ALAMEDA – Aldon Smith’s arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence sent a ripple effect towards both sides of San Francisco Bay.
The San Francisco 49ers and their star linebacker will bear the brunt of this news, but the arrest served a dose of reality to the Raiders.
[RELATED: Aldon Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI]
Especially because it happened so close to home. Some Raiders know Smith, but all understand the impact such an incident can have on a career and reputation.
The Raiders leadership constantly reminds young players to stay disciplined during the season and never drive under the influence. Smith’s incident can be a cautionary tale for the Raiders, who don’t want their players in a similar situation.
“In situations like this, you have to remind the younger guys about the bad things that can happen if you’re not smart and not careful,” Raiders team captain and defensive end Lamarr Houston said. “These guys have so much more free time on their hands as opposed to college, and you have to be responsible with it. It’s not meant for you to wile out and go nuts. It’s meant for you to focus on your craft.
“That’s especially true during the fall. In the spring, have an appropriate amount of fun if you want. But, until February’s over, we want our guys working on the game.”
Peer pressure is an excellent solvent, but the Raiders coaching staff also reminds players about being smart with their downtime.
“You try to work with your guys all the time and make sure they understand the limelight that they’re in and their responsibility to themselves and the football team,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “Things come up and you deal with them, but we try to do a good job of being accountable and being responsible both on and off the field.”