49ers teammates react to Smith's release

Following his arrest and release from the team Friday, Aldon Smith's former teammates weighed in after their training camp practice.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Having lost so many key players in the offseason, particularly on defense, the San Francisco 49ers were going to rely heavily on Aldon Smith in 2015.

But those hopes became null and void Friday, as Smith was released from the team following his third DUI-related arrest since 2012.

Smith, who entered an in-patient treatment facility following DUI arrest number two in September of 2013, maintained he was sober last spring, after he was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after making an an alleged false bomb threat.

In the police report issued by the Santa Clara Police Department the morning after Smith's latest arrest, it said, "Smith displayed objective symptoms of being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage."

"For me, just more concerned about him as a person," 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin said. "Football doesn’t come into play when it comes to a situation like that."

Earlier in the day, new head coach Jim Tomsula was visibly shaken when talking about Smith and issues away from the field, reaching out to others that may be dealing with alcoholism.

"I understand the platform that we are on, I understand where this goes in the news," Tomsula said. "And what I would like to say is, if one person out there reads this, and you're struggling, get help. Go get it. You're worth it ... There's value in every human being. Get the help. You don't have to walk alone.

"And although Aldon will not be playing football here, we will be supporting him. He will not be alone."

The 49ers took to the practice field for the first time without Smith Friday afternoon. His replacements, rookie Eli Harold, Corey Lemonier, Ahmad Brooks and Aaron Lynch were all on hand. But Lynch was unable to practice while recovering from a hamstring issues that hindered him during the offseason program.

Those healthy players have performed well in training camp to this point, in part, because Smith, the 49ers' best at the position, looked like the player he was in 2012, when he was a first-team All-Pro with 19.5 sacks.

"From the time I was here, only thing I’ve seen was him working," Boldin said. "(I) saw him in good spirits. He was looking the best I’d ever seen him, having a great camp."

"It’s tough, that guy might be the best pass rusher in the league," safety Eric Reid said.

After fielding one of the league's premier defenses during the last four seasons, San Francisco enters 2015 without Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Chris Borland, who all retired in the offseason. Their defense that reached Super Bowl XLVII has just two starters remaining: Brooks and inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who missed all of 2014 while recovering from ACL and MCL tears in his left knee.

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49ers release Smith

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