SANTA CLARA – Joe Staley was the first offensive lineman to speak to reporters in the locker room today.
He was polite and patient and he answered every question in a low, subdued voice, but you could tell he was exploding on the inside. He said he had just watched the film of the Texan game and he was “disgusted” with the offensive line’s performance.
You could see disgust on his face. His stood the entire interview with his jaw clenched, talking through his teeth, bouncing his leg anxiously. At one point he pounded on his bouncing leg with a fist, creating a double-anxiety effect.
One reporter asked if he was familiar with Connor Barwin, the 256-pound outside linebacker who manhandled Staley on Saturday and on one play pushed him deep into the pocket before sacking Alex Smith.
The reporter asked Staley if he even knew who Barwin was before heading into the game. Staley had to pause and swallow before saying slowly, “No excuses.”
After Staley spoke, one reporter walked over to Adam Snyder and said, “Hey, Adam.”
Before the reporter could ask a question, Snyder said, “I have no comment. I have nothing to say.”
So kudos to Staley for talking. Here’s everything he said.
Q: Harbaugh said the protection issues were technique issues, any thoughts on that?
STALEY: That’s completely correct.
Q: How do you guys make that shift in a hurry before the opener?
STALEY: I’m going to work on this practice field today. Watched film this morning. Very disgusted with what we saw on the offensive line. Coach challenged us, he challenged us in the meetings to come out and have a really great week of practice and really great game. We’ve got to get going. The season is upon us and we’ve got to play a lot better than that.
Q: What happened on a couple of times when you got beat?
STALEY: No excuses. Just got beat. Got to play better.
Q: Did you do any film work Connor Barwin? Did you know him, how he played, going into that game?
STALEY: No excuses. I got beat, and I’m not going to give you any excuses. We were terrible. I’m going to sit here and give excuses.
Q: I’m not going to ask you about excuses. When it comes to understanding the scheme, are you guys where you need to be?
STALEY: We’re there. We’ve just got to play better. It’s nothing to do with schemes. We’ve just got to play better. All five guys, we need to play better.
Q: Harbaugh mentioned problems sliding protections. Did you see that?
STALEY: Just our fits and knowing where our inside help was and where our outside help was. Not tight, not tight at all. Not where we need it to be.
Q: What type of feedback are you getting from the quarterbacks?
STALEY: We’ve got to protect.
Q: Are they saying that vociferously?
STALEY: On the field you don’t know where the breakdown’s coming from – the offensive line or the running backs or whatever. But we know. We told Alex on the field that we’ve got to do our job.
Q: Will this fourth exhibition game be the dress rehearsal game for the team?
STALEY: I think for the offensive line we have to. We’ll see how it goes. It’s a short week – we have a game on Thursday. For me personally, and the offensive line, we need to come out and we need to play. We need to get that game off our back. I’m really eager to get on the practice field today. I’ve had a bad feeling all day.
Q: Missing those OTAs kind of catches up with you, not getting those reps, doesn’t it?
STALEY: No I don’t think it had anything to do with that, it’s just we didn’t play well.
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