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.