49ers’ Antoine Bethea tells me he plays “with a chip” on his shoulder



The newest member of the San Francisco 49ers secondary SS Antoine Bethea held a conference call today. In his conference call he touched on numerous topics from why he chose San Francisco to the number he will be wearing. I had the opportunity to ask some of those questions while picking his brain on what he expects in 2014. Here is the Bethea’s transcript below:

On what makes the 49ers a good fit for him:

First of all it’s a winning organization. From the past couple years, from the outside looking in, extremely good team. Coming in on this defense, a great defense, it’s a great front seven, and a great back end, just want to come in and do my part.

On if he had dialogue with FS Eric Reid or secondary coach Ed Donatell:

I haven’t, I haven’t. Not yet…looking forward to that. Heard a lot of good things about Eric, he’s a great player, great person. And I’m just looking forward to the next four years, making a lot of plays and having a lot of fun with him out there.

On if he had the chance to meet with Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio yet:

We had dinner last night. Seems to be real cool, funny guy. Before coming out here, one of my DB coaches in Indy they built the same coaching staff in Baltimore, they told me some good things about him. We had dinner last night, had a good time laughing, joking, and talking a little bit about football. But seems like a great guy, fun guy, and I’m excited to play for him.

I then asked the question on him being a 2006 sixth-round pick from Howard, if that was motivation for him to play with a “chip on his shoulder” knowing that 31 other NFL teams passed on him:

I mean yeah! Like you said, coming from a small school and the knock on me was small or the competition on me was Howard, so every time I do step on the field, I do play with a chip on my shoulder. I still believe that a lot of people out there that doubt my abilities so of course when I go on the field, I try to prove all the nay-sayers, and the haters wrong. 

On his durability:

Just taking care of your body. This time in the off-season was one of the most important times to keep your body in shape…it’s a tough game, it’s a rough game, so from time to time you do have nagging injuries and you got to fight through those. Not put your team at risk…or putting your health at risk.

On if he will stay in Santa Clara to train in off-season:

Oh yeah most definitely! As soon as off-season training begins, I’ll be out here, and just try to build camaraderie with the guys and just build that relationship amongst my teammates.

On losing the Super Bowl while with Indianapolis Colts and if that still lingers:

Sitting here I wish I had two Super Bowl rings instead of one. Most definitely it was an experience, being on the other side of that. But that’s one reason why I’m here in San Fran man, you know, great opportunity, try and get another ring, that’s what I’m here to do.

On what he does well as a defensive back:

I feel I play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. Play hard, I can play in the post, I can play down in the box, just try and be a leader on the field.

On taking over the leadership role left by SS Donte Whitner:

Me entering my ninth year. And us having a young secondary, I’m ready for that.

On who he knows on team:

WR Kassim Osgood and TE Vernon Davis. I know those guys pretty well, so I’m anxious to talk to those guys as well.

On possibly wearing a new number since No. 41 is currently taken by S Bubba Ventrone:

There’s some discrepencies. We’ll see what we can do. If I can’t wear No. 41, I’ll adjust and get another number and keep it rolling.

Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.