The San Francisco 49ers held a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with some of the Pro Bowl players. Four out of nine selected players were able to talk to the Bay Area media.
LB NaVorro Bowman
“[Going to the Pro Bowl] means a lot,” Bowman said. They said I deserved it last year.”
Bowman was considered to be a Pro Bowl snub last year and he said he used that as motivation for this season. He was happy that he isn’t a one-season wonder from last year.
“When I didn’t go, it meant I should work harder and not let it affect me,” said Bowman. “I came in with the same mindset as last year and am happy it worked out. You want to create a name for yourself [and I wanted to show] last year wasn’t a fluke.”
LG Mike Iupati
“I’m grateful and blessed,” said Iupati. “Credit goes to my teammates.”
Iupati thanked offensive line coach Mike Solari and senior offensive assistant Paul Wulff for getting him and his teammates ready every day. He felt Joe Staley in particular has helped him grow as a player and felt all five offensive lineman should have been Pro Bowlers. Anthony Davis, Jonathan Goodwin and Alex Boone were named Pro Bowl alternates.
“Credit to our coaches [Mike] Solari and [Paul] Wulff preparing us everyday to execute our plays,” said Iupati. “Joe Staley is a great player to play next to and [he has] helped me a lot. We have worked well together throughout my [whole career]. All of our starting five [offensive linemen] should’ve made the Pro Bowl.”
SS Donte Whitner
“It has been a long time coming,” Whitner said. “I was an alternate in Buffalo once and last year here with the 49ers. Making it [to the Pro Bowl] and being recognized by your teammates feels great.”
Whitner thanked some of his previous coaches and general manager when he was with the Buffalo Bills for helping him get to where he is now. This is his first time on a Pro Bowl team for the seven-year veteran. He said it was a goal for him and Dashon Goldson to be one of the best safety tandems in the NFL. Both of them are Pro Bowl starters for the NFC.
“[Dashon] Goldson and I were on the outside looking in when the  lockout happened,” said Whitner. “We both wanted to be one of the best safeties in the league. I give thanks to [Bills secondary coach] George Catavolos, [then-Bills head coach] Dick Jauron and [then-Bills general manager] Marv Levy who believed in me in Buffalo. You never make it by yourself and those guys helped me get there.”
OLB Aldon Smith
“I’m really excited as a 2nd year player,” Smith said. “It’s pretty good.”
Smith gave credit to how great the rest of the team is. He said the 49ers are very talented with five of them being starters in the Pro Bowl for the NFC. To break Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record, Smith needs 3.5 sacks.
“It shows how many guys are at a high caliber,” said Smith. “It shows we have talented individuals. [With both myself and Justin Smith going to the Pro Bowl]. it shows how [how strong] we’re both playing. With [Justin Smith] being hurt, I feel I need to step it up and be more of a vocal leader.”