“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.”
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
“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.”