SANTA CLARA — Marcus Martin was interviewed at his locker Wednesday afternoon. Here is a transcript.
Q: How are you preparing for this week?
MARTIN: I’m just trying to learn from the veterans around me, guys like Mike Iupati, Alex Boone, Anthony Davis, Joe Staley — they all play a pivotal role in helping me prepare to be successful this week.
Q: After so much time off, is the biggest challenge for you mental or physical?
MARTIN: It’s just understanding the mental aspect of the game. Playing center is all about being able to direct traffic and understanding what’s being thrown at you, so just having an overall comprehension of what we’re planning on doing this week is the most important thing.
Q: Is center more of your comfort zone than guard?
MARTIN: I can play either. Center is an excellent position and the opportunity in front of me is tremendous. I’m going to do all that I can to prepare and be ready to play on Sunday.
Q: How full go are you?
MARTIN: I’m full go.
Q: How about getting a crash course in this system?
MARTIN: It’s not really a crash course because we’ve been doing these things since camp. Being hurt, I had a great opportunity to soak up a lot of knowledge sitting in the back of meeting rooms, getting extra meeting time with my coach, and it all paid off in dividends.
Q: Do you make calls in your mind on the sideline through these first-seven games?
MARTIN: Yeah. I spent every moment of these first-seven games with my coach on the sideline identifying fronts, making calls, doing what it is that a center does in an NFL.
Q: When you got hurt, you said to yourself the best thing you could do was get into the mental aspect of the game?
MARTIN: That was a key component of rehabilitation. Most guys fall off mentally and allow themselves just to focus on the physical aspect of it. But I think playing good football is being consistent both physically and mentally. My time off helped me learn a lot.
Q: You and Mike Solari talked through plays as they were happening?
Q: What kind of communication do you have to have with Colin Kaepernick, both in the meeting room and on the field?
MARTIN: Just understanding things that he likes to do, the things that he will do in order to make a play go. Just having an overall comprehension of his scheme and his system and what he feels is best during that play.
Q: Is it complex because he can do so many different things?
MARTIN: Yeah, he’s talented. It’s great that I’m around somebody like him. I can learn a lot.
Q: What exactly was your knee injury?
MARTIN: I dislocated my knee cap. It was an acute dislocation so it wasn’t super bad or nothing like that. It wasn’t season ending. That’s why I was able to bounce back so fast.
Q: You talked about getting to know Colin’s tendencies. Do you feel you’ve made some progress on that front already?
MARTIN: Yeah, I’ve been able to sit in meetings and listen to all the things that he’s saying and the things that he likes to do. I just sit back and take notes and put my own twist on things as far as making it relatable for me, because I’m trying to fill in for somebody who was a tremendous center.
Q: What have been Colin’s encouraging words for you?
Martin: Let’s go. You know the task in front of you. Let’s go.
Q: What have you seen from Rams’ rookie defensive tackle Aaron Donald?
Martin: He’s a tremendous player. Their front seven is great. I’ve just got to be prepared to battle. It’s going to be a fight for a very long time. I’ve just got to understand what’s being presented.
Q: How much does he line up right over you?
MARTIN: A lot.
Q: Do you have any experience with him?
Q: Who are some of the better guys you went up against in college?
MARTIN: I went against Will Sutton, Louis Nix. Talented nose guards, and talented front sevens at Stanford and Notre Dame. But nothing like these guys we’re about to face.
Q: Are they pretty complex with their fronts?