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Morning Tailgate: Whitner vs. Titans Fitzpatrick

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Donte Whitner has a history with Tennessee quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the 49ers are also preparing for another signal-caller, Jake Locker.

The further into this week they get, the deeper the 49ers go into planning for the Tennessee Titans.

By Friday, San Francisco must be forecasting Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Titans No. 2 quarterback is a strong bet to start Sunday in the teams' Week 7 matchup with teammate Jake Locker, who could miss his third straight game due to injuries.


This is fine by one of the anchors of the 49ers defense.

“Our lockers (were close) in Buffalo. I got to know him – he’s a pretty good guy," Donte Whitner said of Fitzpatrick, whom he played with for the Bills in 2009 and '10. "I knew him when he had a beard, I don’t know if he has it any more. He’s a competitor. He can throw the football around – sometimes it hurts him, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a risk-reward thing. He’s trying to prove he can play quarterback in the National Football League. They have a good running game. They’re a physical football team, and we have to be ready for the challenge.”


San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he and his unit are focusing more on the Titans offense than on who is under center. Fangio did agknowledge that, in the unlikely event Locker suits up and plays, there could be an emphasis on the read-option scheme.

The play-caller has respect for the quarterback he's more likely to see on the field on Sunday, even if Fitzpatrick isn't as athletic as Locker.

“They’re fortunate to have him as a backup," Fangio said of Fitzpatrick. "A guy that’s played a lot in the league. He’s played winning football in his past. He’s a very elusive guy. He’s a scrambler. He’s confident. He can make all of the throws. He’s got good arm strength. So I think they feel pretty good about him being in there.”

For more storylines surrounding the team, check out this edition of Morning Tailgate links, presented by State Farm.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looked at Marcus Lattimore’s chances at practicing.

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com focused on the 49ers pride in Vance McDonald.

Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press wrote about Patrick Willis’ ability to play through pain.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com zeroed in on the upcoming Willis-versus-Delanie Walker duel.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle covered the ups and downs of the team’s next opponent.







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