Jules now the enemy

Julian Peterson a Seattle Seahawk? That's tough to get used to. In fact, it's tough to get used to Peterson - one of the greatest 49ers of the 21st century - playing for any team other than the Niners. But one thing we learned about JP during his days in SF is that he's a stand-up guy who tells it like it is. Peterson does a lot of that while talking 49ers and Seahawks in a wide-ranging interview.

Here, the two-time Pro Bowler - who spent his first six NFL seasons in San Francisco before signing a blockbuster seven-year, $54 million deal with the Seahawks in March as an unrestricted free agent - gives his takes on a variety of subjects regarding his experiences with his old team and his short time with his new squad, along with what he's expecting to take place in Sunday's game between the two squads at Monster Park in San Francisco, a place where Jules became a NFL star.

On when he knew his time as a 49er had ended: "I still didn't know until towards the end of the season when coach gave me the option to test the market. I knew from then on that it would probably be my last year."

On if he would have taken less money to stay as a 49er: "At that particular time, I would say no. If they would have kept some of the same components that were already there like the star-studded guys, I would have understood. But at the time, we were still young and up-and-coming, so I would say no."

On if he was fully healthy in his final season with the 49ers last year: "No, I wasn't fully healthy last year. I got pretty healthy in the mid- towards the end of the season. That's when I started to feel good about getting more power off my step and more speed off the edge. Now, a year later, it helped out even more."

On if he did everything he could to get ready for last season: "Yeah, I did. They say it takes a good 18 months to fully recover and I came back in six or seven months. That lets you know right there that I was ready to go out there and help my teammates as much as possible."

On what he notices about the development of Frank Gore and Alex Smith from last year: "I thought Frank was the same capable back. He's showing the skills he had last year, he just didn't have the opportunity. Kevan Barlow was still here and he was our featured guy. Now Frank's coming in, doing what he's doing now, hitting the holes, and playing with a lot of enthusiasm. I expected him to do well. I told him that he was going to be one of the best running backs by the end of his career."

On if he still keeps in contact with him: "I still keep in contact with the majority of guys there. Relationships and friendships haven't changed just because I've gone to another team. That's just the business part of it. I still talk to Arnaz Battle, Jonas Jennings, and I talk to Frank Gore every once and a while. My son is still in San Jose, so every now and then I come to town and say hello to the guys. I called Derek Smith about a month ago. I still try to stay in touch."

On how the Seahawks are using him differently than the 49ers used him: "It's pretty much a similar thing. I would say that I am getting blitzed more than I did in San Francisco. It's OK, I wasn't mad or anything like that, I just go out there, do my job and play to the best of my ability. That's pretty much what I've done this year."

On Seattle moving him around more than San Francisco: "Yeah, it was a different scheme. I guess Nolan wanted to go through his 3-4 scheme or some of his blitz packages that worked in Baltimore. That's not my job to say where I need to be sent or where to go. It's the coach's job to put his players in the right position."

On if the 49ers made any offer to resign him: "Yeah, they did attempt to sign me. Good thing for me Seattle came with a bigger offer and it was better then what the 49ers had to offer. After that, the rest was history."

On if there were any other teams that tried to sign him: "There were some other teams, but Seattle was the better choice for me. I felt like the scheme was the same as the one we used to do in San Francisco before the 3-4 scheme came about."

On if he has become the face of the Seattle defense: "It's a great tribute. I didn't know I was that important. I take it in stride, I just try to do my job, and let them know that my teammates and I are ready to play. It's fine if you want to put the attention on me, but it's a team effort and there is no one guy bigger than the team. I just go out and do my part of it."

On how much he'd like to get a hold of Alex Smith or Frank Gore: "I'll have my opportunities. In practice I would always joke with them and tell them that if I was on the opposite side, they know I'd be tearing them up. It'll be a good game, and I think it'll be a lot of fun out there."

On if the Seattle defense as a whole is similar to the 49ers defense: "Yes, and that was one of my main reasons for coming here. Dwaine Board was with the 49ers staff during my time there, and he told me that it's basically the same scheme we ran when I was in my heyday in Frisco. When I got here I looked at the scheme, it pretty much fit me in the right spot, and that's why I decided to come."

On if he was frustrated last year playing in this defense: "I wouldn't say it was frustrating. The biggest thing was that you didn't want to keep losing. We had a couple of years back-to-back where we weren't doing as well as we had done in the previous years. After a while it takes a toll on you. Especially when you give 110 percent, you come back from an injury early, and there's still the same result. That was the biggest thing. So I would say I wasn't mad at the scheme, or felt like coach wasn't using me right. It wasn't anything like that. It was just the way the chips fell."

On if he feels like he is finally in a system where his pass rushing attributes can finally be used: "Yeah, but in Frisco at the time we had a lot of guys who got hurt. We had a lot of defensive backs get hurt and the obvious choice was that they couldn't continue bringing in guys who don't know the system and don't know the calls. He put me out there at the corner spot to cover and it worked out pretty well for us."

On if there are times now when he wish he'd do more covering: "It's whatever the coaches want. I do miss it a little bit. I always want to get my hands on the ball and show my return skills. For the most part it's whatever the coaches want. If they want me to go and apply the pressure, or check one of the other team's lead tight ends, it's whatever the coaches want."

On what he attributes his production to this season: "I would say just the coaching staff, the players on the team, and God keeping me healthy. That's the biggest thing, not having any injuries to slow me down and having fun playing the game too."

On if he needed that second year to recover from his injury: "Yeah, I needed an entire year to come back at a high 90 percent. It feels very good here. I've had no complaints, I got a lot of power, and I still continue to work on it, and rehab to strengthen it up."

On Brandon Moore's play: "I'm glad you brought that up. I am so proud of Brandon. He was there behind me, backing me and a couple of other inside linebackers up. I always said that he was an all-around talent who can do pretty much inside, outside and defensive end. It's starting to develop for him and it's paying off. He's been playing well the last couple of weeks, and he had that monster game two weeks ago. I'm proud of Brandon and I hope he continues to do well."

On if he is surprised that it has taken Moore this long to get a starting role: "No, sometimes it's a numbers thing that is out of the coach's hand. Sometimes it's an upstairs type of thing, and it's good that Brandon continued to work hard and not get frustrated about it. He continued to push on and he has done a fabulous job with it."

On if he was frustrated that the 49ers did not make a big push to keep him during free agency: "I was fine with it. Obviously, it was a new staff and they wanted to get some new guys in. That was fine with me, that is the business part of the game. I wasn't hurt by it. I knew I was going to get another job somehow or some way. I wasn't that devastated, but I put some years out there in Frisco, I loved it and enjoyed it, but it was time for me to move on."

On if the coaching staff sort of pointing fingers got into his head last year: "Not at all. Coach tries to do that sometimes to get the best out of you and I understood that. I went back and looked at some of those plays to see what I could have done better, and there were some things that I could have done better. It wasn't to the point where he tried to downplay me. I'm also human too, and I can't make all the plays. In our profession everyone wants to be a perfectionist, and that's the way it rolls sometimes."

On if the 49ers coaching staff really got a glimpse at what he could do since he was coming back from an injury: "I don't know. It seemed like to me that coach Nolan didn't watch much film on some of us in previous years. I guess he had kind of written us out, because we had two wins. I guess he figured that the talent level wasn't where it needed to be. That's fine, that's his decision, he's the coach and he can make those types of decisions. It was fine with me and it's working out fine for me so I'm cool."

On if they could have resigned him instead of drafting Manny Lawson: "He's pretty good, he reminds me of myself, just longer. Yeah, but like you said it could have been a money issue. Maybe they wanted to clear some space up so they could get a few more guys. They signed Larry Allen, who is going to help out the offensive line tremendously. They got some good deals out of it."

On if he could sense that the team was building something positive last year: "Yeah, I felt that. You have the talent and great character guys there who could handle those types of situations and take them to the next level. The players and the coaching staff have to come and put it all together and be on the same page. That's the biggest thing."

On how important this game is for Seattle and for San Francisco getting back into the playoff hunt: "They really are. They are not too far from the lead, and I think they are second in our division. It's an important game for us, too. We are not going to try and overlook the 49ers. They are going to be ready to play, and they are definitely going to try and tap me off a little bit. I'm looking forward to it and the rest of my teammates are."

On if he expects cheers or boos on Sunday: "I've been thinking about that for a minute. I don't know. I think I would have a couple of boos here and there, but some cheers for the most part. The fans have been great and I have been great to the fans. I can't see any bad blood or anything."

On the new number he's wearing: "I hate it. I can't bribe Grant Wistrom with money for my old number, he's already got money."

On if the number 59 is the ugliest in the NFL: "To me it is. The number doesn't make the man, the man makes the number. That's my whole thing with that. That's why I try and wear the number 44. My old teammates in Frisco kept telling me that 44 was an ugly number. I told them, 'Watch, I'm going to make it look good.'"

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