49ers' Whitner up for the challenge against Miller

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) -- This weekend, safety Donte Whitner draws the daunting task of trying to shut down Seattle Pro Bowler Zach Miller.

It could emerge as one of the more important matchups Sunday in San Francisco's season opener against the defending NFC West champion Seahawks -- and help determine the outcome of coach Jim Harbaugh's NFL debut. The 49ers need a reliable cover man after the departure of Manny Lawson, and Whitner is determined to become that guy.

Seattle surely will try to expose him.

Miller and Whitner aren't strangers, either. They share an agent and went through the free agency process together this summer after the lockout only to wind up in the same division.