If Jonathan Martin needs to leave Miami and find a new NFL home, San Francisco could be the right place for him.
The Ted Wells report on the bullying of Martin in the Dolphins’ locker room notes that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who coached Martin at Stanford, speaks highly of Martin. Harbaugh spoke to Wells as part of the investigation and said he saw no reason that Martin couldn’t get along with his teammates.
“Jim Harbaugh, Martin’s former head coach at Stanford and the current head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, told us that he had never doubted Martin’s tenacity, work ethic and dedication to the game, and that he had never seen Martin exhibit problems with social adjustment,” the report says. “Coach Harbaugh told us he believed that Martin likely could continue to have a successful career in the NFL. It appears that Martin was up to the challenge of dealing with physical or verbal intimidation by opposing players during NFL games, but fell victim, at least in part, to persistent taunting from his own teammates.”
Despite some talk that Martin simply isn’t tough enough to take life in the NFL, Harbaugh said that’s not the case.
“Coach Harbaugh emphasized that he never doubted Martin’s physical or mental toughness, and he believes that Martin can continue to have a successful career in the NFL. Coach Harbaugh also said that the atmosphere in the Stanford locker room, in his view, was not materially different from that of the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room,” the report said.
Whether the 49ers acquire Martin remains to be seen, but Harbaugh sounds like he enjoyed coaching Martin, and would gladly do it again.