Jamie Martin: Meet the new Niner QB

Jamie Martin instantly becomes the 49ers QB with the most knowledge of and experience in the Mike Martz offense. Martin, who previously has worked with Martz at three different stops during his 14-year NFL career, was signed by San Francisco on Wednesday to serve as the team's No. 3 QB, and here in a wide-ranging interview, Martin updates everybody on who he is, what he knows and why he's here.

Q: Have you gotten a crash course yet in your new old offense?
Martin:
Yeah, a little bit. Luckily enough, I've had crash courses in this offense before, so I'm a little bit better prepared for it this time. It shouldn't take me too long to get going on it.

Q: What was your first experience with this offense?
Martin:
It was my rookie season. I was with Mike [Martz] and he wasn't a coordinator yet, but it was the same type of digit Ernie Zampese offense. It was my rookie year in Los Angeles with the Rams.

Q: And when Mike sort of put his stamp on it, could you see this coming – the way it's turned out now?
Martin:
Yeah, I did. I wasn't with Mike again until…we separated. And then I was with him in 2002 with the Rams. I came back to St. Louis. The thing had evolved, and he was in control of it. And it kind of went his way and it changed a little bit. From then until now, it's pretty much the same, so it shouldn't be too bad of an adjustment period.

Q: So when you pick up the game plan and you see the plays in there, does it come right back to you and you know exactly what the concepts are and what you're trying to accomplish on every play? Or does it take a while to get it?
Martin:
Some plays jump out at you with the familiarity. Obviously it's one thing for it to be familiar on paper – it's another thing to get out and see it out on the field again and get re-acclimated to it again.

Q: What were you doing? How did you get the phone call and how did this all come about for you?
Martin:
Well, I live in St. Louis with my family and we've got the kids in school. I had just been working out. I'm happy with my career to this point. I figured maybe something would happen, but if not that was just fine. And I got the call from Mike [Martz] and here we are.

Q: Had you been following this team knowing that Martz was the offensive coordinator here?
Martin:
Yeah, I definitely have been following him in the different places he's been over the years. I definitely knew he was here and definitely knew there was an injury possibility just by…When you're a quarterback out of work, you just kind of follow the injuries to the quarterbacks.

Q: Did you feel that you might be done doing this kind of thing?
Martin:
Yeah, there's always that possibility. I don't take anything for granted as far as getting to play this year and next year. So like I said, I'm fine with my career. It's not the ultimate end-all-be-all for me to be back in the league, but I was hoping that something would work out. Because I think that I'm getting up there in years but I haven't had the pounding on my body all these years being a backup.

Q: What were your kids' reactions?
Martin:
I have a 10-year-old boy and he was pretty happy. I told him I was coming out and I didn't want to get his hopes up. I'm saying, ‘Nothing yet. Just be patient, we'll see what happens.' I called him this morning before school and he was pretty pumped.

Q: How did you pack when you came out here?
Martin:
That's always a funny thing. You pack to stay and you see what happens when you get out here. I was hoping to stay because I had to pay the $50 for the extra bag on Delta (Airlines).

Q: Jamie, you said that you felt it might be over. How ready were you staying for this kind of opportunity?
Martin:
I've stayed in shape. I wasn't preparing for it to be over. I was preparing to keep playing physically, because when you get that call you have to be ready for it.

Q: Did you get any phone calls after you parted ways with the [New Orleans] Saints or free agency?
Martin:
In the offseason – really, no. I hadn't spoken really to anyone. There was an injury situation in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago and I spoke with them a little bit, but nothing as far as free agency in the offseason. No.

Q: What did (Martz) say to you that convinced you this was the right situation for you? I mean, obviously with a family and kids in school…
Martin:
That's part of the deal – we'll have to work that out, the logistics of that. But he didn't have to say anything to me. Being familiar with him and what he does is a big thing because at this point, coming in at the second week of the season trying to learn a new offense, it's hard to do and it takes a long time. So the familiarity is all that really needed to be sold to me.

Q: Were you able to watch the opening game against Arizona on Sunday?
Martin:
I didn't get to watch it. Back in St. Louis, I didn't watch much football at all really. We've got soccer games and football games and stuff like that over the weekends.

Q: You talked about working out in St. Louis and staying in shape. What was the typical workout?
Martin:
Just the normal thing I would do here in the weight room: the treadmill and the running. A little bit of throwing – it's not to NFL receivers, obviously, so that will be a little bit of an adjustment getting that feel back down.

Q: Who were you throwing to?
Martin:
I'd throw to my son and make him stand places and shag balls. That type of thing. He can catch the soft ones. I let him just shag them if I want to put anything on it.

Q: Jamie, if you didn't have anything cooking for next year, how long were you going to give it before you move onto the next phase of your life?
Martin:
We were going to give it…just wait the season out and see what happened.

Q: And then what would you do – go into investments or…?
Martin:
I don't know. I don't think I'm that smart. We kicked around coaching – that's the natural progression. Being a backup all these years and all the different offenses that I've learned. So we've kind of kicked that around. No final decisions yet – we'll just kind of play it by ear.

Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Isaac Bruce since you've been here? I think you guys are the only dinosaurs from Los Angeles…
Martin:
Yeah, I did. I think I shocked him when he saw me walking through the locker room today. I don't think he was expecting it. It's good to know I have a familiar face and a guy I've been with for a long time.

Q: I'm assuming you'll be taking some scout-team reps. That seems like that's about what you'll get as far as getting up to speed and getting in tempo. How seriously do you take that?
Martin:
You've got to take it seriously. Even though it's not exactly our offense, it's still dropping back and throwing to that speed and getting the feel with the line rushing your face. And that type of thing. So, I've got to take it seriously and use that and do what I can with it.

Q: Have you been in this situation before where you're the most accomplished quarterback on the roster?
Martin:
I don't know about accomplished. I guess it's all in how you look at it. I don't know. I've been on some young teams before. Of course I was probably a lot younger at the time, too. But anything I can do to help – that's what I'm here for.

Q: You're now automatically the oldest guy on the roster. Are you starting to feel like a dinosaur in some ways at all?
Martin:
A little bit. I don't have as much hair I guess now. Physically I have a young body. I haven't taken the pounding over the years. I don't know what the equivalent of my playing time has been – maybe a season or so. It's not like I'm physically beaten down.

Q: Do you know J.T. (O'Sullivan) or Shaun Hill?
Martin:
No. I hadn't really met them at all.

Q: You come in here having quite a background in this system. J.T. was with Martz last year in Detroit. Are there things that you can sort of tell him or impart your knowledge on him to make him a better player and understand the system more?
Martin:
I'll have to see how it goes along. I'm new to this situation. I'm certainly not going to jump in and step on anyone's toes, that type of thing. As it goes along and I get more and more re-familiarized with it, if there's something I can help him with I certainly will.



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