Jonathan Martin: “I actually just finished reading the story of Odysseus once he leaves the Trojan War.”

Jonathan Martin just had his first conference call as a 49er. Here is a transcript.

Q: Was this the best-case scenario for you to continue your career?

MARTIN: Absolutely. I think it worked out great, once again playing for Coach Harbaugh, once again being in the Bay Area, playing for a winning franchise, a team that has had a lot of recent success. Hopefully I’ll be able to contribute to further success with this team.

Q: Have any 49ers reached out to you and welcomed you?

MARTIN: Yes, I have texted with Joe Staley and tweeted with Anthony Davis. I can tell already that I’m going to get along just great with those guys. I’ve felt a warm welcome from the entire 49ers community, fan base, everybody. I’m just looking forward to the future and getting back to football.

Q: Coach Harbaugh talked about this as an etch-a-sketch opportunity for you. How do you see this unfolding?

MARTIN: I think that’s a great analogy. It’s a blank slate for me. I’m looking forward to revitalizing my career and getting back to playing. I’ve started 23 games. I’m a young player but I’ve had some starting experience. I want to do whatever I can to contribute to this O-line. It’s one of the best O-lines in football already. They have five great starters. I’m just going to try to find my role on this team and do what I can to help them get to the next level.

Q: What do you think your role is? Have the coaches talked to you about playing inside and outside?

MARTIN: The way I’m approaching it is I’ve got to earn my spot on the team. I’m the new guy in the locker room. I’ve played both right tackle and left tackle, but at the same time I’m open to anything. I’m open to doing whatever is asked to me to contribute to the team.

Q: Do you have any regrets about the way you handled last season?

MARTIN: You could say this or that could have gone differently, but hindsight is 20-20. My focus is 100 percent on the future and moving forward.

Q: What was your involvement with Harbaugh through all of this? Did you talk to him after you left the Dolphins?

MARTIN: I’ve always had a great relationship with Coach Harbaugh. He recruited me out of high school. He gave me the opportunity to start at tackle for a winning Stanford program for three years. His enthusiasm is infectious. You can see it at every level of the organization. It rubs off on everybody. Just to be around a winning atmosphere and a coach that is focused on winning is the best situation I could have asked for.

Q: Have you talked with him throughout this?

MARTIN: I did not. I saw those comments. They’re great. I’m grateful for the support. Coach Harbaugh is a heck of a coach. I’m excited to be a part of the 49ers.

Q: How much consideration did you give to retiring and not going after a second chance?

MARTIN: That didn’t even cross my mind at any point. I’m a football player. I’ve been a football player my entire adult life. My goal is to have a successful NFL career. I’m just looking forward to the future and succeeding for as long as I can as a member of the 49ers, hopefully retiring as a 10-year vet.

Q: How long have you been in football mode this offseason?

MARTIN: For quite a while now, several months. I’ve been at school at Stanford, and that gave me an opportunity to be around a strength and conditioning staff up there. It’s one of the best in the nation. Coach Turley has one back-to-back collegiate awards for strength training. Just to be around that atmosphere again is what I wanted to be around. I’ve had a chance to be grinding in the weight room and on the field for quite some time now. I think it’s going to pay dividends in the future.

ME: What are you studying at Stanford?

MARTIN: I’m a Classics major.

ME: Are you going for your undergraduate degree?

MARTIN: Finishing up my undergraduate in the offseason. It gave me the opportunity to work out and get a head start on the offseason.

ME: Can you read the odyssey in Greek, and what languages do you speak?

MARTIN: No, I cannot read Greek. I’m functional in Latin. I’ve read the Odyssey a couple times. I’m not that good at it.

Q: Why did you become a Classics major?

MARTIN: Andrew Philips was the left guard I played next to for two years at Stanford. He was big into Classics, he was  Classics major, would always be talking about it. I had the locker next to him. He convinced me to take a class on the Greek gods, and I liked it. So from there, I decided to make it my major.

Q: Is there a favorite piece of literature you having in your studies?

MARTIN: I actually just finished reading the story of Odysseus once he leaves the Trojan War on his journey home. I found that really interesting. I like Plato’s Symposium.

Q: Do you feel like Odysseus coming home?

MARTIN: I like that analogy. I do feel like I’m at home, back in California, back around people I know. I’m looking forward to playing football again in a month.

Q: Are you a senior now?


Q:What’s your experience playing guard?

MARTIN: I’ve played right and left tackle. From what I’ve heard from others, the transition is easier going in than it is going out. I don’t know. I’ve never been inside, but I’m open to playing any position — guard, tackle, center, heavy tight end — whatever is asked of me, I’ll do it.

Q: What about the offensive system that Harbaugh and Greg Roman utilize do you think fits you as an offensive lineman?

MARTIN: It’s a similar philosophy to what we had when I was at Stanford — smash-mouth, run-first offense. We had a lot of success in college and they’ve obviously had a lot of success so far in the NFL, them being Coach Harbaugh and the coaching staff and the team. I think they have a blueprint for how to succeed in the NFL and in football in general. I’m excited to be a part of it and to contribute to the team.

Q: Being back at Stanford, how has that helped you during this process?

MARTIN: All of those guys are my close friends. Andrew Luck, Richard Sherman, David DeCastro — all of those guys. I know them well. They never doubted me. They know me as a person. They know me as a football player. It’s great to be around them. They’ve all had success so far in the pros. I’m trying to continue with my own personal success and team success.

Q: I’m sure you’re aware there are some people out there who feel you broke some sort of NFL code by leaving the team, that you should have “toughed it out.” What is your response to those people?

MARTIN: I’m not worried about that. All of that is in the past at this point. I’m just focused on moving forward and getting back to playing football.

  1. Should have asked him if his first stop in Miami was like Ismarus, and if Incognito made him partake of the Lotus fruit….

  2. Harbaugh must be playing the role Zeus to Martin’s Odysseus. Zeus sent Hermes (Balke) to Calypso (Miami) to plead for Odysseus to be freed. Odysseus does escape and eventually returns home. Oh, and the Cyclops (Incognito) bully is slain.

    It all fits. By the Super Bowl Gods, I say!

    1. Edleman is not a deep threat and would be a crab and boldin clone with more speed but not the hands to make the tough catch

    2. Wow really? That’s surprising that they’re showing interest when they have crabs and boldin. And if u view yourself as a #1 why would u bother with us. Makes me wonder what they’re plans are with Crabs after this year or maybe even this year.

      1. If th niners land either reciever and Thurmand there going for broke in the draft.. They will make a giant leap for an impact reciever maybe by the name of Watkins!

  3. I heard Kap requested JM to bring him a new Dolphins hat.

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the niners traded their #1 and Martin to the raiders for their #1 who according to Grant now desperately need a tackle.

    I know it’s absurd but it’s the raiders.

  4. Who thinks we sign brown in a few days. Knowing Baalke there’s a low but reasonable offer sitting on the table while Brown “test” the market. I am surprised by lack of interest

    1. You could be right Leo! Although I prefer Thurmond. One because of his age, and two cause he can play the slot better.. But you could be on to something.

  5. Im good with either. We just need someone. We need depth, and quality depth at that. Im good with Cully and brock and wright in the slot or dime. Not sure about Morris. But brown is a decent starter with experience and i like Thurmond in the slot also. Either way i hope we take a corner in the 1st or 2nd.

  6. Looks like the Pats will add Browner and move to a press coverage system like the Hawks have, since Revis is excellent in press as well. Good move for them, as it worked well against Denver in the Super Bowl.

      1. Boy, he really is adamant, isn’t he? I guess that suspension language is worth bickering over for both sides.

    1. maybe Incognito ..Houston..
      but blame that on
      Philbin’s “command” of his locker room

      I look to see Martin getting some snaps
      in some of the “jumbo” packages
      in the beginning, tho

    2. JMart will take over for Iupati when he departs, cause there’s no way the Niners are paying a guard like a tackle and that’s what Iupati’s going to command. And I say good riddance. Iupati is a GREAT run blocker, but so suspect in the passing game. On the other hand, if they wrap him up for 7 years on a team-friendly per annum, he might stay, but the writing’s on the wall.

  7. I sort of don’t know what’s happening with Baalke. This is so atypical. Usually he waits until the end of the FA period and bargain shops, also he picks up roster trimmings at the end. He’s being really proactive and aggressive this offseason, filling holes and creating depth. There’s just not enough room for all the draft picks. He must be planning on grabbing some elite talent in the draft

      1. He’s not going wild, I’m just saying it seems a bit unusual. Look how he’s setting up for the draft. He can go BPA, but there’s really not of room on the roster for all the picks. It’s really smart, he can trade up and get great quality with multiple mid rounders. It’d better to stash 5-6 future starters in a good draft than have 11 total picks. Getting set up to refresh the starters.

        1. Jon,

          There will be room for a few draft picks, but you’re right he won’t use 11. He’ll move up or trade for picks in 2015. However I think he uses at least 4 of the 5 picks in the first 3 rounds. Just too much talent available in this draft not to.

  8. I’ve often wondered if part of the issue in Miami was due to a kind of reverse cultural elitism. Instead of revering intelligence and culture, that was something to sneer at. Could there have been a concerted effort to “take him off his high horse”? Martin completed 3 years of college and obviously intended to continue. Education is a part of his family’s culture. It’s never easy to be the smart kid. So many smart kids hide it to prevent getting hassled by other kids. Was the intent of the harassment to show Martin that knowing fancy words meant nothing and they’d make him feel like nothing also?

    I’ll always marveled that Vince Carter got verbal smack downs from other players because he took a non playing day off during the playoffs to go walk the stage and receive his college diploma. They thought it was a stupid thing to do instead of hanging out with them and what – go to strip clubs, chase women, gamble, etc. I hope I don’t misquote him since it’s been so long ago, but I think Charles Barkley said something like the piece of paper wasn’t important. Vince already had the money so the paper wasn’t important, and Vince messed up team comaraderie by taking the time off. Different sport, but the Miami attitude kind of feels the same to me. Really sad that sports has sunk to this level.

    Anyway, welcome Jonathan and here’s to a successful integration into the team for you, and a Super Bowl win this season for the team!

    1. This is a thoughtful discussion and may speak to some of the issues from that locker room. Certainly I think Jonathon has a personal history of some socialization issues going back to HS, so, like each of us, he approaches the world in his way. He has thrived in some environments and so may again. The consensus I read in the media is he needs to get stronger as a football player.
      Locker Rooms are interesting places, to understate it. For amateurs, the hierarchy tends to be based around Class, as in Seniors have upper status and influence. My assumption, since I’ve never spent time in a Pro Locker Room, is that longevity, Pro Bowl status and salary are the measures of rank. After that, loudness & outgoingness make the noise that generates the buzz. See: Incognito, Richie.
      Walsh has written that he didn’t believe in ‘leaving a locker room to the players’. He wanted his coaches to be present and involved a lot so that it stayed a “Team Locker Room.” Maybe he partially got that from old Jarhead Bobb McKittrick. In the Marines, from Boot Camp on, they stressed to us that like a chain, any unit was only as strong as its weakest link. Therefore, everybody had to know who the weakest link(s) was (were) so they could be covered, mentored, and improved. Nobody wanted to be that weakest link, so the weak link worked hard and had support, felt like part of the team, and was later prepared to mentor any new guy who needed it.
      If a team is just a collection of self-impressed millionaires it may not succeed. Hazing didn’t seem to help the Dolphins to get Martin to perform better, and so instead of having a 1st Rounder performing like a 4th Rounder, they’ve got a 7th.

  9. Why don’t they go after Browner and Thurmond? For the Pats to have Browner and Revis Belichek must be really altering his D don’t they play a lot of zone? Do we not go after Browner because he hates Harbaugh? When not suspended he played like a #1 corner. Nice pickups for Pats if they land Browner their WR’s should be better they may be the early favorite in the AFC.

  10. Just heard that we won’t see Carlos Rogers money until June 1st so we only have a little less than $4 million left. Do we use the 6.6 in June for contract extensions?

  11. “Source: 49ers comfortable w/starting CBs Brock-Culliver; willing to pay Tarell Brown 3 yrs/$10M, but could get Walter Thurmond at 1 yr/$2M.” – Maiocco

    1. If cully was 100% i wouldnt care but who knows with that type of injury. I rather have Brown just in case Cully wasn’t ready.

    2. Source: 49ers are hoping to get Brown to resign at a lower number by releasing information that they are comfortable paying Thurmond $2m a year.

        1. I agree. Thurmond would be a perfect fit taking over the slot CB role from Rogers, with Culliver and Brock on the outside. Throw in Wright and a draft pick or two and the stable is full.

  12. Last year there was anticipation that Baalke would trade back and pick up more picks and I think that line of thinking was correct but a year early.

    1. If Baalke was intereted in Golden Tate and Julian Edelman, Baalke might be awfully interested in Odell Beckham and Brandin Cooks.

      1. Add Emmanuel Sanders to that list. Given the WRs they are looking at, yes, Beckham or Cooks are looking like very good candidates in the draft, so long as they don’t actually sign any of these guys.

        1. They could do both — sign and draft. Baalke signed Moss and Manningham and then drafted Jenkins in the same offseason.

          1. If they sign a smaller WR to a 1-year or maybe even 2-year deal then yes, I agree. They wouldn’t get much time as a rookie, but would be expected to take over that role in 2015.

            If they sign one of these guys to a multi-year deal then I think the WR they draft early will be someone to replace Crabtree in 2015. Unless they are changing their offensive philosophy completely and going for smaller, quicker WRs as the norm.

    2. CFC,

      Quite possible I agree. If they don’t move up for one of the CB’s, and one of the QB’s falls, I could see them trading out of the first to get a possible 1st rounder in 2015.

  13. Eric Davis was speculating, just for conversation, about some FAs. He thinks SF would be a good fit for Nicks. I’d rather have Steve Smith or Edelman, but TB could get Nicks on a 1 year deal. Davis seems to think Nicks is still fast. I don’t want Edelman ending up in Seattle, Pete has to replace Tate at WR.
    ED also speculated that Smith would be a good fit for N.O. because he’d get to play the Panthers twice a year, and be working with HC/OC & QB he respects and who’d know how to use him.

  14. I like Edelman but I can’t see him fitting in and doing well here. Ck is not a quick slant qb. Unless they are drilling it into his head this offseason Nicks would fit better for this qb and team. He was injured last year and has speed and hands. (Unlike Ginn)
    I will say this if Smith was still qb, Edelman would fit perfectly. Go Speed and hands. We need that.

  15. Now Emmanuel Sanders is coming in for a visit, according to Schefter.

    The Niners must have a real nice offer on the table for a third receiver.


    1. At least Sanders fits a need as a deep threat. But honestly, if you were a FA WR looking to sign a “prove-it” deal, why would you sign with the Niners? That’s why their need for a deep threat must be filled in the draft.

    2. Byron Maxwell, Sherman and Co will simply overpower Sanders or Edelman. They will get mugged and have trouble getting off the ball…..Nicks has enough strength to make some plays but I doubt the two smurfs will be effective vs Seattle.
      I don’t get it, we are not New England!!
      I’d get Nicks or move on and draft 2 bigger receivers….It’s all about Seattle Baalke!

        1. Sacto – Good point but most likely a fluke game for Hilton, early in season at Indy (synthetic grass). I’m sure Seattle probably doubled Reggie Wayne and held him in check.

          1. Hilton scored a 73 yard TD against the coverage of Sherman and Thomas, scored another TD by beating Browner for speed, and he gave Sherman fits all day whenever he lined up against him.

          2. Oh, and for what it is worth, Hilton had no trouble getting off the ball against the Seahawks. In fact, on some plays they started giving him a cushion because they were having trouble against him.

              1. Sacto, Scooter – If Hilton owns Sherman than Niners should trade the farm for this dude.
                I will keep a one close eye on Ty Hilton this year and keep other eye on Paris Hilton.

              2. Hilton did very well against the ‘Hawks, but it wasn’t a one game lapse. Smaller receivers gave them more trouble than big WRs all season. Here is a select list of the leading receivers in games against the Seahawks this past season (regular season only):

                - Panthers: Steve Smith: 6/51/1 (Greg Olsen actually had 5 more yards, but I’ve included Smith in this list)
                - 49ers (first matchup): Kyle Williams: 4/39/0
                - Jaguars: Cecil Shorts: 8/143/0
                - Colts: TY Hilton: 5/140/2
                - Titans: Kendall Wright: 5/69/0
                - Rams (1st matchup): Chris Givens: 4/59/0
                - Falcons: Harry Douglas: 7/49/0
                - Vikings: Jarius Wright: 3/69/2
                - Giants: Jerrel Jernigan: 7/67/0
                - Cardinals (2nd matchup): Brittan Golden: 1/63/0

                Each of the WRs listed is at most 6’0″. And they are all known as faster/ shifty WRs.

                The games where a larger receiver was the leading receiver included Texans (Andre Johnson), Cardinals (Michael Floyd), Buccaneers (Timothy Wright), Saints (Jimmy Graham), 49ers 2nd matchup (Bolden), Rams (2nd matchup (Lance Kendricks). Three of those guys are TEs. Only 2 big WRs (Johnson and Bolden) put up big numbers.

        1. Perhaps Patton develops into an effective deep threat “smurf”. I honestly don’t think the Niners will sign any of the WR/CB that have been parading through Santa Clara the past few days. As TKamB astutely points out, they need to have roster spots and roles available for their rookies.

          1. “Perhaps Patton develops into an effective deep threat “smurf”.”

            I think it is far more likely he develops into an effective possession WR. He doesn’t really have the deep speed to threaten a D deep consistently – he’ll rely pretty much on route running to get open deep. Also, that “smurf” is over 6’0″ and was 204lbs as a rookie, and you’d expect him to add some bulk to that frame over time. Not really a small WR.

            1. That’s funny because my memory of Patton from the comfort of my sofa was that he was kind of small. My point with Patton is that while outside observers (like us fans) don’t have an idea how younger bench players may turn out, the front office has to at least have some idea. Considering their success with guys like Bowman, Brooks, RayMac, Boone, and Brock, you have to at least give the FO the benefit of the doubt on some of their moves. Of course there are also guys like Kyle Williams, who I think they thought would be better than they eventually turned out to be.

              So when people say the Niners need a big red-zone threat, I wonder if VMac (6’4″ 270 33.5″ vert 34-3/8″ arms and 10-1/8″ hands) might fill that role. Others note Baldwin. Obviously we don’t know (and neither does Trent), but he must have a better idea about it than we do.

              And I’ve stated several times on here that the moving back of the draft into early May gives the Niners a few extra weeks to take a good hard look at their guys, especially the young and injured (Patton, Dial, VMac, Carradine, Williams, Lattimore, Lemonier, etc.) prior to finalizing their draft plans.

              1. Yeah, don’t get me wrong, not trying to say he is a big WR by any means, but I don’t think he can be considered a smurf exactly either.

                And I agree regarding the red zone threats – I think we already have them on the roster. Bolden, Crabtree, Davis and McDonald, as well as Baldwin if he sticks. Adding another big guy won’t really add anything different to the offense.

      1. Crabs i felt the same way regarding smaller receivers and Seattles DB’s. Untill [if my memory serves me correctly] Jack and Grant started quoting stats that seemed to say that the WR’s that Seattle struggled with the most were the small quick ones. Jack and Grant am i correct in saying it was you 2 who were saying that?

  16. Baalke has to be preparing to trade up in the draft right? I mean maybe he isn’t serious about these visits but if they sign one of Edelman/Nicks/Sanders plus Thurmond they will have close to zero spots open for a rookie class.

  17. Can’t believe nobody is talking about James Jones.
    I mean, his knees seem okay now.
    Not a burner by any means but a solid route-runner.
    Perfect #3 WR.
    Definately an upgrade from Manningham.
    Short-term, cap friendly deal perhaps?

  18. I say we call T.O. Hell every other guy wants to be a prove it guy. They gave moss a chance. Even Chad Johnson. Im pretty sure you can get both for cheap

  19. i’m finding if i walk away from my computer for an hour or more and do’nt post during that time i have to re-enter myscreen name and email is anyone else experiencing the same?

      1. well … there ya go, Grant …
        a small sampling of the posters, here ..
        (sure, not very scientific, but … )

        Any chance you can put a bug in your
        webmaster’s ear ?

        It would be muchly appreciated ..

  20. Chris Cook signed on a 1 year deal. Got the physical tools, worth a look on a 1-year deal.

    Shouldn’t have any bearing on draft plans though.

      1. We’ll see. I think he’s a much better fit for the 49ers than he was for the Vikings. If nothing else, the signing of Nnamdi last year and Cook this year really shows the type of CB the 49ers are targeting. Big guys that can run sub 4.5s.

  21. Scooter, have you been following Cook over the years? Do you think they will try him at the safety position as well as CB?

    1. No, I don’t think they will. He’s not the type of safety the 49ers are after. Not physical enough, despite his size. Not a guy that will rush up to take on a linemen or FB and plug a hole, or make a bone-jarring tackle to drop a RB.

      From a physical standpoint, he fits what Baalke is looking for at CB to a tee.

        1. As far as I understand it, Eric Reid is the model of what the 49ers look for in a FS. Good size and athletic (which Cook has), but highly physical hitter across the middle and rushes up like he’s been shot out of a cannon to stop the run. The 49ers FS doesn’t need to be great in man coverage as they usually play him in deep zone (halves or single high).

          My understanding is that at SS they want a guy that is more versatile. Able to play man coverage (Bethea, tick), come down closer to the line like an extra linebacker (Bethea, tick), or play deep in a half zone (Bethea, tick). The SS for the 49ers is typically closer to the line than the FS and doesn’t get asked to do much single high coverage.

          Of course there is a lot of talk about the interchangeable role of the 49ers safeties. This is true to a point, the FS and SS need to be versatile enough to switch roles, but that doesn’t mean they look for exactly the same traits in the two safeties.

          Anyway, that’s my understanding/ observation.

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