The San Francisco 49ers saw Justin Smith depart for retirement earlier this week, but his time with the franchise might not be complete. During a radio interview earlier this week, Smith talked about his future plans, as well as what he has been up to in recent weeks.
Smith was specifically asked about whether he might get into coaching, and he seemed receptive to the idea. He mentioned being at the team's rookie minicamp last week, and it seemed to be in the context of helping out a bit.
Oh yea, absolutely. I been going up there a little bit, here and there. Went to the rookie minicamp a little bit this past weekend. Yea, I want to stay around it. I feel like I'm a Niner, definitely. So I want to stay as close to the team as I can, and this and that, maybe dip my toe into coaching. I don't want to jump straight into it. You know, they sleep up there and stuff. I still can't figure out what they do. I ain't ready to find out yet. But I'll probably take a year or two and figure out where I'll go from there.
Smith had a lot of great lines in the interview, but one of my favorite was when he said, "You know, they sleep up there and stuff. I still can't figure out what they do. I ain't ready to find out yet." The tone of voice was particularly amusing, with a certain amount of shock about coaches sleeping at the facility.
The team welcomed back Aubrayo Franklin to serve as an assistant defensive line coach. If Smith were to get into coaching, it makes sense that he would start with defensive line work. And he seems to feel strongly connected to the 49ers, so that's certainly a plus.
It seems like the earliest we could expect anything would be next year. It will come down in part to how Smith is enjoying his time away from the game. Or maybe he'll decide he wants to stay in Missouri. According to Matt Barrows, Smith is building a new home in Missouri. That does not mean he will not return to the 49ers, but maybe he decides to go the Brett Favre route and be an assistant for a local high school football team. There are numerous possibilities.