Donte Whitner, the former Buffalo Bills safety who has found new life in San Francisco with the 49ers, said Sunday there's only one way to fix what's broken in Buffalo.
Whitner,a former first-round pick allowed to leave in free agency in the offseason, said he feels for his former teammates, who lost by 41 points at Candlestick Park. Whitner told the Press-Democrat the game turned on tight end Scott Chandler's fumble that led to a 28-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Michael Crabtree and gave the 49ers a 17-3 halftime lead.
"You can see their body language. When you're on the road and you're playing a good football team and you turn the football over, it deflates you," Whitner told the paper. "And that's what we wanted to do -- we wanted to jump on them early, we wanted to be physical we wanted to run the football and we wanted to be physical on defense by not letting them run the football -- and that's what we did. That's a good offense over there. Coming into today they had the most touchdowns in the league."
Whitner said he recognized the Bills' body language and believes there's only one fix for the franchise.
"There's only so long you can go through a week with a coaching staff talking about certain things and they don't work," he said. "Eventually the players start to quit on you. I'm not saying they quit, but the body language said they weren't really into it. I just feel for those players over there because I know how hard they work, I was there for five years. To continually see them go through the same things that I went through and we went through as a defense and as a team ... it's not getting better. There's only one certain ways you can get better with that, and that's bring in a new coach, bring in a new philosophy and try to change the culture. That's what you need if you want to go from a losing team to a winning team -- you need an entire culture change."
Following last week's win over the Jets, 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers said he felt Rex Ryan's team had quit. Ryan disputed that notion the next day.