'I'm an all-around safety .. you'll see that'

Michael Lewis talks about coming to the 49ers after signing a six-year free-agent deal with the team.

Has the team told you what your role will be and was that a factor in deciding to come here? "Yes. Like Coach (Nolan) said, I will be a starter. That is very important to me and they are going to do some things that will allow me to make plays on the field."

Are you a closer to the line of scrimmage kind of guy? Do you play better in the box? "People like to place that on me, but I don't feel like that is all I kind do. I can cover as well. Things went on in Philadelphia, but I feel like I am an all around safety and you guys will see that."

Are you going to come in to prove you can be a starter? "I know I will be. A lot of things that went on in Philadelphia weren't football related. That is the nature of the business, but I have something to prove. I want to get back to where my names need to be as one of the top safeties in the league as I feel I am."

What does it mean to be part of this day with you and Nate Clements signing? Are these signings interconnected to showing the team is committed winning football games? "It really is. When you think about the 49ers, you think about the tradition. You think about guys like Ronnie Lott and Merton Hanks and all of the other great safeties that have played here and I want to add on to that tradition. With the addition of Nate as well, I feel that the secondary can be one of the best in the league."

What kind of scouting did you do on the 49ers? Did you call friends and ask them what they thought about the team? "As a player, you watch games and that tells you a whole lot. The team got after every opponent they played. A lot of the games they lost were by three or fewer points. This is an up and coming aggressive team and I look forward to working with them."

Did you know Nate before you came here today? "I didn't know him per se, but I have seen him around through other people."

Do you know any of the current 49ers? "I have worked out with Moran Norris a couple of times back in Texas. I know (49ers secondary coach) Vance Joseph from my time at Colorado."

Did any other teams show interest in you? "The New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, but this was the perfect place for me. It is an up and coming team with a great group of guys like Frank Gore on offense and what me and Nate can bring to the defense."

The safeties here are pretty interchangeable. Do you prefer strong or free safety? "I was told I was going to be the strong safety. That is the position I am most comfortable, but they are interchangeable so I feel I can do any and all things on the field."

When you came here, did you feel that the team had to convince you to sign here? "I did my research and I knew this was going to be a great fit for me. I got off the flight and it was perfect weather coming from the cold. It is T-shirt and shorts weather so I am excited about that."

So what is next for you?"It is time to get to work. I am ready to start the off-season program and I am looking forward to meeting the guys and getting a feel for how things work around here."

Niners Digest Top Stories