Living between Sacramento and San Francisco, I've seen different angles while watching the Kentwan Balmer situation unfold. A couple weeks ago I was listening to the radio, and heard a Balmer interview about his role last season. He was asked if he thought he should have played more, and he seemed pretty frustrated as he answered the question, but his answer was that he was definitely ready, and to look at the tape of him in preseason, it speaks for itself.
As his motivations have been questioned on both sides of the trade, I've been wanting to bring this up, but could not find anything about it in the explosion of news following his absence, and then trade to the Seahawks. Well, I finally found it.
But he said he is ready to make an impact. In fact, Balmer indicated that he has been ready for a while.
Asked if he was ready for a bigger role before getting hurt last season, Balmer smiled wide and began to stall. He asked to hear the question again and again, then pleaded with teammate Ricky Jean Francois to help him craft a diplomatic response.
Balmer would start to answer, then change his mind and start over. "You can't ask me stuff like that. My blood pressure goes up," he cracked.
Finally, he offered this:
"Honestly. Honestly. I have to be truthful. I just felt like "... God! I felt like I was ready. I mean, I felt like I had a good preseason. But it isn't up to me who gets an opportunity, you know what I'm saying? I felt like I was ready, but obviously that wasn't the case. You turn on the preseason film, and you make your own judgment."
This seems to be just about the exact quote I heard, but there was obvious frustration in his voice, and without calling out his coaches by name, he pretty much still called them out.
Now, the whole NCAA investigation thing looks like a mess, and the Ellison vicodin investigation also looks like a mess, but his actual beef with SF seems to be their keeping him off the field, when he felt he had worked hard enough and was ready to play. I have no insight on whether he was polished enough to play, just this on his attitude about the whole thing.