San Francisco Chronicle

Newberry stands behind boasts
January 02, 2003
Kevin Lynch

Center Jeremy Newberry is sick of playing the political game. He was asked if he still thought the 49ers were going to "kick (the Giants') ass" -- a comment Newberry was quoted as saying after Monday night's loss in St. Louis.

"What kind of question is that?" Newberry said Wednesday before launching into a sarcastic riff.

"I'm terrified of them," he continued. "I think the Giants are the best team in the league, and I'm terrified of them. I just hope we can keep the score close. What am I supposed to say: that I'm terrified of the Giants and we don't have a chance? Yeah, I think we're going to kick their ass -- I think that about every team we play. I think we'll win this week, too."

Of course, Newberry's comment already has made it to the Giants' bulletin board. Giants coach Jim Fassel showed his team the quote in Wednesday's morning meeting.

"We're all aware of it here," Fassel said. "I have no reaction other than it was said. I'll leave it at that."

Newberry disdains "bulletin board" impact.

"I don't buy into that," he said. "They can say whatever they want. I'm going to be ready to play this game whether they say the 49ers are the greatest team out there and give them all the respect in the world -- we know nobody believes that. . . . I think we're going to win the game. I think we're going to kick everybody's ass that we play. If you ask me next week after we play the Giants, I'll tell you the same thing. I think we'll kick whoever else's ass that we play."

THE TIFF: The harsh words between defensive coordinator Jim Mora and special-teams coach Bruce DeHaven on Monday night were not out of the ordinary, the two coaches said.

"That happens 10 times a game," Mora said, who also said he was joking with DeHaven when he said he was going to "kick (DeHaven's) ass."

DeHaven said Mora and linebackers coach Richard Smith are two of his best friends in the organization. Both Smith and Mora were talking to linebacker Quincy Stewart about a defensive mistake he made that contributed to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna's 6-yard touchdown reception.

Stewart was then needed on the kickoff-return team and when head coach Steve Mariucci noticed 10 men on the field, he went to DeHaven, who then yelled at Mora.

"We laughed about it five seconds after it was over," Mora said.

BRIEFLY: Because of an ankle injury to wide receiver and kick returner Cedrick Wilson, former 49er Vinny Sutherland came to Santa Clara for a workout Wednesday.

INJURY UPDATE: Guard Ron Stone (ankle) and cornerback Jason Webster (ankle) were held out of practice. Webster is still on crutches. Stone was off crutches and Mariucci said he would be ready for the game on Sunday. Both players are listed as "questionable." Linebacker Jamie Winborn, who had 16 tackles against the Giants in the season-opener, is "doubtful."

Tell us what you think on the new 49ers Clubhouse message board.