LB Tatum Bethune Press Conference

LB Tatum Bethune

Press Conference – April 27, 2024

San Francisco 49ers

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I know that you visited here a couple weeks ago. Did you get a good sense from that visit that the 49ers might be calling you today?
“I actually did. Me and [linebackers coach] Coach [Johnny] Holland, we hit it off like we knew each other for years when I went up there. Our conversations were just about everything on and off the field. So, just me having that, building that relationship, that fast with him, I felt a good feeling from that point on.”

You’re joining fellow teammate CB Renardo Green out here. What can you tell us about him?
“Renardo Green is a dog. He actually is the one who I, sometimes I feed off his energy and sometimes he feed off mine. So, it’s a great feeling to have one of my old teammates back as my teammate again.”

It seems that it’s been three or four years now that the 49ers have been known to have the best linebackers in the NFL. Is that what college linebackers recognize? Do you guys watch film of LB Fred Warner and LB Dre Greenlaw as kind of as an example?
“Actually the guy who I actually watched this past season was Greenlaw because the way he just showed his passion on the field and he’s always around the ball. His physicality, it reminded me a lot of myself. So yeah, I’m pretty sure the whole college football world knows about the linebacker corps at the 49ers.”

Both head coach Kyle Shanahan and President of Football Operations and General Manager John Lynch said it was an emotional call in speaking with you. What were your emotions in the moments after you got drafted?
“My emotions were everywhere. I’m not going to lie to you. It was just waiting that long. I never waited that long in my life, and especially to get picked for something. So just hearing that call and hearing them say they were going to draft me, it just was a dream come true. This is something I always knew I wanted to do since a little kid, and now it happened. Now I’m just ready to work.”

At that point in the draft, obviously, I’m sure it’s running through your mind, maybe I won’t get drafted. Was there a lot of anxiety about that at that point?
“I was actually on the call with the team speaking about free agent contracts and terms like that before it ended and then in the middle of that call, I got a call, so I got that call. So, it was a good feeling.”

I hope you hung up on that team immediately.
“Yeah, I did.”

What were your conversations with linebackers coach Johnny Holland like? You said you felt like you knew him a long time, but what did those conversations include?
“The conversations was literally about everything. Just like sometimes we’d talk about animals and then we’d go back to talking about football and he was just finding out the things that I was interested in, just like fishing. So, I would tell him a lot of stuff that I would like to do during fishing while I was in Miami and Tallahassee. It was just, it was really like we was having a regular conversation, it was nothing specific.”


Watching some of your tape, I think you’re really good at sniffing out screens, screen passes, and making those tackles. Does that come from film study beforehand? How do you think you developed that particular skillset?

“Yeah, the preparation before the game. That always plays a big part in how I play. So, film study for sure. And then being able to have those instincts of filling the line, letting guys go, and keeping my eyes on the running back to see how he releases from backfield, it just gives it all away. So, it is honestly just instincts and my preparation before.”


CB Renardo Green said he was really excited to join the 49ers because of the aggressive style of defense that they play. Are you familiar with that and do you have the same mentality as him?

“Yeah, I’m very familiar with it. Just like I said, Greenlaw, he sets the tone for all of the physicality for that defense. And then adding me and Renardo, I feel like that’s just more fuel to the fire.”


As far as Renardo, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan said, he told them he was a dog 15 times. You just said he was a dog. He told us at least 15 times he was a dog. As a cornerback, those guys aren’t necessarily always known as the most dog-like guys on the field. Is he unique in that sense?

“I feel like that’s what separates him from all the other corners, this past draft. Renardo, he likes to come up and tackle and he’ll go play man all game, if he has to. I feel like it is really the mindset that he comes in with every game and he’s very consistent with it.”


Yeah, the reverse of that is the linebackers having to cover and then the 49ers ask their linebackers to do a lot of coverage. I think that’s one of the strengths of your game. But having the defensive backs like Renardo on your team, have you worked with them just for coverage pointers? How, does that work at Florida State?

“I actually feel like that’s what helped with my coverage skills this past season excel how they did. After practice, I would get releases like I was at corner sometimes, just working on moving my feet and staying on the hip. So just being around the DBs played a huge part. The NFL is now becoming a passing league more and more each year. So just being able to run, and be able to stop the run that would be good for me.”