LB Dee Winters Press Conference

LB Dee Winters

Press Conference – April 29, 2023

San Francisco 49ers

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The 49ers have two pretty prominent linebackers in LB Fred Warner and LB Dre Greenlaw, how familiar are you with them and the 49ers scheme?

“I’ve been watching Fred Warner for about two years now, ever since I transitioned from safety to linebacker. I just found somebody I feel like my game kind of models. I think Fred Warner is probably one of the top linebackers in the league and that’s definitely somebody I look up to. I’m definitely excited to get to work with him and kind of follow in his footsteps. I’ve been a little familiar with the scheme. I met with San Francisco quite a bit throughout this process. Like I said, I’m excited to get to work with [linebackers coach] Johnny Holland and those guys.”

Can you take us through these last four years at TCU and how you progressed to get to become an NFL linebacker?

“Yeah, I think it is just about dialing in on one aspect of your game. I’ve just been trying to perfect one thing at a time, not necessarily everything at once. My freshman year was just trying to get a feel for linebacker. I hadn’t really played defense at all. I was just trying to find a role and I think coach [TCU DC Joe] Gillespie did a great job transitioning me and my position, and seeing what my best possibility was to get into the league. I’m definitely grateful for that. I feel like every year I focused on tackling, then instincts. Next year, my junior year, I was focusing on the quarterback’s third down progression. Who is his favorite receiver, and stuff like that. So, I think it was the little details, not necessarily just focusing on me but the opponent as well.”

You mentioned Johnny Holland. He’s one of the longest tenured coaches here with the 49ers. What was your conversation like with him and how much do you know about how he is as a coach and as a former player?

“Yeah, so it’s kind of crazy. He’s actually from Hempstead, TX, which is about 20 minutes from where I’m from, Brenham, TX. So, kind of got a conversation started there to open up and have a little ice breaker there, but I think Coach Holland is a great guy. He’s definitely going to be himself, and I think he just is a great coach and he’s going to put you in the best position to make plays, and that’s what you want as a player.”

You said you had a lot of contact with the San Francisco 49ers. How far back did it go and how many times did you talk to them?

“My first time talking to them was at The Senior Ball when we did the little 32 visits at each podium, and after that it kind of transitioned to right before The Combine and it just stayed consistent. I think that was one of the biggest things I felt during that process and I’m definitely glad that I’m in San Francisco right now, and definitely excited to get to work.”

I know speed is one of your calling cards, maybe your biggest calling card, a lot of your highlight tape run blitzes, pass blitzes, you’re getting to the quarterback quickly. How excited do you get when a coach, a defensive coordinator, does dial up a blitz for you?

“I think it just opens up the playmaker in me and it allows me to just go make plays. I think, you have one task at hand and that’s to go get whoever has the ball. So, any time a coach puts you in that position, it’s kind of exciting. I think that’s one of the biggest strengths that I have is just going to make plays and being a dynamic blitzer.”