When the 49ers traded for former Dolphins second-rounder Jonathan Martin, the biggest question was whether the subject of the Miami bullying scandal would make the team. Now the biggest question is whether he’ll be a Week One starter.
Martin has started all three preseason games in San Francisco. The first two came at right tackle. He started Sunday’s game against the Chargers at left guard, sort of.
On the first play of a three-and-out effort, the former Stanford product was sandwiched between the left tackle and left guard in an unbalanced line that had tight end Vernon Davis at right tackle. On the next snap (and the next), Martin was back at right tackle, where he has been playing in place of Anthony Davis, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
“I have clear eyes looking forward, focused on being a part of this team,” Martin recently told the Associated Press. “I’m just looking forward and doing my best to continue my NFL career and contribute to a team that’s as good as the 49ers. . . . I’m doing my best to play well in these last two preseason games and whatever happens happens and I’ll have no regrets in the effort I put out and in my film study and work ethic. There’s still stuff I’m cleaning up technique wise. I’m starting to think less and play faster and that’s kind of the goal heading into Week One.”
That last part presumes Martin will indeed be with the team as of Week One. Given that he has earned a starting role in each of the three preseason games, Martin apparently will be.