Breaking away from the Chris Culliver saga for a moment, I talked to Donte Whitner briefly about some comments Ed Dickson made earlier in the week.
“We’ve seen the success that Atlanta had,” Dickson said of the 49ers’ defense. “We’re not going to be naïve. I’m sure they’ve made corrections. In the end, it’s all about us and the things that we do well with running the football and passing the ball, just being a balanced offense.
“We’ve seen a lot of things on film we can exploit, and we’ll go after those things.”
Since Whitner is a communications expert (before I talked to him, he told a reporter who asked if the media onslaught was too much that, while some of his teammates were dragging their feet on the way to these sessions, he didn’t mind them because he “went to school for this”), I figured he had heard about what Dickson said through the grapevine. That assumption was correct.
“I don’t really care about those comments that he made. We have to play a football game on Sunday. He’s a tight end, he has to come near us.”
I stopped the video right after he said “us,” and that’s the photo on the upper right. You can watch his reaction in the video below, which is just over a minute long and includes what he thought the difference was between the first and second half in Atlanta, and how important communication is to the 49ers’ secondary.
The 49ers’ defense has a tendency to get angry when they feel disrespected. I remember Aldon Smith’s postgame press conference after sacking Jason Campbell 5.5 times. “Coming in, there may have been some questions about who may have been the better defense (the 49ers or the Bears), just questioning us in general. But I think obviously we came out on point tonight (smirky grin).”
When someone in the room said, “There was a lot of talk that Chicago was the best defense,” Smith had this response: “Well, I think we showed tonight who was.”
Bulletin board material can be overhyped to a certain degree. However, for a team with loads of talent on the defensive side that has played their best when focused on proving doubters wrong, comments like Dickson’s couldn’t have pleased John Harbaugh or Jim Caldwell.
To see Whitner’s thoughts on Culliver, click here.