San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh was interviewed for the Ted Wells report on conditions in the Miami Dolphins locker room as they pertained to offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who played for Harbaugh while at Stanford.
The full report can be read here.
The report was commissioned by the NFL after Martin left the Dolphins in November after what the report called a “pattern of harassment” among Miami’s offensive linemen.
Harbaugh and current Stanford coach David Shaw each said that Martin fit well into the locker room environment while playing for the Cardinal.
“(Harbaugh) told us that he had never doubted Martin’s tenacity, work ethic and dedication to the game and that he had never seen Martin exhibit problems with social adjustment,” the report said. “Coach Harbaugh told us he believed that Martin likely could continue to have a successful career in the NFL. It appears that Martin was up to the challenge of dealing with physical or verbal intimidation by opposing players during NFL games, but fell victim, at least in part, to persistent taunting from his own teammates.”
The report documents some ribbing in the Stanford locker room but that Martin, who dealt with bouts of mild depression as a collegian, felt comfortable there. Harbaugh also told Wells that he believes the 49ers locker room to be similar to the atmosphere at Stanford.
“Although initially quiet, he became a vocal leader on the team by his final year,” the report states. “Coach Harbaugh emphasized that he never doubted Martin’s physical or mental toughness and that he believes that Martin can continue to have a successful career in the NFL. Coach Harbaugh also said that the atmosphere in the Stanford locker room, in his view, was not materially different from that of the San Francisco 49ers’ locker room.”
The report was not kind to Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito, identified in the report as the ringleader for the abuse that was aimed at Martin, another young Dolphins lineman whom the report did not identify and a clubhouse assistant. Miami lineman John Jerry and Mike Pouncey were also named as harassing Martin, according to the report.
It’s possible, however, that no one looked worse in the Wells report than did offensive line coach Jim Turner. In the report, Turner denied knowledge of any insensitive language by the players he supervised and he said he couldn’t remember whether or not he bought a male blow-up doll for one of the linemen who was being repeatedly called homophobic slurs by his teammates.
Turner could be facing punishment from the league for his role in not stopping and, according to the report, participating in the alleged abuse.
So does that make Martin a fit with his former coach in San Francisco? Not exactly. For starters, Martin is still under contract with the Dolphins, who would have to release him or broker a trade. Secondly, the 49ers don’t have a burning need for an offensive tackle, with All-Pro Joe Staley and Anthony Davis holding down the starting spots.