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Donte Whitner Mentors Young Safeties

Posted by Alex Espinoza on June 5, 2012 – 4:46 PM

Height has never been an issue for heavy-hitting Donte Whitner, who has established himself as one of football’s fiercest safeties. Heading into the 2012 season, Whitner finds himself surrounded by a couple of rookie safeties who have been labeled by some as undersized.

But listening to Whitner’s comments following Tuesday’s practice, sixth-round pick Trenton Robinson and undrafted signee Michael Thomas haven’t missed a beat despite their smaller stature.

“This is not really basketball,” Whitner said. “This is about who can run, who can jump, who can change direction and who can explode and hit people.”

Robinson, who attended Michigan State, is listed at 5-foot-9, 193 pounds, while Thomas, an ex-Stanford player, checks in at 5-foot-11, 182 pounds. The size of safeties has been evolving, as Whitner noted Bob Sanders was recently regarded as one of the best safeties in the game despite being 5-foot-8.

In his short time with both Robinson and Thomas, Whitner said he’s noticed a pair of players with football smarts and strong athletic ability.

“It really doesn’t matter about size or stature,” Whitner said. “It’s about how you play on the football field, the attitude you take on to the football field and what can you do – can you get the job done. Those two guys are very smart guys, they come from great college programs and I really believe that they’ll be good players in the National Football League.”

Throughout his six-year career, the 5-foot-11, 203-pound Whitner has never let size hold him back from being an impact player. If anything, Whitner said the two young players might need to pack on some bulk to compete better with NFL athletes.

“As you play a couple years in the National Football League,” Whitner said, “you naturally get a little bigger, you naturally get a little stronger – especially if you want that. And those are two guys that are really hungry and want that. The weight and all the other stuff will come for those guys.”

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Posted in Announcements | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Donte Whitner Mentors Young Safeties”

  1. By Spencer on Jun 5, 2012 | Reply

    This guy is gonna be the truth.

  2. By tom in NJ on Jun 6, 2012 | Reply

    Donte…Everytime I see you the image of the saints game comes to mind…You knocked dude out before he even hit the ground! The MAN went limp and fell like an oak tree! Can’t wait to see more WOO hits from you this year! You the man! GO NINERS

  3. By DMT on Jun 6, 2012 | Reply

    The best thing about that hit was, how casually Donte just walked away without even looking at the dude, or even celebrating the fumble recovery he caused.

  4. By # 1 D-FENSE 2012 on Jun 6, 2012 | Reply

    with whitner its all business,all the time. he is an itelligent player who knows that mental skills play a more major role than athletic skills,but also knows that when you can combine the two,it provides some very,very good defensive play. ” donte ‘the big hit” whitner

  5. By TONY49MONTANA on Jun 7, 2012 | Reply


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