If you have a few minutes, head over to CSNBayArea.com to check out Mindi Bach's interview with 49ers safety Donte Whitner. They discussed a whole host of topics and it is really interesting to hear a football player speak his mind on a variety of topics. He doesn't give away everything we'll ever want to know about the 49ers defense, but Whitner is pretty frank in his comments.
Whereas the coaching staff will not tell us much about the schemes and how the defense operates, Whitner provides a bit of a glimpse behind the curtain. He discussed how in his previous work in Tampa 2 style defenses it was very much a system of "you are in position X and you will execute the scheme as follows." In the Fangio defense, it sounds like there is a chance to potentialize switch things up after you are out in the formation and awaiting the snap:
This defense, based on what you see, based on formation, based on any motion or any alignment you have the freedom to make two or three or maybe four calls on that play. That's what makes this defense a really good defense. It gives the players freedom to make plays and make calls based on what they see and use the film study used all week.
Whitner already seems stoked to be in San Francisco. He said even though he is on a three year deal he would love to work out a longer deal and spend the rest of his career in San Francisco. The whole dynamic of this franchise has changed to such a tremendous degree with some measure of stability with Coach Harbaugh. There is only so much cap money to go around, but ideally everybody that wants to stay here will get to stay here.
The interview wrapped up with some amusing comments about 49ers outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks. Whitner was asked which player he had to calm down the most and he was quick to point to Brooks. He acknowledged he is a great football player, but he is "naturally a silly guy." I'd be curious to see how he acts in the locker room and on the field when he is not blowing up quarterbacks.
It is not entirely surprising to read this about Brooks. When he came to San Francisco there was never any doubt about his raw athleticism. It was a matter of harnessing that talent, so it is not surprising to hear that players try to help him out and put him in a position to make plays. It is a sort of confirmation of what some fans already had in mind.
Make sure and check out the full transcript of Mindi's interview with Donte Whitner.