The 49ers dominated the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night, in a shocking 34-3 victory that was hardly competitive. In his first ever NFL start, Nick Mullens looked like Joe Montana against the porous Raiders defense. The clash of one-win teams was so one-sided, it led many to speculate whether Jon Gruden’s team was giving maximum effort.
That’s exactly what Gary Radnich asked former 49ers safety Donte Whitner on Tuesday afternoon. His answer? Absolutely not.
“Absolutely,” Whitner said when asked if the Raiders quit. “I don’t think they just gave up on Monday night, I think they gave up when you trade Khalil Mack out of the building. When you tell the guys that you are going to do something and you do the total opposite, they can’t trust you. Now you get a bunch of veterans, they huddle up, and they talk and they feel like they don’t want to play for you. Now it’s not going to do them any good to do that because the coach is not going to get fired, when they have a 10-year, $100 million deal, they’ll just get you shipped out a little faster.”
Whitner isolated one play that stood out in particular.
“In particular the play where Reggie Nelson gave up the deep over route wide open. He wasn’t where he was supposed to be pre-snap in the backfield, he’s jogging towards the line of scrimmage, and then once they got a touchdown he just runs off the field. That’s considered giving up to me.”
Here’s the play in question.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 2, 2018
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Whitner on the Raiders, start from 5:13.