Safety Donte Whitner Talks Man Coverage for the Super Bowl | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Inside the Super Bowl Playbook: San Francisco 49ers S Donte Whitner Talks Man Coverage

February 1, 2013

Must See Football Videos

Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith has established himself as one of the NFL’s premier deep threats. This season, 43 percent of Smith’s receptions were good for 20-plus yards. The second-year pro averaged 17.4 yards per catch, which ranks fourth in the league among players with at least 30 receptions.

Smith will face a San Francisco 49ers defense that does not surrender big plays. According to Andy Benoit of Football Outsiders, Smith’s game-breaking speed may be a non-factor in Super Bowl XLVII.

From Benoit:

“Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are not good against tight man coverage. Neither of them is physically strong, and both have trouble maintaining efficiency in their breaks. Smith showed … in the AFC title game that he can be completely eliminated by an underneath man defender who has safety help over the top. That’s how the Niners will play him this Sunday.”

Man coverage with two deep safeties is the scheme of choice for the Niners D. And “man coverage is also what teams have played against the Ravens all season,” Benoit reports.

Donte Whitner is one of those safeties who provides help over the top. So how will the 49ers secondary contain a burner with 4.43 40-Yard speed like Smith?

“It looks like a blur if you’re not focused on what you’re supposed to be watching,” Whitner says. “You have to know mentally what to focus on, and then focus your eyes on it.”

You can bet the physical 49ers secondary will jam Smith at the line of scrimmage in an effort to disrupt his rhythm.

And if the Niners stick to their guns with a heavy dose of man coverage, expect a quiet night from Smith and more targets to Ravens WR Anquan Boldin.

Check out STACK's continuing coverage of Super Bowl XLVII.


Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 147,463
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,254,658
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 23,946
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Social Media Roundup: Don't Call J.J. Watt 'Bae'

Introducing the Football You Can Throw 100+ Yards

Stephen Curry's Long-Range Game: Does Anyone Come Close?

The Saddest CrossFit Fail Ever

Meet Ricky Johnson, Red Bull Frozen Rush Champion

The Must-See Vines of the NCAA Tournament's Opening Rounds

The 10 Best Fitness Fails of 2014

7 Insanely Drastic MLB Body Transformations

Mythcrusher: Does a Fast 40-Yard Dash Predict NFL Success?

New Year's Resolutions Top Pro Athletes Need to Make

The 14 Most Beastly Plays of 2014

Social Media Roundup: Jameis Winston on a Jetpack

5 Superstars Who Spent Time on Awful Teams

The Ol' Scottish Cement Bag Trick Is the Best

10 Totally Worthy Holiday Charity Efforts by Pro Athletes

WATCH: Kyrie Irving Runs the Floor in High School

Social Media Roundup: Adam Jones Channels His Inner Prince Akeem

8 Pro Athletes Who Are Clearly Showing Off During Workouts

Nike Elite Collection: Wear It Like a Badge of Honor

I Ran the 40-Yard Dash at the NFL Combine and Sucked at It

Is the Armpocket Truly 'The Ultimate' Armband? Find Out Here.

NHL All-Stars Drop In For a Game of Sledge Hockey

Beating the Elements: The 6 Worst Weather Games of All Time

WATCH: 5-Foot-2 Guard Drops 41 Points

The 5 Most Embarrassing Plays in Sports

WATCH: Never-Before-Seen J.J. Watt High School Highlight Reel