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Donte Whitner Communicates with Purpose

Posted Sep 12, 2013

Whitner talked about being a part of 49ers.com's Mic'd Up series.

The idea of sliding a high-tech microphone into the shoulder pads of NFL players is simple. It allows the fan to hear – and, with cameras, see – that player’s on-field experience.

This out-of-body experience is the same for the player himself. At least that's the case for 49ers safety Donte Whitner, who was "Mic'd Up" by 49ers Studios in Week 1.

“I saw it posted it on Twitter, and I went to 49ers.com to watch the rest of it,” Whitner said. “When I had an opportunity to go and watch it myself, I got to see something that everyone else sees, talking to other players, talking to your own teammates, showing excitement and emotion, you forget that unless you see it.

“Actually I forgot that I had it on (during the game). That’s how it is usually when you get mic’d up, you forget that you have it on. So everything was natural, everything was real, so it was pretty cool.”


Whitner, who has been “Mic’d Up” twice in his career, is seen instructing fellow safety Eric Reid, a rookie, and pumping up fellow veteran Frank Gore during the 49ers 34-28, season-opening win over the Green Bay Packers.

Those more “natural” moments? How about when Whitner tackles Packers running back Eddie Lacy, who was making his NFL debut?

“We’re going to break you in, today,” Whitner told Lacy good-naturedly in the clip.

The 49ers safety, along with linebacker Patrick Willis and defensive tackle Justin Smith, is seen as a leader in San Francisco. So he is a natural fit for the microphone.

“Everybody’s not vocal. A lot of players like to focus on their individual job to win a football game, and I’m the type of guy that I like to concentrate on my individual job, but I also like to talk to people and understand what they’re supposed to do even if they do know,” Whitner said. “I do a lot of trash-talking also, so I enjoy being vocal and that’s how I play football even when I’m not mic’d up.”