Antoine Bethea eager to join 49ers’ defense

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
5:35
PM ET
New San Francisco 49ers safety Antoine Bethea participated in a conference call with media on Wednesday. Some impressions:

Bethea
Bethea said he was attracted to the 49ers because of their winning culture. He called the defense “great" and it seemed, from an outside perspective, the team had “a ball on the field together.”

Bethea won a Super Bowl ring with the Colts and he said the 49ers’ ability to win another was an attraction.

Bethea met with coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio on Tuesday. He came away impressed by both men.

Like the player he replaced, Donte Whitner, who is headed to Cleveland, Bethea seems like a smart, articulate guy. That’s great for the team and great for the guys who cover the team. Whitner was a go-to media guy. Bethea may replace him in that role, too.

Bethea said he was in contact with the team during the 72-hour window prior to free agency, but the deal “came to life” Tuesday.

Asked to explain his game, Bethea said he likes to be known as a guy who plays hard and who is versatile.

Bethea said he is friendly with 49ers tight end Vernon Davis back from their days in the Washington DC area together.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee reported the 49ers have some interest in Vikings’ free agent cornerback Chris Cook. He is not considered a frontline cornerback. The team has interest in other cornerbacks, including Miami’s Nolan Carroll, in case Tarell Brown leaves. The cornerback class is deep and it has been somewhat slow to develop. There hasn’t been any reported interest in Brown, which could help the 49ers keep him.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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