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Joe Staley, Isaac Sopoaga Receptions (VIDEO): Fat Guys In Little Coats

The 49ers did not get a "pretty" victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, but there were still some fun highlight-worthy plays. Joe Staley and Isaac Sopoaga each managed to make a solid catch that picked up a first down for the 49ers. Staley made a great catch and run for 17 yards that got the 49ers down to the Browns 31. Sopoaga made a nice catch and run of his own for 18 yards on a key 3rd and 4 in the fourth quarter.

Both play calls were perfectly executed. After the game, both Coach Harbaugh and Alex Smith discussed how Greg Roman had seen something in watching film of the Browns. Both plays involved some misdirection to the right and the big men getting up left. Staley lined up at the tight end position at the end of the line, while Sopoaga lined up in the offset fullback position to the right of Smith before running left. My only guess is that Roman saw the Browns over-pursuing on play action and leaving tight ends and fullbacks uncovered. Pretty simply.

Head after the jump to view video of the two catches. I've also included some comments from both players. We've got a gif of Staley's first down celebration over SB Nation Bay Area.

Joe Staley Reception

T Joe Staley
Post-Game Quotes - October 30, 2011
San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns 

What did you think when they called the play [his 17-yard reception in the first quarter]?

"I was kind of nervous. I haven't touched the football since we ran a tackle-eligible play when I was a senior in college. I got minus-6 yards on the play. I certainly didn't want that to happen. That was the last time I caught a football in a game. I just wanted to make sure I caught it and once I caught it, don't fumble and whatever happens, happens. I really wanted to hit somebody really hard. I wanted to chuck somebody. And I really wanted to do a dance. So I was happy I was able to do everything."

What was the best part: the catch, the run or the celebration?

"The whole thing is something I'll never forget. It was something that was very memorable and that it happened in a game that we won was very exciting." 

Did you know they were definitely going to do it? Was that in the script?

"We were all pretty confident that it was going to be called." 

You guys had just gained 50 yards rushing on the previous two plays. Does that set it [Staley's reception] up?

"That's one of the things our coaching staff does a great job on. They just don't call plays. They call plays that have a high percentage of being very successful. In the first half, our running game was working really well. That's a tribute to everyone blocking, but also to the coaching staff who put us in a really good position. Everybody feels really involved with everything. [T Alex] Boone wasn't a starting tackle, but he had a ton of plays today. Everybody feels really involved with the offense and it keeps everybody excited."

Isaac Sopoaga Reception

DT Isaac Sopoaga
Post-Game Quotes - October 30, 2011
San Francisco 49ers vs. Cleveland Browns

Were you ever known for having good hands?

"To myself, yes. For the whole world and fans, surprise. Catching a rugby ball that's big is really hard and catching a football with my big hands was easy for me. I was anxious for it." 

How many times do you figure you practice that play [interception] in practice?

"In practice we run it twice a week. It was a good feeling to catch the ball in the game." 

When was the last time you caught a pass in any sort of game?

"It was in 1998, back in high school when I played football."


Fat Guy In A Little Coat