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 before his team's Week 8 Monday night matchup at Arizona.
It's always special to play on Monday Night Football. It's a showcase game that all of your peers, family and friends from all over can watch. As a team, we want to go out there and showcase our talents and show that we are a good, dominant football team.
I remember going down to Arizona last year and we made a lot of mistakes in that football game. My hat goes off to the Cardinals, but we've matured and come a lot further than where we were at that point. We understand what a challenge it is going to be this time, but we don't want to have any letdowns.
Reporters tell us that we're the No. 1 pass defense right now statistically, but we're not talking about that right now. I don't think we need to talk about that right now. If we get to week 15, 16 or 17 and we're still top five or No. 1, maybe then it deserves to be talked about.
But right now we're just chipping away. There's more turnovers out there for us to get and we want to continue to not give up the big pass plays, to keep tackling well and not let opposing teams have a 100-yard receiver.
It's been exciting to watch the Giants play in the World Series lately. You can see the energy from the fans just watching on TV or you can see people walking around in their Giants jerseys. So you can tell how excited they'd be if we reached the Super Bowl and bring that trophy home to San Francisco.
It gives you something to look forward to and makes you realize that this is a city full of passionate fans. That's all you can ask for as a player – passionate fans that stick behind their teams and they do that here.
Growing up in Ohio, I was a Cleveland Indians fan. I've had plenty of heartbreaks with the Indians getting close to titles then falling short, so I'd love to see the Giants do it for San Francisco again.
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Dashon Goldson and I feel like we're the best safety duo in the National Football League. I just wanted to show love to someone that's playing well. He's playing good against the pass, good against the run, he's getting his hands on the football and he's playing physical. There's not too many free safeties doing that. He's the entire package.
Q: Do you have a favorite place to visit when on the road? If so, where? – Jarrod
A: There's a place called Zuma in New York City that I like to visit when we're there. It's like an Asian-fusion type of place with really, really good food and they have one in Miami I like to eat at, too.
Q: As a safety, what keeps you from focusing too much on one thing (run,pass)? – Kederick Younger
A: You just have to read your keys. In every defense – whether you're playing man, or you're playing zone or you're blitzing – you have certain keys that you look at. If you're not looking at those you can get distracted and that's when something bad happens.
Q: What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? – Brent Francisco
A: Cookies and Cream. Love it.