Mr. Smith goes against Washington

Niners linebacker Derek Smith talks about why the 49ers are a better organization to play for than the Redskins, and also reveals his feelings about facing Washington, the team with which he spent the first four seasons of his NFL career.

Q: What do you like better about your situation here with the 49ers than the one you had in Washington with the Redskins?

Smith: From the players, to the coaches to the front office, the way I feel here is it's just more unified. Everyone's trying to work toward the same goal, and that's winning and getting to the playoffs, and getting to the Big One. That's what everyone here is trying to work for, the same thing.

Q: What kind of things made you feel that way there when you saw how things were here?

Smith: Ah, certain. … Well, Vinny Cerrato. I wasn't a big fan of his. He didn't like me, and I didn't like him. We just didn't seem to click with each other.

Q: Does that make this game have more meaning for you?

Smith: Either way this game is a game we need to win. It's a must win, I think. And being it's against the Redskins just makes it that much more fun.

Q: What sort of other things are better about playing here than in Washington?

Smith: It was a bunch of little things. But the little things added up to the big things, you know? Generally, overall, just the way they take care of you, and the way they treat you as a person and a human being and as an employee. It's just a lot better than what it is out there.

Q: What are your feelings about playing against a team that you spent the first four years of his career with?

Smith: It's kind of a familiarity to see the uniforms on the other guys is the one that you used to wear. Other than that, I mean, you see a few faces that are familiar and stuff like that. I guess you have a sense of familiarity, but in the same sense, you want to win I guess that much more, because you want to show them that you were a good asset for them. For them to let you go was not a good thing. But they've got great linebackers there. They've got a great linebacker corps now in Trotter, Arrington and Armstead. There's nothing really to prove there.



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