49ers tackle Staley calls offensive line “physical weapon”

January 30, 2013 | WNST Staff

TACKLE JOE STALEY

(on Head Coach Jim Harbaugh saying the offensive line should be considered a weapon) “I think we are a physical weapon, a blunt-force object. It’s one of our strengths, all five of us, and we’re playing at a pretty high level this year. We take a lot of pride in what we do, so I feel honored that he’d call the ‘big uglies’ up front a weapon.”

 

(on the amount of credit the offensive line should get for helping the team transition to Colin Kaepernick) “We don’t really care where the credit goes. We just want to win football games. I think that this whole entire team has really taken it in stride and is doing a great job of making it seamless, really buckling down, getting in the playbook and making sure everybody is on the same page.”

 

(on what Vernon Davis means to the 49ers) “A ton, he means a lot and he does a lot of stuff. Everybody sees his stats and his numbers. He had a huge game last week. His numbers were down towards the end of the year, but his contribution to the football team is huge. He does so much for us. We watch him in the run game when we watch film, he does a lot of different things. I was happy to see him get his opportunities last week because he has been working extremely hard and it’s been a great year for him.”

 

(on players from Central Michigan being able to adapt to new positions) “I think they recruit a lot of guys who are underdeveloped when they go to college because it’s a smaller school. I only had one scholarship offer, which was (from) Central (Michigan). I think (current Central Michigan tackle) Eric [Fisher], only had one or two (offers). J.J. Watt, I think he only had one scholarship offer initially out of high school.’ They convert them like they did with me and Eric. They tried to do it with J.J., but he left. He didn’t want to play offensive line.”

 

(on the other offensive linemen describing him as having a wild personality) “I don’t know. I’m just myself. I think we all are. We don’t try to force our personalities. The way we play football is the way we are in our life. I’m wild and I love having a good time. I play football the same way.”

 

(on crying after he was moved from tight end to offensive line at Central Michigan) “I was a freshman and you have no idea how much I just did not want to play offensive line. When I was freshman in college, I was the liability in the run game as the tight end. I was the guy you did not want to have out there blocking everybody. I was terrible. I hated blocking. I just wanted to go run downfield and catch passes. Then they (said), ‘You’re just going to block everybody for the rest of your life,’ and I (thought) ‘Awww, no.’ I (said) ‘Okay.’ I remember leaving. I got out of earshot of the coaches office and (started crying). Then I go over to my ex-girlfriend’s dorm. I show up and I have tears in my eyes. She said, ‘What happened?’ I (said), ‘They’re putting me at offensive line, I want to leave (crying).’”

 

(on how he found a love for blocking) “It came about slowly. I really enjoyed the camaraderie and the team within the team of the offensive line when I first started playing – that whole concept of working together with and being accountable for those five guys, and just the work. I always had a really strong work ethic. That comes from my parents and my high school coach. I always just really enjoyed working and I was really challenged by our strength coach to get big and do it the right way. I gained about 20 pounds a year (in college). My first year (stunk). I was probably the most miserable offensive tackle in the history of football.”

 

(on how his hands were in college) “They were really good when I was in high school, but when I got to college they kind of (stunk). I fumbled three times my freshman year. I dropped one pass against Central Florida that went for an interception. To say I was average was a (heck) of a rating for myself.”

 

(on whether there are a lot of fun personalities on the 49ers offensive line) “There are. I think we fit well together. We enjoy each other. (With) the amount of time we spend together, it would be torturous if we all hated each other. So we’re really fortunate that we all get along. It’s like a group of brothers, basically. We get along for the most part (and) there are squabbles and fights every once in a while, but Goody (Jonathan Goodwin), he’s the father figure in there and he sets us in line. Goody is like the old dad. He’s just old and he’s ‘dadly.’ He’s the mature, has his (stuff) together kind of guy. Then we have AD (Anthony Davis). I’d describe him as the quiet assassin. He’s a quiet, kind of keeps to himself kind of dude, but you put down that tape and he’s really physical. Mike (Iupati) is just goofy. He loves to have fun. He’s like a big kid, the biggest kid you’ll ever see. (Alex) Boone, he wishes he was on this riser. He loves the spotlight and I do as well.”

 

(on the difference between blocking for Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith) “We don’t really think about that way, to be completely honest. The quarterback still requires a clean pocket and it’s our job to do that for them. It’s the same as the difference between Frank Gore and LaMichael James. You don’t think of it as players and this is what they need. You think about it as what the play-call calls for, how can we best do our job and try to create lanes for them.”

 

(on the motivation from last year’s loss in the NFC Championship game) “It was something we talked about. We noticed all the talent that we had on the football team. It was motivating for us going into the season to not waste the opportunity because we essentially came back with the same team that we had last year. We knew that these opportunities don’t come very often, so (we knew we had) to take advantage of the opportunity. Once the season started, we realized it was a new season and you plant your own motivation throughout the season. It was something we talked about during the offseason, but as the season played out, we had new challenges to overcome and new games to win.”

 

(on what the team learned from their game against 6-16 loss at Baltimore last Thanksgiving) “Last year was last year. They’re a different football team than they were last year and we’re a different football team than we were. We had a short week. It was a lot of things. I think going in, we’re familiar with the personnel they have now. It was the first time a lot of us had gone against them. We have a better idea of what to expect.”

 

(on what his ranking was coming out of high school) “I was a two-star (recruit). The sad thing was on one site I was actually ranked, but I was the absolute last-ranked tight end. They didn’t even get to look at me, so I could have said, ‘Yeah, they just didn’t get to look at me, so I would have been ranked higher.’ I was ranked and I was the worst.”

 

(on his ‘fun-loving’ personality) “I have no personality (joking). I hate ‘fun and loving.’ I think it comes from my dad and my mom, too. I grew up in a household that never stopped laughing, so I had two great examples.”

 

(on whether the 3-26 loss against the Giants this season helped the offense grow) “That was part of the game where we performed the worst as a football team, especially on offense. We just weren’t on in that game. I think it was a learning experience. We moved forward. It was still early in the season. We were still kind of trying to get an identity as an offense of who we were. It was a game that we kind of put to bed really quickly. It seems like a long time ago. I don’t really remember exactly where we moved on from them. Throughout the whole season, we’ve learned a whole lot from out wins and losses and have done a good job of trying to work to this moment and peak. At this moment, I think we’re doing that.”

 

(on Alex Boone) “He’s been here the second-longest as far as offensive linemen, it’s just his first year starting. We’ve been very comfortable with Alex. We saw the progress he made from when he was a rookie to now and he’s done a terrific job of improving year after year in becoming the player he is right now.”

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