Thursday, September 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By
From page B2 | August 01, 2014 |

Antoine Bethea

San Francisco 49er Antoine Bethea makes a catch during training camp on July 25. AP photo

Janie McCauley

SANTA CLARA — Once most players had gone inside from practice on a hot day, there stood Antoine Bethea working to perfect a handshake with new 49ers teammate Demarcus Dobbs.

They tried it several times, chuckling all the while, then got back to work with more conditioning — each pulling a weighted sled up and down the field.

“It’s just building the camaraderie,” Bethea said. “I was in Indy for eight years, so whenever there was a new guy coming in you always wanted him to feel at home. That’s all it is, just trying to learn each other, learning one another as players and also people off the field.

“The handshake is just something, when you’re in training camp you’ve got to have fun, you’ve got to enjoy this moment then after that you have to go to work.”

Caught up on San Francisco’s expansive defensive playbook at last, Bethea is busy making the rounds to personally get to know as many of his teammates as possible during training camp.

He has become more vocal during the offseason as he has become more familiar with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s system.

Sure, Bethea is no outspoken Donte Whitner, the departed safety known for his pounding hits and big personality, and that’s just fine with everybody around the Niners.

Bethea is establishing himself as a fearsome but friendly face in San Francisco’s new-look secondary, a unit that also lost cornerbacks Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers to the Oakland Raiders.

“Having this offseason and Antoine present and a lot of the guys around, it was great for us in the secondary. It’s one group that really has to communicate,” safety Craig Dahl said Thursday.

“He’s a good guy, likes to joke around. We keep it light in the meeting rooms and get to know each other on and off the field. It builds relationships, which is a big thing for a football team. You’re around each other so much, too, right now, you’ve got to like each other.”

In March, the 49ers gave Bethea a $23 million, four-year contract after Whitner left in free agency for his hometown Cleveland Browns.

The 30-year-old Bethea had 110 tackles, two interceptions and a sack last season, his sixth straight year starting every game for the Colts.

He has begun to take charge in the 49ers’ secondary, where Bethea is already plenty impressed with second-year safety Eric Reid.

“Coming into OTAs you’re trying to get your feet wet, get a good grasp on the defense,” Bethea said. “Now, being more comfortable in the defense, now out on the field I can let my eight years of experience take over and become more vocal out there.”

The main differences are in terminology, but Bethea is finding no problem expressing to his teammates what he is seeing from the offensive side.

Bethea brings the swagger and experience of a veteran who has won a Super Bowl ring, something these 49ers are striving for yet again after coming so close in each of the past three seasons. He won it all with the Indianapolis Colts as a rookie in 2006 then lost in the Super Bowl after the 2009 season.

“He’s a pro. Antoine, besides being a very good football player that’s had a good NFL career up to this point, he’s a great person. He’s a great teammate,” Fangio said. “He’s willing to help anybody at any time and he’s a great team guy that’s willing to help the team.

“He’ll help anybody. And I like his approach. He came in here and he didn’t know the defense when he first came in here, so he wasn’t as verbal and wasn’t as leading because he knew had his own work that he had to take care of first. And he’s through the offseason and now he’s picking it up and I think he feels more comfortable that we can get some of his leadership qualities out of him now, too.”

So, how about an explanation of the handshake?

That’s staying top secret.

“You have to ask Dobbs. I don’t know if Dobbs wants it to get out,” Bethea said, smiling. “That’s the good thing about this team, the locker room is so open and everybody gets along and you can laugh and joke with everybody.”

Notes: WR Michael Crabtree sat out Thursday afternoon’s practice after leaving early Wednesday without trainers. “Mike’s working through something,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “He’s fine.” Crabtree returned late last season from a torn Achilles’ tendon. … Also “working through something” according to Roman is wideout Brandon Lloyd. … Dobbs, DLs Justin Smith and Ray McDonald didn’t practice.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Jurors see Marsh questioned by police

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Wildfire shows explosive growth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Bike sale on Friday will benefit King High

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

    Per Capita Davis: What to think

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

     
    International Festival moves to park for fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Essay contest underway

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

     
    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    $12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

    By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7

    .

    Forum

    She’s had it with his neglect

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Off-leash dogs are a danger

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Davis makes the NY Times

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Affordable housing affects health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Choose to wipe out hunger

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

     
    Baseball roundup: Duffy comes up big for Giants in Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Young Devil harriers carry the day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Students get into the act with Shakespeare

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Street-smart tips for safe cycling

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    What’s happening, Sept. 18

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

    Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Jean Botelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6