I’ve been faced with one question from a lot of people; it’s one that I’ve heard guys get hit with a lot when they become a free agent and switch teams. Why? Why are you going to them? In my case—why the 49ers?
When it comes down to it, I decided to sign with the 49ers because they made it clear that they wanted me. Within minutes of the news hitting the wire John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan reached out. That show of respect carried a lot of weight with me. They made it clear that I was of value to them.
Am I worried or concerned about the drama or anything from the rivalry and trash talk? Not at all. At the end of the day, I know it’s a business and I look forward to helping this team win games. I’ve been a part of a lot of winning football teams and I know what it takes.
I felt good about what I saw in the 49ers and their chances of winning. Kyle Shanahan is one of the most innovative offensive minds in the game today. He gave us all kinds of trouble in Seattle. I understand what Robert Saleh (defensive coordinator) likes to do. I understand his scheme, where I fit into it, and I feel like I know it like the back of my hand.
With the way they closed out the season last year, with those five wins-- it was impressive, to say the least. Jimmy Garoppolo is a tremendous asset and I look forward to seeing him and the other young guys take a big step forward this coming season.
How do I know this team is ready to win? How can I be so sure? Easy, because of the very thing—or people – that brought me here. John and Kyle brought some much-needed stability to this team and organization. Thanks to them, the players believe they can win. They have faith in their ability to do so and they believe in their coaches and staff.
As for myself, I look forward to the challenge of growing with another group of young men. The 49ers have a lot of young guys in their secondary and I look forward to doing what I can to help them improve, on and off the field. If they want to stay after and go over stuff, that’s fine. If they want to go over film and talk over things, I’m cool with that, too.I’ve always felt that one of my better qualities as a player is my ability to lead. I have no problem taking young guys under my wing and helping them learn.
I’m a team guy. I’m going to do what I can to help the team win—which I will be able to do on the field sooner rather than later. Rehab from my achilles injury is going well. Took care of a bone spur on my left heel as well. Been meaning to for years but finally did. It will not be an issue either. I expect to be getting on the field in May or June and I’ll be good to go come training camp.
I can’t wait to play, too. When you get older in this league and go down with an injury like I did, everyone is quick to say, “You’re done!” or You’ll never be the same again!” To them I say this:
I am done being the guy I was and I will never be the same as I was again—I’m going to be better. You’ll see once the season starts.
I have a lot of things to show people and look forward to finally doing so. In the process, I aim to help this team win some games and climb back to the top of the NFL.