Offensive tackle Joe Staley spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, in which he was a six-time Pro Bowler and named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team. With that kind of pedigree, he seemed like an ideal candidate to become a coach with the Niners following his retirement a few months ago.
And indeed, Staley was spotted at a bunch of recent San Francisco preseason practices. However, his presence there had less to do with becoming an assistant on the coaching staff and more to do with his new role as an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area on “49ers Pregame Live” and “49ers Postgame Live” before and after regular-season games this season.
— NBC Sports Bay Area & CA (@NBCSAuthentic) August 26, 2021
Staley recently said that it only took a short while away from the game for him to realize that he needed to get involved again ASAP.
“I thought I was going to be in the background forever,” Staley said on 49ers Talk. “And then I spent one season away from football and realized I really like football. Maybe I really enjoyed that thing that I spent the last 20 years of my life competing and spending every free moment of my time doing and thinking about.
“That one year was fun but I was driving my wife, my kids, myself, nuts. And I just needed to be back around the game.”
Staley made his presence felt as a new member of the media immediately with a fun exchange between himself and former teammate George Kittles, who made headlines following Staley’s retirement with a heartfelt video.
Incredible interaction between Joe Staley and George Kittle pic.twitter.com/zWCj1My8xS
— KNBR (@KNBR) August 26, 2021
Staley also did a solid job ingratiating himself to his fellow media members with some sandwich delivery.
Joe Staley coming up big with 49ers media room sandwiches from La Villa Deli pic.twitter.com/mWUyXLFjDi
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) August 26, 2021
We’d be worried that Staley is peaking too soon in his new role but given the level of success he maintained over his 13-year playing career, he’s probably just getting started.