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January 18, 2012
Whitner: 49ers warned not to respond to Giants chatter

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Donte Whitner today talked about how the 49ers aren't going to talk.

In fact, Whitner said 49ers coaches told players that their Giants counterparts might be chirping a bit this week as they prepare for the championship game but the 49ers are not to respond.

"They warned us that the guys would likely say some stuff in the media and leave it alone," Whitner said. "That's their blueprint. That's in their blueprint. Whenever they have a big game, they talk, they talk. We're not going to do that. That game is played on the football field."

The biggest chatterbox in New York has been safety Antrel Rolle, who took exception to tight end Vernon Davis' pronouncement on Sunday that the 49ers, desiring another home game, were rooting for the Giants to beat the Packers.

"I don't give a damn who we're playing, man," Rolle, an ex-Arizona Cardinal, said on WFAN radio. "That's my take. I'll take any opponent, any given day. That's my attitude. If someone has a problem with it, oh well. But that's how I am. That's how I was raised. I don't shy away from any opponent. My heart doesn't pump any Kool-Aid, only blood. I'm ready for whenever, however, whatever, however it gets to me. I'm ready for it."

Rolle will represent the Giants on a national conference call on Thursday. Whitner will represent the 49ers. Whitner is the team's best talker - but not in the sense of smack talk. Whitner instead can wax on long stretches and he was voted the most media friendly by the team's beatwriters.

Whitner, however, tweeted on Tuesday, "Out here in San Fran we let our Shoulder Pads do all the talking....haha." On Wednesday he said he and his teammates wouldn't engage. Just ask him. (To be fair, he was asked several questions on the topic).

"That's only answer we need - that we're not going to talk," he said. "We're going to talk on Sunday. That's the only answer we need. We don't need to say anything else. They can say whatever they want. God bless 'em. But we're going to prepare and we're going to go out there prepared to win a football game and that's it."

Odds & Ends

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• There is a HUGE amount of media on hand this week, double the number of reporters and cameramen I've ever witnessed at Santa Clara at one time. The press conferences also have been taken over by the NFL, with a big blue NFC Conference Championship background replacing the normal 49ers-themed background for press conferences. The league also has set up the refurbished Halas Trophy, given to the NFC winner, between a Giants and 49ers helmet.

• Jim Harbaugh said he was keeping an eye on the weather report, which calls for showers in the Bay Area starting tomorrow through Sunday. "Yeah, it's worth following and looking at," Harbaugh said. "There's a possibility of rain tomorrow , Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Wouldn't mind getting some work in those kinds of conditions if it does play out that way."

• Harbaugh was mum - and testy - when asked about Delanie Walker's status for Sunday. We should know more about his availability later today when the 49ers release their practice participation report. Ted Ginn, meanwhile, avoided reporters as if they had leprosy. (Mine's in remission). Ginn, who is battling knee and ankle injuries, was not walking with a limp.

• Harbaugh said he has spoken with ex-49ers Super Bowl winners Steve Young this week and also fielded a phone call from Ronnie Lott. "Very positive," Harbaugh said of the exchanges. "They love the way the team is playing. Very positive, very excited for the fellas."

• In Giant news, starting quarterback Eli Manning started but didn't finish practice today after succumbing to flu-like symptoms, according to reports out of New York. David Carr - remember him? - filled in as New York's starter.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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