San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Justin Smith announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, calling it a day after 14 years in the league. He spoke with the media following the announcement, and said health was the reason he was walking away from the game. He said he has dealt with issues to his left shoulder that have made it harder and harder the last two years. He mentioned that a piece of bone detached from his shoulder in 2013 and lodged in back of it. He played all 13 games with that injury. He's one tough S.O.B.
We'll continue to look back at the amazing career of Justin Smith, and for now I thought it would be fun to look at him making life miserable for quarterbacks. He was never viewed primarily as a pass rusher. He was an all-around lineman who could do everything. He could stop running backs, he could get to the quarterback, he could open up space for guys like Aldon Smith. There are so many things we cannot quantify that made Justin Smith such a great defensive lineman.
That being said, it was always fun seeing him make life miserable for an opposing quarterback. The GIF of him going after Drew Brees is an all-time classic, but he had his way with quarterbacks year in and year out. I did not realize this, but according to Cam Inman, Smith is one of 13 players with at least five sacks in 12 or more seasons. Not too shabby.
Feel free to share your favorite plays, quarterback sacks or otherwise, but for now, enjoy him destroying so many men.