Newberry amplifies colorful prediction
January 02, 2003
By MATT MAIOCCO
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
SANTA CLARA -- Center Jeremy Newberry scoffed Wednesday at the notion that the New York Giants are using his quotes for added motivation this week against the 49ers.
After all, he wondered, isn't this the playoffs?
"It's do or die for us and for them right now, so if you ain't ready to play this game, there's something wrong with you," Newberry said. "If you need somebody to say something to get you hyped to play the game, then maybe you're in the wrong profession."
Newberry's words after the 49ers' loss to the St. Louis Rams had become bulletin-board material in the New York Giants' locker room. Newberry told The Press Democrat, "We're going to kick their ass."
Giants coach Jim Fassel brought the quote to the attention of his team during a meeting Wednesday morning. The Giants will face the 49ers on Sunday in an NFC first-round playoff game at Candlestick Park.
"That's just talk," Giants quarterback Kerry Collins said. "That's something that we are all aware of here. I don't have a reaction to it. It was just something that was said, and we'll just leave it at that."
Said Fassel: "Yeah, they saw it. With the way the news is and the Internet, we could find out when somebody says hello to someone else in the morning."
Newberry did not back down from his comments. In fact, he amplified his original remarks.
"If you ask me next week after we beat the Giants, I'll tell you the same thing," Newberry said. "I think we'll kick whoever's ass that we play, too.
"Sometimes it doesn't work out that way. Sometimes they make more plays and sometimes we're on the wrong end of the game, but if you don't go in with the attitude of thinking you'll win each game, you don't have a chance in hell of winning."
When told of what Newberry said, 49ers safety Tony Parrish responded, "Did he? Wow."
Linebacker Julian Peterson did not seem fazed by Newberry's colorful words.
"It doesn't make a difference," Peterson said. "Newberry talks how he wants to talk. I'm still going to support him however he feels. I've got his back any time."
VINNY TO RETURN?
The 49ers are considering re-signing return specialist Vinny Sutherland, who handled the team's punts and kickoffs in 2001 before getting released prior to the beginning of this season.
Sutherland flew in from Florida for a workout at the team's facility following practice on Wednesday. He played one game this season for the Chicago Bears, returning three kickoffs for a 16.3-yard average before getting pulled and then released after the game.
The 49ers have not gotten anything from their return units after Jimmy Williams sustained a season-ending knee injury Dec. 8 against the Dallas Cowboys.
ZACK IS BACK
Free safety Zack Bronson, who missed the final 11 regular-season games after sustaining a broken left foot Oct. 14, will return to the starting lineup on Sunday.
At the time Bronson was lost, the 49ers had the league's No. 7 defense and were 10th against the pass. The 49ers finished the season ranked 14th in total defense, 22nd against the pass.
Receiver Terrell Owens, who sat out the final two games of the regular season with a groin strain, returned to practice and looks as if he's at 100 percent. Owens is continuing his media blackout.
Guard Ron Stone (left ankle) is expected to play Sunday, but cornerback Jason Webster (left ankle) is looking questionable. Running back Kevan Barlow (left knee) did not practice but is listed as probable.
Defensive end Andre Carter officially finished the season with 121/2 sacks, after the NFL's statisticians awarded him an additional half-sack and took a half-sack away from Bryant Young.
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