Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Joe Staley says ‘it’s time to win,’ discusses having Jimmy Garoppolo back from injury

Jul 26, 2019 at 3:35 PM--

San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley has played through a lot of tough years. A lot. No, Joe, that wasn't a knock on your age. I am, after all, older than you. It's just a reminder of how long the 49ers have been bad. Staley is ready for that to change.

The dependable anchor along the offensive line will retire with the 49ers having never spent any time with another NFL team. He signed a two-year extension in June and is under contract through the 2021 season.

Staley is tired of losing. It's time to win. Now.

The 13-year veteran spoke with reporters on Friday as the 49ers kick off training camp. Their first practice is on Saturday. He discussed his expectations for the team heading into the new season.

Staley understood that there would be some growing pains after a new general manager and head coach, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan, came in. He thought things really came together last year. Injuries, of course, derailed the season.

"It's time to win," Staley said. "I think it's been spoken by a lot of players this offseason. Expectations are really high. I think everybody stands up here on day one of training camp and says our expectations are to win the Super Bowl and all that stuff. That's all just people saying that day one. Everybody expects, as a competitor, to win.

"What it's going to take is having great practices, developing that mindset in the locker room, developing that expectation as a team that anything but winning this season, especially, is unacceptable."

Staley notes that health will play a big part in the team's success this season.

"It's easy to kind of gloss over that," Staley said. "I mean, you've just got to stay healthy. I think that's one of the reasons for the last couple of years that we haven't been able to have sustained success is because we haven't been able to stay healthy.

"Some of that is luck, and some of that is just training the right way. I think we have a good strength staff; we have a good training staff. I think everybody feels good."

One of the more impactful injuries from last season was Jimmy Garoppolo going down in Week 3 with a torn ACL. For the first time since the injury, the quarterback has been cleared to be a full participant in practices.

"I think guys are just excited to have him back out there and run team reps with him, and all that stuff," Staley explained.

Added Staley, "Jimmy's done everything that we've asked him to do since he's come here. He's an incredibly hard worker. He's a great leader for the football team. He understands the offense like the back of his hand. He does all the stuff that you ask out of a quarterback. He just hasn't been on the field […] The thing for him is to just be out there on the field.

"He's put in a ton of work this offseason. We all saw the work that he did behind the scenes, and all that stuff, as far as preparing himself for this season. I think, knowing him and the personality that he has, that he's ready to take on that challenge."

Being a father myself, I can appreciate this next portion.

Staley's daughter sent dad off to the first day of school — I mean, training camp — with a gift. The 49ers posted a photo on their social media accounts of a family picture she drew for her dad.


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