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49ers in Five: Donte Whitner says Josh Norman should be benched

Just when you thought Norman couldn’t get burned again

Everything you need to know in five minutes

Josh Norman has been a target of 49ers fans for much of his time with the team this season, but now some of that heat is coming from analysts as well. Appearing on KNBR, former 49ers safety Donte Whitner said Norman shouldn’t be in the starting lineup.

“Dontae Johnson should be the starter opposite Emannuel Moseley if he plays...Every time he comes in the game, he’s viable. He doesn’t give up the big play. He’s interchangeable - he can move inside and play the nickel, [and] he can play outside. He doesn’t give up the balls that Josh Norman has given up.

Josh Norman is a shell of himself right now and that’s why they are attacking him on the weekly. If it’s not the pass interference, it’s bad technique. It’s bad eyes, it’s grabbing, it’s holding onto guys. It’s the penalties. You’re a veteran. You are supposed to add a veteran presence and be a compliment to the guys out there. Not a detriment to the team in the secondary.

“If they are healthy, if Emmanuel Moseley is healthy, I think Dontae Johnson deserves a chance to start.”

Apparently, Donte Hitner is back. The only thing he said that was unnecessary was the “right now” that he added after saying Norman is a shell of himself. Josh Norman will be 34 years old next week - that shell isn’t going anywhere.

The 49ers cornerback situation is as dire as I can remember in my three decades of fandom. There aren’t a ton of great options right now, but the indisputable fact is that there are still some that are better than what we’ve seen from Josh Norman in 2021. Forced fumbles don’t excuse every other mistake a player makes. Kyle Shanahan seemed open to the idea of a change at corner earlier this week, so we’ll have to see what happens come Sunday.

You can hear the 49ers in Five podcast on this page, and everywhere else, you can download a podcast. In today’s show, Robbie Gould says the team is focused on more than simply making the playoffs, and Ross Tucker says a loss to the Bengals could start the Trey Lance era.