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Spikes: No 'sitting back on porch like Old Yeller'

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Niners linebacker Takeo Spikes visited with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN radio (audio about three-fourths of the way through this item).

Van Pelt noted how Redskins players didn't like it when Marty Schottenheimer tried "nutcracker" drills in camp, and how Washington players did not like it.

Spikes: You know, we're really not too fond of it, either. But if it is going to give us the results as far as where we need to go, then that is what we are going to do.

Van Pelt said former players he knows shake their head when asked about the importance of such drills in training camp.

Spikes: Well, I think you have valid points on both sides. No. 1, I think the point to where what Coach Singletary is doing is very understandable. The reason why is that he has an M.O. as far as what this team needs to look like in order for it to get where we need to go. And that mode of operation is to be physical, tough and relentless. So, when you have a young guy [that] you really don't know too much about, you are going to find out. And you are going to find out what makes him tick and you are going to find out how fast he quits, if he do decide to quit.

And at the same token on the other hand, one of the things Coach Singletary understands is that, you know, if it's a veteran, a guy like myself, he's not going to -- his philosophy is what he told me last year when I got in here was that, 'Takeo, you showed me you can play. You a dog. A dog knows how to bite, so I don't have to worry about how to fine-tune him up. You're good. But if you sitting back on the porch like Old Yeller, the only thing you may do is just bark.'

Great stuff. Spikes also shared thoughts on teammate Patrick Willis and the desire Willis has to become great. The hosts got Spikes' attention by asking him whether the 49ers would go 7-9 again.