Through the trials and tribulations of the first five weeks of the 49ers 2018 season, one of the players you feel for the most is veteran tackle Joe Staley. For the younger members of the team, looking forward towards future seasons is always a bright spot in tough times, but for Staley, how much time does he really have left? He entered the offseason with a very positive outlook when the expectations were at their height, but who can blame him if all he wants is to win games now.
When asked about what it said about the team still being in the game to the end, Staley was pretty clear:
“I just want to win. I don’t care what it says about our football team right now. I just want to win football games. It’s kind of frustrating to come into the locker room and talk about what could have been. We just have to put it together and start doing what we need to do to win games.”
Some of the offensive struggles have been simply the health of the offensive line. Staley, along with Mike McGlinchey and Weston Richburg have all been nursing knee injuries. After the game, when asked if his knee held him back, Staley stated succinctly, “I was out there so I was expected to go 100%.”
Staley explained the frustration further:
“Yeah, 5 turnovers, we’ve got to hold onto the ball. That’s what we talk about it all the time. We did a terrible job on offense of tuning the ball over obviously. That’s what the frustration is and the frustration is a loss. You put so much work into the week and come in here and talk about what could have been. It’s not good.”
In the rest of his post game interview, Staley discussed the technical side of what happened to the offense and what he felt they could have done better. His frustration and need to win, however, was more telling. Staley is 34 years old and is under contract through the 2019 season after he signed restructured contract in April of this year. Bonding with his team BFF McGlinchey has kept him young at heart and enthusiastic, but hopefully another tough season doesn't change his perspective entirely and he still ends up playing out his contract.
Here is there rest of his interview:
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard didn’t get hit as much this week as last week, but he still got hit a few times. Is he still showing that toughness and leadership?
“Yeah, definitely. He’s back there trying to do what he’s got to do. We’ve got to give him more time. We had a play-action pass there in the 3rdquarter. We’ve got to anticipate the up-field rush there and not go as hard on the run. He wasn’t biting on it. We’ve got to do a better job. That’s what I can focus on.”
How much did losing San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida, impact things especially with the start that he got?
“We still moved the ball in the run game. The whole thing comes down to five turnovers. You’re not going to win in football. We were still able to move the ball. I thought [San Francisco 49ers RB] Alfred [Morris] did a great job moving the ball. But we’ve just got to not turn the ball over.”
When the difference is turnovers, is it harder for a team to adjust and correct that? You outplayed them in a lot of ways.
“We’ve got to continue to do what we’re doing. I had one play that affected the turnover differential. I gave up that sack-fumble. That’s what I’ve got to focus on. That’s what I can improve on, the play-action and being more aware of the situation and understanding that he’s not going to bite on the run-action. I’ve got to adjust my set and give C.J. more time to go downfield.”