|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Safety Donte Whitner has already spoken to San Francisco 49ers teammate Ahmad Brooks ahead of training camp about the importance of making smart decisions off the football field.
Last week, the Santa Clara County district attorney's office declined to pursue assault charges against Brooks because of insufficient evidence in an investigation into allegations that the linebacker repeatedly hit teammate Lamar Divens on the head with a beer bottle in a June altercation at Brooks' home.
While Brooks wasn't made available to media Wednesday when veterans for the Super Bowl runner-up Niners reported to team headquarters, Whitner said he expects good things from Brooks and hopes everyone can move forward without this distraction.
"He's tremendously sorry for what he did, anybody would be embarrassed," Whitner said. "I talked to Ahmad. He explained the situation, I gave him my input on it and we left it at that. ... He just has to move on and make sure he continues to make the right choices from this point on, he'll be OK."
General manager Trent Baalke wouldn't say whether Brooks might face disciplinary action from the team, and it is unclear what action the NFL might take, if any.
"Once again, the discussion we have with Ahmad or any of our players is within the team, within the building," Baalke said.
Brooks was never arrested. According to police, he hit Divens with the bottle three times and then punched him in the face during an early-morning argument June 8. Divens was left with a 3-inch cut on his forehead, according to police statements.
The police reports also said Brooks, Divens and others had been drinking and went to a bar before returning to Brooks' house. Divens pretended to throw Brooks' keys in the grass, though he had actually held onto the keys, prompting the attack, according to the reports. Investigators were told Brooks was intoxicated and had threatened to get a gun.
"You talk to those guys pretty much one on one, private conversations, you don't really put it out there for everybody to see or everybody to know," Whitner said. "It's just choices that you make outside of here. It's a bad choice that he made. He's going to have to pay for that. We don't know what it's going to be yet. He understands (making) good choices. We're a good football team, a lot of eyes are on us now, even more than last year and the year before. You have to make good decisions, hang out with the right people, make good choices and he's going to do that from here on out."
San Francisco's first full-squad practice is Thursday.