SANTA CLARA – Donte Whitner spoke with Bay Area reporters Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said.
Q: Have you had conversations on an extension?
WHITNER: Anybody who ever says it’s not a concern, they’re probably lying. It’s always a concern, especially when you’re in the business that’s so physical and you never know what’s going to happen on the football field. I’m not in a position to make anybody do anything. All I can do is come out here and work hard every day, help lead the secondary, help continue to make sure we’re one of the top defenses in the National Football League. And everything else falls into place. It’s kind of a concern but I don’t really worry about it.
Q: What have you noticed from Kaepernick this offseason?
WHITNER: He’s taken the pressure and is really embracing it. Ever since everybody’s been saying his name, Colin Kaepernick, getting awards, he’s a guy that’s out here every day lifting, running by himself, a guy who just wants to get better, all types of supplements and crazy stuff in his locker. I even heard coach say he hopes he would quit lifting so hard sometimes. That’s who he is, that’s why he is the player that he is. That’s why he can run away from defensive backs when he gets out in the open field, that’s why he can throw the football 60, 70, 80 yards in the air, and that’s why he’s an athlete because he wants to be great. He has a great opportunity, he has a lot of weapons on offense. He has the right mindset, he came in in tremendous shape and now the sky’s the limit. We look forward to seeing big things for him?
Q: Everyone’s talking about how the NFC West has gotten better…
WHITNER: We’ve gotten better also. We’ve added a lot of pieces, Anquan. We’re definitely going to miss Crabtree until he gets back but Anquan is that piece that we really needed to be in there for him. Vernon is a versatile guy, you see him all over the place. You don’t see too many people who can run with him back there. We have a running game. Our running game really takes a lot of pressure off of everything else. We have guys like Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Boobie Dixon who will fill in a little bit some, LaMichael James who last year he got really good at the end of the year. A lot of guys are going to take the load off Kap in the passing game. That’s what we look forward to. Our job on defense is to get the ball back to him. We want to be tops in the league on turnovers this year, and that’s what we have to work on. If we can do all those things we’ll be OK.
Q: Why throw contract desires out on social media?
WHITNER: Oh, a lot of fans like stuff like that. We don’t really look at it like a distraction. Most of my teammates haven’t even seen it or heard about it, so it’s really just for the fans. You see their replies and like to read their replies, possibly write something back every now and then. Other than that it’s no big problem. Generating discussion.
Q: Have you talked to Ahmad Brooks?
WHITNER: You talk to those guys pretty much one on one, private conversations, you don’t really put it out there for everybody to see or everybody to know. It’s just choices that you make outside of here. It’s a bad choice that he made. He’s going to have to pay for that. We don’t know what it’s going to be yet. He understands (making) good choices. We’re a good football team, a lot of eyes are on us now, even more than last year and the year before. You have to make good decisions, hang out with the right people, make good choices and he’s going to do that from here on out.
Q: Do you think he’ll get suspended?
WHITNER: I don’t really know the ins and outs and what’s going on with it. I don’t know what’s going to happen with that.”
Q: To be clear, you’ve already talked to him?
WHITNER: I talked to Ahmad. He explained the situation, I gave him my input on it and we left it at that. He’s tremendously sorry for what he did, anybody would be embarrassed. He just has to move on and make sure he continues to make the right choices from this point on, he’ll be OK.