SANTA CLARA – Donte Whitner spoke in the media tent Wednesday afternoon. He broke down the Bills quarterback – Ryan Fitzpatrick. Whitner discussed the keys to defending the Bills’ offensive playmakers. And Whitner explained why he knew Colin Kaepernick would play against the Jets. Here’s a transcript.
Q: Who’s the guy the defense needs to watch against the Bills?
WHITNER: In this game it’s Steve Johnson, No.13. He was there (in Buffalo) when I was there. He rose up through the practice squad, really worked himself into the player he is today. When I was there I was a couple lockers down from him. I know how hard he’s worked to get to his level of play. We will have to know where he is each and every play.
Q: The Bills have two good running backs: C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. How do you defend them?
WHITNER: They’re both two fast, elusive guys. Fred Jackson, he’s arguably one of their best players on offense. He’s a guy who likes to get in the screen game – he has excellent hands and he can break a lot of tackles. C.J. Spiller, he’s a speed guy. He doesn’t really want to go in through the tackles and through the middle of the defense, he’s a guy who wants to bounce outside and use his speed.
Q: Does this offense look the same as when you left two years ago?
WHITNER: It looks the same. They have [Ryan] Fitz[patrick] back there. He’s a gun slinger. He’s going to take the good with the bad – touchdowns and interceptions. Then you have guys on the outside like Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones. Actually they’re going to try to feature Jones in the slot.
Q: Did you guys on defense know what kind of role Colin Kaepernick was going to play against the Jets?
WHITNER: No, but it’s a funny thing, I actually told [Harbaugh] at breakfast in Youngstown – just having normal conversation. I told him, “You know, New York does a lot of Wild Cat with Tebow. I’ve seen our Wild Cat in practice. Are we going to run it?” He was like, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know.” I was like, “I bet you run and I bet you score a touchdown.” And he comes out and he was actually supposed to score two touchdowns. And now you gives defenses something to prepare for during the week, and that will take their focus off the stuff they’re not preparing for. It’s a good thing for our offense.
Q: Colin Kaepernick ran the Wild Cat in practice last week?
WHITNER: We were preparing for Tebow and he was actually playing Tebow. And he was looking good. He’s really a fast guy – 4.3, low-4.4 guy legit. I just had a feeling he would get out there and that our coach would want to show our Wild Cat on a national stage.