Today’s media session started early — 8 am here in New Orleans, which is two hours ahead of West Coast time. The players were tired, but willing to humor us. Justin Smith was a good sport in response to a request from a reporter, but we’ll get to that a little later.
I talked to Justin Smith about his Missouri connection with Aldon Smith, who Justin earlier called a “Megatron” kind of player on defense. I also asked about his strength training regimen while recovering from his triceps injury, because when David Fucillo from Niners Nation asked Jim Tomsula about Smith, the 49ers’ d-line coach talked about how weightlifting was involved.
(Fooch also asked Tomsula about the tendency for his shirts to open up a little around the chest area, which Tomsula blamed on a “wardrobe malfunction.”)
Since lifting weights with a torn tendon in one’s arm sounds painful, I asked Smith about what goes into that. I also brought it up with Mark Uyeyama, the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
“With an injury like that, what people would think is you have to address a strength issue. But it’s not like he became weak all of the sudden. The strength is still there. Obviously where there’s an injury there’s a bit of an interruption. So you just have to kind of re-create the pathways and re-create the type of contractions.”
“We’re always going to push the envelope,” Uyeyama said while describing the standard rehab process. “You’ve just got to be smart and progressive.”
Smith also talked to me about the craziness of Super Bowl week, looking forward to getting on the practice field today and the changes made to the Baltimore Ravens’ offense.
Now, for the more amusing part of the Justin Smith experience from this morning. ESPN Deportes filmed a short interview with Smith before I talked to him, and afterward the guy asked the 49ers’ defensive lineman to give a soundbite in Spanish. I had a hard time not laughing while this occurred, and you’ll probably be able to see why.