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49ers LB Aldon Smith chases defensive honors

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99) is congratulated by linebacker Ahmad Brooks after sacking Chicago Bears quarterback Jason Campbell (2) during the third quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Greedy or not, Aldon Smith wants all the defensive accolades he can get.

It’s hard to argue with the statistics he’s putting up so far for the San Francisco 49ers.

Smith likes it that way. After missing out on the NFL’s award for top defensive rookie last season, he is determined to make up for it. And San Francisco’s high-flying outside linebacker hopes to leave little to chance this time.

He is striving to be the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year and sacks leader in his second professional season.

Smith recorded 5½ sacks for the NFC West-leading Niners (7-2-1) in Monday night’s 32-7 rout of the Bears to give him a league-best 15 on the year — already topping the franchise-record and rookie-leading 14 he produced in 2011.

— Associated Press