49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

April 23, 2010
Mays says he feels betrayed by Pete Carroll

To say that Taylor Mays is motivated is like saying Mike Iupati is kinda big. Asked if he was entering the league with a chip on his shoulder, Mays said the following: "I've probably got the biggest chip on my shoulder out of anybody in the draft."

Some of that chip/resentment/motivation is fueled by his former USC coach and current Seahawks coach, Pete Carroll, who yesterday took a safety in the first round, Texas' Earl Thomas. Asked about that turn of events, there was a pregnant pause. "Um, it was interesting," Mays finally said. "I definitely thought from the relationship we had, the things that he had told me about what I needed to be aware of with the draft process and things that I needed to do, I felt he told me the complete opposite of the actions that he took, which was definitely - it was alarming. ... I understand it's a business. But with it being a business, he needs to be honest. And that's all I was asking for."

How exactly did Carroll lead him astray? "Just in terms of, I didn't have anything to worry about, that my game was ok, that my backpedaling was fine ... my tackling was fine. It was all things that I asked - what I needed to work on, what I needed to show. I was kind of led to think that I was going to be ok. You know, it is what it is and I'm so happy to be with the 49ers on a team that Ronnie Lott played on."

Mays also said he "couldn't be any happier right now." He grew up idolizing Lott, he gets to remain on the west coast and he had an excellent visit with Mike Singletary before the draft. "I'd rather fall and go to a team where I have a chance of having a better quality career than go earlier and doesn't have more of a chance to win," he said.

Asked if he was a complete safety or merely an in-the-box safety, Mays said: "Well, that's what we're going to find out over the next couple of months and years is whether I can play in the box or deep. I know what I can do, and I know what I'm capable of doing." The 49ers likely will start Mays out behind Michael Lewis, who mostly plays in the box. Lewis, who had three concussions last season, has a base salary of $4.1 million this year and $5.7 next year.

-- Matt Barrows

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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