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Whitner’s Blog: Sunday Night Football

Posted Sep 14, 2012

Donte Whitner emerged as a leader of the 49ers secondary in 2011 during his first season in San Francisco. A man who takes pride in his mental side of the game, Whitner has also established himself as one of the league’s hardest-hitting safeties throughout his career. The veteran recently spoke with 49ers.com ahead of the team’s Week 2 matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Yesterday I had to wait to get some reps catching balls from the Jugs machine after practice because there were so many players using it. Having guys in our secondary catching deep balls to try to get that same look you get in the football game is a really good thing. Guys like Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Garrett Celek are always going over to the Jugs machine to put in extra work because they want to be great. It shows what kind of team we have.

I need to get on the Jugs machine myself after dropping that pick in the fourth quarter last week. The ball was coming really fast, but still it’s no excuse not to catch the football. I actually dropped an interception three years ago up in Green Bay on the goal line. I had a chance to take it 99 yards. It was coming extremely fast, too. I told myself going into this game that I would have my opportunity to put my hands on the ball and that I was going to look it all the way in and then return it. The same thing ended up happening again. Aaron Rodgers has crazy velocity on that football when he throws it especially when you’re about 15-yards from him. It’s still no excuse so I have to continue to work on catching the ball.

Win, lose or draw there’s a 24-hour rule that comes with thinking about the last game.  That was the case this week. You have to get over it and get ready for the next game immediately. It’s professional sports and this is a very humbling game. If you go out there thinking you’ve arrived this game can quickly humble you. We understand that, and that’s why we work like we do.

I’m looking forward to the home opener. I know that the fans want to see us after we went to Lambeau Field and won that football game. To have our first home game be nationally-televised under the lights of Candlestick is going to be special. The crowd is going to be electric, and that’s how we are going to need them to be. We are going to need them to be that 12th man. We want the crowd to be really loud and take care of their responsibilities. We want to get some false starts on their offense and hopefully that will propel us through the football game to a big win.

We have a veteran group, a poised group that understands we have to do the small things. We have to execute the small details in order to go out there and compete. Last week we were able to take a good MVP quarterback off his game. This week is not going to be any different with Matthew Stafford coming in here. He has a strong arm and weapons all around the football field. He wants to get it down the field to Calvin Johnson so it’s not going to be easy. With our secondary and our defense as a whole, we feel like we are going to be ready for the task.

This weekend Ohio State, my alma mater, is taking on Cal. It’s nice to see the Buckeyes facing a Bay Area team because when I was there we didn’t play any California teams. It has been pretty exciting since Urban Meyer has got there, and the team has looked really good. I will try to tune into that football game as much as possible and hopefully my guys will win.

I wanted to switch things up in my blog going forward.

First, I want to have fans send questions in for me to talk about on this blog. Fans can send questions on Twitter using the hashtag #AskDonteWhitner. I think the best way to do it is to open it up and allow fans to ask anything they want to. Next week we will pick a few questions and I will answer them in this blog.

Second, I’m introducing “Donte Whitner’s Instagram photo of the week.”

For my Instagram of the Week, I picked this picture showing some of the guys on the charter headed to Green Bay. We have a bunch of guys watching a little extra film and listening to music. They are getting their minds right before we go to play. There’s a bunch of key guys in the picture too. You see Aldon Smith, Justin Smith and Andy Lee among others. You also have a piece of my Ohio State Buckeyes hat in there. We were headed to invade Green Bay as my caption said.

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