Charles Haley says Aldon Smith has ‘that passion’ and ‘the drive’

Aldon Smith is hoping to play in all 16 games this year for the 49ers.

Kelley L Cox/Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has had trouble staying on the field the last couple of years because of off the field issues.

Hall of Fame bound Charles Haley had some advice for Smith. 

“My first advice to him is he that he has to be on the field in order for the team to succeed,” Haley told the San Jose Mercury News. 

Smith missed nine games last year due to suspension and five games in 2013 while he was in a rehabilitation facility after being arrested for driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. 

Haley believes Smith can turn it around because of his passion for the game.

“I talk to Aldon all the time,” Haley said. “He has the passion, he has that drive. He wants to be the best. Use this year to go out for 16 games and put it on the line. I’m excited for him, man.

“He’s one hell of a nice game. I love talking to him. He wants to learn and absorb everything. We talk about everything and the biggest thing we talk about is life. We get on the phone and laugh and just talk. That’s what it’s all about.”

Haley hopes he can help Smith through his own experiences. 

“I’ve been through a lot of issues,” Haley said. “But the thing you have to do — and this is for any player — when you walk through the doors that go into the 49ers complex, leave all the trash outside, because it will be waiting for you when you back out. You don’t need to bring it inside the house. Do your job.

“Football was never a job for me. I loved the game. That passion drove me.”

(h/t Mercury News)