Staley: “I do not think of Clay Matthews when I look in the mirror.”

SANTA CLARA – The last time Joe Staley faced Clay Matthews, Staley gave up three sacks and got his nose broken. Staley will face Matthews again Saturday night. Staley spoke about Matthews Monday in the 49ers media tent, and here’s what Staley said. Q: When you found out you were playing the Packers, what was the first thing that came to your mind? STALEY: Excited. Excited for the opportunity to…

January 7, 2013

LaMichael James heaps praise on the 49ers offensive line and Chip Kelly

SANTA CLARA – LaMichael James spoke at his locker Friday afternoon about the 49ers offensive line and his college coach, Chip Kelly. Here’s what James said. Q: What’s it like running behind the 49ers’ offensive line. JAMES: A lot of holes. I really feed off of them. I think they believe in me. During the game they keep me motivated. Q: What’s it like running behind Joe Staley in particular?…

January 4, 2013

Why the 49ers-Cardinals game matters

There are two reasons why this game against the Arizona Cardinals matters deeply to the 49ers. First, there are playoff implications. If the 49ers win, they’ll be 11-4-1. They’ll get the No.2 seed and a first-round Bye if the Packers lose to the Vikings. If the Packers beat the Vikings, the 49ers get the No.3 seed and they would not get a Bye. They would play the No.6 seed at…

December 29, 2012

Staley on the Seahawks: “Their defensive front is the fastest in the NFL, especially those two guys on the edge.”

SANTA CLARA – Joe Staley spoke at his locker Friday afternoon. Here’s what he said. Q: The Seahawks have the third ranked defense in the league. What makes them so good? STALEY: Very, very fast. Their defensive front is the fastest in the NFL, especially those two guys on the edge (Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin). They want to get you in third-and-long situations, so we have to do a…

December 21, 2012

49ers Week 15 grades: Offense

FOXBORO, Ma. – The 49ers beat the Patriots 41-34 and clinched a playoff berth. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Offensive line: B+. They gave up just one sack – Rob Ninkovich beat Joe Staley. Other than that, the offensive line gave Kaepernick a ton of time to throw all game. They also created huge holes in the running game in the first half when the 49ers averaged…

December 16, 2012

Dolphins-49ers matchups: Part I – Cameron Wake vs. Joe Staley

The 49ers play the Dolphins Sunday at Candlestick.  In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups. DE Cameron Wake vs. LT Joe Staley According Pro Football Focus, Wake is the No.1 rated pass rushing 4-3 defensive end in the NFL this season, and Staley is the No.17 rated pass blocking tackle. Staley is the best run blocking tackle in the NFL, but Wake is a terrific run stopper, too….

December 8, 2012

Staley: “We don’t have time to worry about favorites. Kaepernick is our guy and we support him 100 percent.”

SANTA CLARA – Joe Staley spoke in the 49ers locker room Wednesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Colin Kaepernick. Q: Jim Harbaugh said this afternoon Colin Kaepernick has earned the right to play this Sunday. Do you expect this to be a week-to-week thing? STALEY: No. Kaepernick is our starter and we support him 100 percent. All that other stuff, I think it’s moot. We’re all worried about doing…

December 5, 2012

Schefter: Staley upset over Alex Smith’s benching

This is what Adam Schefter just said on Sportscenter. SCHEFTER: “It’s not just 49ers fans fans who have gotten emotional about the decision to bench Alex Smith and start Colin Kaepernick. “It turns out that offensive tackle Joe Staley has as well. One day during practice last week when 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh noticed Staley seemed down, he pulled him aside, and the two had a discussion about it….

December 2, 2012

Bears-49ers matchups: Part III – Julius Peppers vs. Joe Staley and Anthony Davis

The 49ers play the Bears Monday night at Candlestick.  In the meantime, I’ll break down five key matchups. DE Julius Peppers vs. OT Joe Staley and OT Anthony Davis Peppers had a terrific game against the Texans last week, recording 1 sack, 1 QB hit and 2 hurries. Peppers is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He rushes from both the right and left defensive end positions….

November 18, 2012

Staley explains the final concussion contact test

SANTA CLARA – Joe Staley had a concussion a few weeks ago. He spoke the media tent Saturday afternoon and explained the final contact test which determines if a concussed player can play, and which Alex Smith will have to take before the Bears game. MM: What’s the final step before coming back from a concussion? STALEY: The final step is a contact test. That can occur basically any time…

November 17, 2012

Midterm report card: Anthony Davis

In the past, Anthony Davis needed help from tight end Vernon Davis in pass protection. This season, Anthony Davis is the best pass blocking offensive lineman on the 49ers. Now it’s Joe Staley who’s getting occasional blocking help from Vernon. Anthony Davis mostly is holding his own. He gave up three sacks against the New York Giants in Week 6, but he hasn’t given up a sack in the other…

November 4, 2012

49ers midseason awards: Offensive honorable mention – Joe Staley

The 49ers are halfway through their season. Today, I’ll give midseason awards for the best offensive and defensive players. Best offensive player: Honorable mention – LT Joe Staley. The strength of the 49ers offense this season is their offensive line, and Staley is the best run-blocking tackle in the NFL by far. He’s cleared the way for two of Frank Gore’s four touchdown runs. Staley struggled in pass protection early…

October 31, 2012

Joe Staley says Alex Smith is feeling pretty good about himself

SANTA CLARA – Joe Staley spoke at his locker Tuesday afternoon. Here’s what he said about Alex Smith. Q: Did you see your coach’s “gobble, gobble, turkey” quote about criticism directed toward Alex Smith? STALEY: I did. Q: Has he ever used that language with you guys? STALEY: Never. Q: Do you know what it meant? STALEY: Just a lot of talk. Gobble, gobble. That’s never been an issue in…

October 30, 2012

Pro Football Focus ranks 49ers

I’m passing along Pro Football Focus’ player rankings for the 49ers because I think you’ll find them fascinating. If you want to know how PFF grades players, you can read that here. If you want to see the grades, you have to purchase their premium stats. According to Pro Football Focus, Joe Staley currently ranks as the best run-blocking tackle in the NFL by far. Alex Boone and Mike Iupati…

October 22, 2012

Harbaugh on the Seahawks: “It will be a real football fight Thursday night.”

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Jim Harbaugh said Monday afternoon about the 49ers upcoming Thursday night game against the Seattle Seahawks. Q: What kind of challenges are there for you guys on the short turnaround? HARBAUGH: What they are is a short week for both teams. We’ve just got to go. We’ve got to go right away starting today. Q: Does that give you enough to time for Joe Staley…

October 15, 2012

Week 6 grades: Offense

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers just lost 26-3 to the New York Giants. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ offense. Quarterbacks: F. This was Alex Smith’s worst game under Jim Harbaugh. Smith threw three picks – the most he’s thrown since 2007. In the first half he missed a handful of open receivers. Then he tried to force a few passes and got picked off. At the end of…

October 14, 2012

Why the Giants defense can be susceptible to runs on third downs

Yesterday I broke down a couple of 49ers offensive line matchups with the Giants defensive front. I want to point out something. The matchups will not always be as simple as Joe Staley vs. Jason Pierre Paul and Anthony Davis vs. Justin Tuck. If you noticed against the Browns last Sunday, the Giants tried a variety of defensive linemen over all of the Browns’ offensive linemen looking for a soft…

October 12, 2012

49ers-Giants matchups: Part VI – Staley vs. Pierre-Paul and Umenyiora

The 49ers play the Giants on Sunday at Candlestick. In the meantime, I’ll break down a couple of key matchups per day. LT Joe Staley vs. DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Osi Umenyiora Staley did not play well against the Giants last Season. Week 10, he gave up 1 sack, 1 QB hit and 3 QB hurries to Pierre-Paul and Umenyiora. That was the worst game of the season for…

October 11, 2012

Roman on Alex Smith: “He’s just gotten better incrementally in everything we ask him to do.”

Greg Roman’s Thursday press conference transcript, courtesy of the 49ers.   Opening Statement: “Good afternoon. Didn’t take our players long watching the film of cleaning up the Detroit game, moving on to Minnesota and seeing that these guys are a very, very good defense. They’re well coached. They’ve got a diverse scheme. They’ve got [Vikings DE] Jared Allen, who some regard as the best pass rusher in the National Football…

September 21, 2012

Lions-49ers matchups: Part II

The 49ers play the Detroit Lions Sunday night at Candlestick Park. In the meantime, I’ll break down one key matchup per day. Alex Smith vs. the Lions’ secondary: CB Drayton Florence, CB Chris Houston, CB Jacob Lacey and FS John Wendling. The key for Alex Smith is to avoid obvious passing downs, like third and 9, because the Lions can put a ton of heat on him with only four…

September 13, 2012