2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

    2014-07-31 17:10

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - 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 in 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.

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Trent RichardsonJan 27 10:43a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.

Josh GordonJan 26 02:13p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiJan 26 02:03p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could cause a problem for the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX, because the Seahawks defense allowed 11 touchdowns to tight ends this [ More ]

Earl ThomasJan 26 02:03p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) said he won't miss the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots with a dislocated shoulder, but he also admitted that it won't [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 01:52p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he'll need to shut himself down this offseason in order to enter 2015 fully healthy and in great shape. He [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 26 12:33p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 26 12:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Jan 26 11:22a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) said he played this season with two tears in his right hamstring, which never fully healed.

Josh GordonJan 25 09:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming [ More ]

Josh GordonJan 25 04:12p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a one-year banishment, according to multiple league sources.

Earl ThomasJan 23 09:02p

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas (shoulder) will play in the Super Bowl, head coach Pete Carroll said Friday, Jan. 23.

Dennis PittaJan 23 04:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) met with some specialists last week, but the team is not expected to have an update on his status for a few weeks, [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 23 01:12p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel had a big proponent last year in owner Jimmy Haslam, but Haslam now thinks the team needs a quarterback in order to get their [ More ]

Jimmy GrahamJan 23 10:32a

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) said he'll rehabilitate his shoulder injury after the Pro Bowl, but he hasn't made a final decision on surgery. 'It's something we [ More ]

Mark IngramJan 22 06:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram, who will be eligible for free agency this offseason, wants to return to the team next year, and he thinks the interest is [ More ]

Vernon DavisJan 22 06:22p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis had just two touchdowns in 2014, and they both came in Week 1. He also wasn't targeted at all in the red zone [ More ]

Geno SmithJan 22 05:32p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith has a lot of talent and promise, according to new head coach Todd Bowles. At the same time, Bowles acknowledged that the quarterback [ More ]

Brian HoyerJan 22 04:52p

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer could be re-signed this offseason, according to his agent. Hoyer is expected to meet with general manager Ray Farmer and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the near future.

Johnny ManzielJan 22 02:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel will be working with a new offensive coordinator this year in John DeFilippo, but DeFilippo is unsure if the team's quarterback next year is [ More ]

Joe FlaccoJan 22 12:52p

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will have his fourth difference offensive coordinator in as many years in offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. However, head coach John Harbaugh is confident Flacco [ More ]

Tom BradyJan 22 10:12a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is now scheduled to speak to the media Thursday, Jan. 22, and he could come under fire due to the report of deflated [ More ]

Vontaze BurfictJan 21 09:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has had knee surgery, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 21. While there has been concern Burfict might have to begin the [ More ]

Mike WallaceJan 21 09:03p

Miami Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's future with the team is unclear. General manager Dennis Hickey would not say Wednesday, Jan. 21, whether Wallace will be back or if his [ More ]

Johnny ManzielJan 21 04:43p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel could benefit from new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, according to Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr said DeFilippo will do great with Manziel, adding [ More ]

Richard ShermanJan 21 04:23p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) said he will practice in a brace, but should not have any limitations on gameday.

Marc TrestmanJan 21 03:53p

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said he wants to learn the specificities of the team's offense instead of changing it. Head coach John Harbaugh said Trestman's familiarity and [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles should be able to develop under new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, according to general manager Dave Caldwell. Caldwell said Olson has the ability to [ More ]

Blake BortlesJan 21 03:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles developed bad habits and may need to start over, in the opinion of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell.

Latavius MurrayJan 21 12:53p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is likely to be the team's lead back in 2015, and new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans tailor his system to Murray's talents. Musgrave [ More ]

Peyton ManningJan 21 11:03a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning plans to return in 2015, pending the results of his annual physical, according to three sources The Denver Post's Woody Paige trusts. The test [ More ]

Rashad JenningsJan 21 10:23a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings could have a veteran running back to complement or compete with him next season. The team could possibly add a change-of-pace back and [ More ]

Trent RichardsonJan 21 09:13a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson was suspended and deactivated for the AFC Championship Game Sunday, Jan. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group