SANTA CLARA -- Tackle Jonathan Martin did not want to reveal any secrets, but he will play a prominent role for the 49ers in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’ll do whatever the team asks me for this coming game,” Martin said. “I’m just excited to play a football game.”
Right tackle Anthony Davis missed the entire offseason program, most of training camp and each of the exhibition games after undergoing shoulder surgery. He has not practiced this week due to a hamstring strain.
Martin has started all 23 games in which he appeared for the Miami Dolphins the past two seasons before leaving the team in October amid a bullying scandal.
It’s a good thing for the 49ers that Martin improved dramatically from the opening of training camp through the four exhibition games.
“Your perspective is exactly right,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “He did. Jonathan is a guy that I had the opportunity to work with at Stanford. Really, really glad to have him on the team, but I’m ready to roll with anybody we put out there.”
Martin got pushed around during the early weeks of training camp, as it did not appear he had regained his strength from a bout of mononucleosis that sidelined him for three weeks in the offseason.
“Getting stronger, yeah, definitely,” Roman said. “Especially coming off the mono in the spring. I think he’s definitely made strides there. He lost a bunch of weight and a lot of the gains he had put together, he had to start back at square one once he got over that little illness.”
The Cowboys do not have an imposing defense, but they will create some problems for the 49ers’ offensive line. Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli employed some unique defensive twists.
“Their defensive line does something we call ‘pirate stunts,’ which is three different guys moving in sync,” 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. “And that creates some trouble for some offensive lines. So that’s something we’re focused on.”
The Cowboys also like to move their defensive linemen around. So Martin is preparing to face Jeremy Mincey, George Selvie and Tyrone Crawford throughout the course of Sunday’s game. Selvie had seven sacks last season, the most for a returning Cowboys player.
“They’re a talented front,” Martin said. “It’s going to be a loud environment. They move around. You have to prepare and study film for all three guys and what they’re going to give you.”