Mario Manningham was a Super Bowl hero for the New York Giants this past season thanks to his over-the-shoulder 38-yard catch between two defenders in which he managed to stay inbounds late in the 4th quarter against the Patriots. That catch keyed the winning 88-yard drive for the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. The tables have been turned quickly during the free agency period as Manningham signed a two-year deal with the team he helped deny of a Super Bowl opportunity. He joins a wide receiving core of Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn Jr. and Randy Moss. No.82 believes the 49ers are a team on the rise with a quarterback that is capable of bringing the team to the Super Bowl.
Mario Manningham joined 95.7 The Game in San Francisco with The Rise Guys to discuss the reason he signed with the San Francisco 49ers, the idea of knowing Peyton Manning was a possibility for the 49ers, his mindset going into free agency, wanting to play for Jim Harbaugh and wanting to play with Alex Smith.
What makes the 49ers a good fit for you?
“I just wanted to come in and make a good impact. I’m really starting to get back to where I was at last game. That’s all. I see the potential in this team and I see the coaching staff is a great coaching staff and it seems like all of the players care about each other and when they get out there on that field everybody means business.”
Did you know when you agreed to a contract with the 49ers that Peyton Manning was a possibility?
“Yeah I did. [Host: Did that have any influence on your decision?] No. No. Not really. Anybody would want him: Peyton Manning healthy, but Alex Smith? I feel like he is a good quarterback and I feel like he can get it done. He showed that last year. They was just a play away from…us was just a play away from going to the Super Bowl last year.”
Was it tough to leave the Giants after winning a Super Bowl or did you know going into free agency there were no guarantee that you would be back?
“I was preparing myself to come back, but I knew in the back of my mind it was a possibility of me not coming back. I was prepared for this step.”
What did Jim Harbaugh say your place in the 49ers system would be?
“Oh just come in and make plays. You have a coach like that he’s pretty laid back as long as you come to work every day. He has no problem with you being laid back and jumping around. You’ve seen him coach a couple of games man. He is joking around in his players’ face like that’s the kind of coach you want to play for. If you want to play for a coach and be in this advantage that you are in, so he knows the ups and the downs of everything.”
What about playing for a quarterback like Alex Smith? Did you want to play for a quarterback like him?
“Yeah I did. Yeah I did. Like I said I am glad we have him. I’m not talking against no one. Evidently he’s in this position he is in for a reason. Like I said I feel like he can get it done. I am going to make it the best I can for him to get it done. That’s why I am here.”