Jim Harbaugh: Jonathan Martin has powerful opportunity with 49ers

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Jonathan Martin gets a second chance with the 49ers. (USATSI)
Jonathan Martin gets a second chance with the 49ers. (USATSI)

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Two days into free agency earlier this month, Dolphins shipped embattled offensive tackle Jonathan Martin to the 49ers, reuniting him with his college coach Jim Harbaugh.

Martin will be a backup in San Francisco, where Joe Staley and Anthony Davis are entrenched as the starting tackles. But that doesn't mean he can't resurrect an NFL career derailed last season after he left the team in November amid bully allegations.

So what does Harbaugh expect of Martin?

"Someone like Glenn Dorsey," the coach said at the NFL owners meetings, according to NFL.com's Steve Wyche. "Glenn was the No. 2 pick (No. 5) in the draft. Maybe not living up to someone's expectations there comes to the San Francisco 49ers and has a tremendous year. ... It's just a powerful opportunity, a powerful motivator. ...

"Like an Etch-A-Sketch. Lifting a page of the Etch-A-Sketch and write a whole new history for yourself."

As for how Martin will go about that, it's pretty simple.

"It's a 50-50 thing," Harbaugh said. "The burden is not completely on the locker room. You can't put that kind of burden on that locker room. The locker room embraces the guy that is about the team, and is serious about winning."

Back in February, it was revealed in the Ted Wells report that Harbaugh thought highly of Martin during their time together at Stanford.

"(Harbaugh), 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," Wells' report explained. "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."

And now Martin gets a second chance, thanks to Harbaugh.

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