January 24, 2013
Niners' Smith leans on help of old pro
By BILL LANKOFF, QMI Agency

Niners linebacker Aldon Smith (middle), preparing for his first Super Bowl, is taking pointers from Charles Haley, the only player ever to win five Super Bowl rings — three with the Cowboys and two in San Francisco. (REUTERS)

Call it the irresistable force vs. the immovable object.

Joe Flacco is on one of the best runs by a quarterback in post-season history. And San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith is getting help from one of the most successful defensive players in history to stop that run.

Smith, preparing for his first Super Bowl, is taking pointers from Charles Haley, the only player ever to win five Super Bowl rings — three with the Cowboys and two in San Francisco.

“He gave me tips in our first five seconds of talking,” said Smith, who met Haley before the 49ers ousted Atlanta. “It was legit. He said, ‘You need to turn your foot like this and start rushing like that.’ And I was like, ‘All right.’ ”

Smith said Haley’s tips helped him pressure quarterback Matt Ryan. “I did the tips,” Smith said. “They worked and helped out a little bit. I was in there.”

Smith will need all the help he can find to corral Flacco, who is just three touchdown passes shy of tying the record



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