Donte Whitner: Still stewing
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • January 10, 2012 @ 9:28am
Even though he’s a year removed from his final game as a Buffalo Bill, San Francisco’s starting safety Donte Whitner shows little remorse toward his former coach, Chan Gailey. In fact, he’s still harboring quite a bit of hostility.
In a San Francisco Chronicle article yesterday, author Eric Branch put together a piece on the 49ers’ respect for head coach Jim Harbaugh. Instead of simply praising Harbaugh for his willingness to accept blame and deflect media pressure from his teammates, Whitner didn’t hesitate to call out Gailey, the Bills’ coach.
A lot of coaches, when they don’t want the pressure on them, don’t want the hands pointed at them or the media to turn on them, they put things out to the media that really shouldn’t be out there. ‘Oh, this guy should have made this play or he should have done this.’ That stuff never works, and players really understand that and locker rooms understand that.”
How accurate is Whitner’s assessment that Chan Gailey was more liable to deflect blame away from himself and onto his players? Gailey is, without question, a blunt coach. He didn’t beat around the bush this year with the Stevie Johnson controversies, and he wasn’t afraid to admit Ryan Fitzpatrick’s struggles to the media during the QB’s second-half meltdown. While many NFL coaches will dodge questions and craft vague answers, Gailey’s a straight-shooter by nature. That approach, while appreciated by the media, apparently rubs former players—Whitner, at least—the wrong way.
This sort of an outburst from Whitner isn’t too surprising. Whitner left Buffalo on rather bitter terms—his inconsistent and often unintelligible Twitter persona (@TWHITNER), which bordered on bipolar at times, alienated fans who were equally upset with his choice to call out the Bills’ organization as well as his inability to cover opposing receivers/tight ends.
Looking back, we even wrote a post on five jobs Donte Whitner should avoid after his NFL career. The jury is still out on whether or not that article was funny.