Donte Whitner doesn't back off talk

ByMike Rodak ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Running back Fred Jackson hasn't forgotten comments that Donte Whitner made about the Bills this past summer, and in return had strong words for the Cleveland Browns safety ahead of the teams' matchup Sunday in Buffalo.

Whitner, who played for the Bills from 2006 to '10, tweeted in July about the possibility of the Bills relocating:

Jackson responded to Whitner on Wednesday.

"If you talk down to anybody, you can't be respected. That's just me, that's how I feel about it," Jackson said. "For him to say stuff about that, about people that we love in this organization, he'll never get my respect for that."

Whitner didn't relent Wednesday.

"I didn't say anything really too disrespectful," he said. "Anybody else that I was talking to, they were cursing and going back and forth. Maybe you should take that up with them.

"[The Toronto Bills comment] wasn't excessive. It wasn't a joke. I knew that it would get to them. I knew it would ruffle a feather. If they're over there talking about this, maybe we are in their heads. Maybe I'm in their heads. Maybe. We don't know, but the goal is to go 1-0, the goal is to get them talking about things other than football, and I guess that's what they're doing."

The safety's social media spat with the Bills began in June, after rookie Bills receiver Sammy Watkins told the Akron Beacon Journal that he was eager to play against "all the greats," including Browns cornerback Joe Haden.

Whitner tweeted in response: "Be quiet Sammy. Trust me!"

Asked about Watkins' initial comment, Whitner said Wednesday: "I didn't like that he called our defensive backs out. ... Thirty-one other football teams in the National Football League didn't draft him. So don't single out the Cleveland Browns. That's why I said what I said. And the rest of our DBs feel the same."

Current Bills safety Aaron Williams came to Watkins' defense on Twitter at the time and was asked about the exchange Wednesday.

"That's Donte. He didn't really like it here for whatever reason. Don't know what those reasons are," Williams said. "But what me and Donte had in the offseason was just me protecting my rookie. For some reason he latched onto Sammy for whatever reason. I just looked at the conversation and just had my teammate's back."

Jackson wrote off both of Whitner's initial tweets.

"That's just him being him," he said. "Donte is a guy that likes to ruffle feathers. He found any way he could to try and ruffle Buffalo's feathers, knowing he had to come up to us.

"It's just dumb for him to do, and talk about people like that, and talk about the city of Buffalo like that. But at the same time, you've just got to take it with a grain of salt and say it's just some dude that's being an idiot about some stuff."

Whitner said he plans to shake Jackson's hand after Sunday's game regardless of the war of words.

"I don't really care about words and personal feelings and things like that," he said. "When I look at the football film, we're here to win football games. Not really to make friends, especially with the opposition."

He doesn't expect a friendly welcoming from Buffalo fans, either.

"But it's fun," he said. "I'm not going to shy away from the crowd and saying whatever they're going to say. They talk bad to me on Twitter every day. I'm used to it. Now it won't just be words, it'll be through voices in the stands. But it's OK. It's good for our team." Browns reporter Pat McManamon contributed to this report.

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