing something I enjoy, being around my teammates and everybody around here.
Q: Is it up to you, which Mondays you serve?
Smith: I don’t think so, I think it’s just whatever works out best for my schedule and everything.
Q: How do you feel about playing in this stadium?
Smith: I’m excited. We actually went through there yesterday, looked at it a little bit. It’s nice.
Q: Talk about how you’ve grown over the summer since the incident occurred.
Smith: Tremendously. You go through things in life, you learn a lot. So I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes and just growing from them.
Q: Have you been able to maintain sobriety, or is that something you’re still working with.
Smith: I’ve been able to maintain. It’s going good.
Q: Have you been sober since you went to rehab?
Q: Are these issues something you have to constantly work at, or because your experiences, you’re a new you and this sort of stuff is behind you now?
Smith: It’s a process, so it’s something that you’ve got to take one day at a time and continue to get better. Every day is a new day.
Q: Is there a deadline by which you have to complete those work days?
Smith: That I do not know. I’m pretty sure there is, but not off the top of my head.
Q: You said you’re in the best shape in camp right now. Have you gotten any feedback from your teammates who’ve seen that, and do you feel like there’s a difference in how you’re playing?
Smith: I feel good. A couple guys made some comments on our conditioning test. We haven’t hit the field yet, but maybe after a day or two I’ll hear some more comments.
Q: So you did well on the conditioning test?
Smith: Yeah, I’d say so.
Q: Is this from changing your lifestyle, Aldon, that you’re feeling so much better?
Smith: That, and I hit this offseason really hard. I changed up a couple different workouts and I’m doing a couple things differently.
Q: Can you improve as a player?
Smith: Oh yeah.
Q: In what way?
Smith: All around. There’s a lot of areas I can improve in. I’m far from reaching the top, so I’ve got some time to improve.
Q: Did you concentrate on stamina, endurance, that sort of thing?
Smith: I’d say that, power and technique. Technique can always get better.
Q: What do you think the mindset with the team is? You’ve been so close to a Super Bowl win for three years. How much urgency is there?
Smith: We want to get back to that game. We’ve been close, as you just said. We know what it takes to get there. We’ve just got to capitalize on the moment.