Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


Torrey Smith on 95.7 The Game: Protests, quarterbacks, Kelly’s offense and injuries

Oct 20, 2016 at 10:35 PM--


San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith joined the Damon Bruce Show on 95.7 The Game tonight. Below are some of the topics that Smith discussed during the interview.

The questions themselves are paraphrased.

When were you comfortable enough to express your views on various topics that concern you?

"I've always been that way. Just so happens that people pay attention now to what I talk about or being in this position. I've always – honestly since I was a little kid – I've been very vocal. I've always been very opinionated. But I've also always been open minded to listening to different things. So nothing's really changed."

When did you become aware of what Colin Kaepernick was doing?

"I mean, no one knew. Apparently, he did the first couple of games and no one noticed until the third game where he was playing. There happen to be more eyes on you. I think that what he did was very bold. I have a lot of respect in the world for him for doing it and his reasons for doing it are all in the right place."

Why aren't you one of his teammates joining him?

"I literally just talked about that about an hour ago. I was very very vocal on social issues. I was going to go it this first game on September 11 but I wasn't comfortable with doing it and anyone feeling like it's taking away from the people who were affected by it. Because I have friends who have lost family members in that instant and I was like, 'Alright, let's do it the next week,' and I was like, 'Man, what the hell am I waiting for?' I mean, he's already got the conversation going. So I just wanted to focus on continuing to do what I have been doing in the community. You know, help them be vocal as well because I've been talking about these issues with my foundation long before I even came to San Francisco. It was just important to me to focus on the change because the protest is just that. It's a protest. And he's continuing to do that. He has the conversation going so I wanted to continue to learn more, continue with people to help solve the issues that we all have."

What are some of the conversations that you've had to bring about change?

"Well, I'm very close with the president of the NAACP. So, learning different ways, specifically in the Baltimore area, to battle things that are going on. If we're talking strictly police brutality, we have a panel next week in Baltimore in our bye week where we're talking to police officers, working on mending that relationship between the community and the lack of trust between officers and the community. And whether it's economic issues where low-income areas where you're dealing with all kinds of things and crime, those are all major problems as well. It's important to get out and help educate people and also show them there's another way."

How different is this issue in Baltimore than it is in the Bay Area?

"Yeah, I think it may be. I think it can be said that way. You have to understand that the San Francisco Police Department has been under investigation for things like that. It's human error. You look at a place like Baltimore where people couldn't tell what was damaged by the riot and what was already there. It's real issues going on there that – folks need help, folks need hope. So it's important to be a part of that."

You went from Flacco in Baltimore to Kaepernick and Gabbert in San Francisco. How different is that for you?

"That's the thing. It's two different places. I think it's probably a little more stable. When I say that, I don't say that in a disrespectful way. I mean, we've had two coaches in two years. When I was there, I didn't have to experience that change. There's also the stability at the quarterback position as well. Joe's been healthy as ever until last year. And then here you have a battle that's been going on between Kaepernick and Gabbert. That's all part of the business. It's not new. I personally haven't been exposed to it, but it's nothing new and it happens all across the league every year."

Were you supportive of Gabbert when he was named the starting quarterback? Were you supportive of Kaepernick when the change was made?

"Yeah, I was in support of either way. Both of those guys are the quarterbacks on our team. My job doesn't change no matter who's back there. It's my job to help them. I was excited for Blaine when he had his shot and I was disappointed when things didn't go his way, but I was excited for Kap now that he has his shot. At the end of the day, it's my job to help both of those guys. I have both of their backs."

It was good to see some big plays from you on Sunday.

"That's what we need. We're going to need some big plays to get on the right side of the win/loss column."

How much more comfortable in practice is Kaepernick now versus a week ago when he was worked back into the mix?

"I think he's doing a great job. I thought he had a great practice last week as well. I think the biggest difference isn't necessarily from this week to last week. It's from the offseason until now. He's in better shape. He's stronger. He's more confident with his assignments and what's going on. He did a great job this week, so hopefully it shows on Sunday."

Is Chip Kelly's offense sustainable?

"It's the same plays. It's literally the same concepts in the pass game. Every other team runs the same thing. The only difference is really tempo and maybe in the run game a little bit. People acting like this offense is something that they created on Madden or something. It's football. There's only so many things that you can do. He just has a different way of putting it all together. When it's rolling and you're executing, it's a beautiful thing to say."

How much do you miss Anquan Boldin?

"That's my guy. He's like a big brother to me. You definitely miss him being around, but it's not my first time being without him and you wish him the best of luck wherever he is because you know he's going to do his thing."

How is your reported back injury? You're ready to play, right?

"I'm alive man. As long as I'm alive, I have a chance."

How much are you going to miss Carlos Hyde against that Tampa defense?

"It'll be the next man up. We have a lot of great running backs in our room like Davis. That's how it goes. Guys are always hurt. Always hurt. So you have to trust that the next guy behind him can get it done and we have all the faith in the world in our guys."

You can listen to the entire interview on 95.7 The Game.



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