Programming note: For comprehensive 49ers coverage from Arizona, watch SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
49ers second-year defensive tackle Quinton Dial wants to be just like All-Pro lineman Justin Smith.
"You can just pop on the film, man, and see his level of intensity and how he plays a game. I just want to take my game to his level and then some," Dial said Saturday on KNBR. "Just take it all in while he's still playing. I just try to craft my game to be like his, because he's a great guy and a great football player."
Dial, 24, was a fifth-round pick out of Alabama in 2013. He missed the majority of his rookie season with a turf toe injury.
But he believes watching from the sidelines in his first year helped, as the young defender was able to absorb the nuances of the position from a mental standpoint.
"It definitely did [test my patience]. I'm one that loves to be out there to do what I can to help my team win," Dial said. "But to have that year to just have a chance to grow, my knowledge, learning from Justin Smith and Ray McDonald and those guys, it really has helped me a lot coming into my second year in the league."
49ers defensive line coach Jim Tomsula is playing a major role in Dial's development, too.
"And coach Tomsula as well, he's helped me out a lot as well -- helped me go into my playbook and making sure I'm sharp in everything I'm doing," Dial added. "You need to be prepared to play the game.
"He's hard on me, to keep me on my toes, keep me going and keep me working hard."
The 6-foot-5, 318-pound Dial had 15 tackles and a team-high two forced fumbles in the 2014 preseason.
After being scratched in Week 1, Dial was activated for his fourth career regular season game in Week 2 vs. the Chicago Bears.
His mentor, Smith, currently leads the 49ers in sacks with three in two games, ranking the veteran second in the NFL.