“I was like, ‘You have to make this happen,’ “ Staley recalled telling York during an appearance on the Mojobreak Media podcast last week. “ ‘Everything I’ve heard about from a player’s side, management side, he is the next big thing. He is an unbelievable coach, the way that he sees the game. You need to — whatever you can do — try to make this happen.’”
The conversation took place during the week of Super Bowl LI in Houston as York prepared to interview Shanahan for the job, though Staley couldn’t remember if it happened before or after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots. Shanahan ultimately got the 49ers job, of course, but he was coming into his first head-coaching gig after one of the worst losses in NFL history.
Along with the 49ers brass that hired him, Shanahan certainly had Staley’s full support.
“That’s why I was so behind Shanahan, because I saw the system, saw what he was trying to build, him and [49ers general manager] John [Lynch],” Staley said. “And it was the first time in my career, since probably before [Trent] Baalke and Harbaugh, that I felt a connect from the top level down — ownership, general manager, head coach, support staff — everything was on the same page, and I knew what they were going to build from that point on.”
“Now, though, the 34-year-old [Melvin] Ingram is little more than a rotational piece who can’t carry a lot of pass-rushing weight but still offers something to a team in need of supplementary help. “
“Walder’s comments come after fellow ESPN analyst Louis Riddick recently predicted the Seahawks to win the NFC West in 2023 over the 49ers, citing the team’s quarterback issues as well.”