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Why Marcus Martin, new Browns center and Los Angeles native, sees his hometown in Hue Jackson

Posted Mar 15, 2017

'I feel like that's just our city that he brings to Cleveland ... That fire, that hunger, and that burn'

Marcus Martin knows a thing or two about Browns coach Hue Jackson.

“I'm a Los Angeles guy,” the former 49ers center said, cracking a smile. “And so is Hue Jackson.”

Indeed, Martin and Jackson went to rival high schools (Crenshaw and Dorsey, respectively) that are separated by less than three miles.

So when Martin, whom Cleveland claimed off waivers late last week, arrived at the team’s facility, he knew what he was getting into.

“You can see it, it’s in him,” Martin said. “I feel like that's just our city that he brings to Cleveland. That’s the LA he brings to Cleveland, you know? That fire, that hunger, and that burn.”

Martin is one of several newcomers to join the roster, joining center JC Tretter, guard Kevin Zeitler and wide receivers Kenny Britt and James Wright, who was picked up Tuesday.

Martin, a third-round pick from USC who played with Browns quarterback Cody Kessler and tight end Randall Telfer, spent the previous three seasons in San Francisco.

Playing for three different coaching staffs, MArtin started 24 games in that span — including 14 in 2015 — but saw his playing time decrease before he was placed on injured reserve last year.

“The 49ers are a great organization they did a lot for me, I’m very thankful for the opportunity they provided. What I earned over the years was learn how to deal with hardship,” Martin said.

“I learned how to deal with adversity, I learned how to deal with adaptation and learning to evolve because that's something that's serious … you're going to be put in different situations in your life that maybe you didn’t expect to be in, but you have to optimize and make the most out of it.”

Martin, who enters a room that includes Zeitler, Tretter, veteran Joe Thomas and Joel Bitonio (who received a five-year extension last week), spoke of a “championship attitude” inside the team’s building.

“You can see everybody is ready to turn this thing around. Wherever it was going, they’re ready to turn it around and start heading in the right direction,” he said.

“You can see it just from the improvements that you've made with everything going on right now, you see it … everybody that I’ve talked to has reiterated that. ‘We want to win championships.’ That's what we're here for, we're here to grind.”

It’s an approach that starts with Jackson.

“He came from an area similar to mine. And when you come from those type of environments,” Martin said, “it’s either gonna make you or break you and it’s obviously made coach Jackson.”

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