Joe Staley wasn’t always sure the 49ers could come back from “dark years”

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The 49ers selected Joe Staley in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft, and he’s been with them ever since. That hasn’t always been a pleasant experience.

Staley has played for Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary, Jim Harbaugh, Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly and Kyle Shanahan and he had some good years — getting to the NFC Championship Game three straight years with Harbaugh — but also plenty of bad. As he prepares to play in the Super Bowl this year after going 6-10 and 4-12 the last two years, he admits that he wasn’t always sure he’d be back on the game’s biggest stage.

“I’d be lying to you if I said, ‘No, I always believed,'” Staley said, via ESPN. “But there were some dark years here in the franchise.”

Staley added, however, that he always believed 49ers General Manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan had a solid plan in place.

“Everything they’ve been telling me since the day they got here has been true. Haven’t lied to me or any of the players that have been in here. They’ve had a vision from Day 1,” Staley said.

That vision has the 49ers right where they want to be, in a place Staley wasn’t sure he’d ever see again.

27 responses to “Joe Staley wasn’t always sure the 49ers could come back from “dark years”

  1. The dark years only end if they win. Just like losing to the Ravens in 2013, the team can easily change after a Super Bowl loss and never get back. Their division will be highly competitive for many years. There are no guarantees. the 49ers need to win.

  2. Mike Singletary was one of the worst coaches. Jed York said that the 9ers were good enough to make the playoffs in 2010 before the season, and Singletary couldn’t get the job done. He was fired after Frisco missed the playoffs with a 5-10 record (Tomsula took over and won the last game that season as interim HC). Jim Harbaugh came in and took basically the same team and guided them to the best record in the NFC and the NFC Championship game the next season. Coaching does make a difference.

  3. Get a lousy record. Draft at the top for years. Finally hit it right. Get a bit of luck.
    Leverage rookie deals. This isn’t rocket science. It’s not magic. You have a couple years till everyone wants to get paid. Then it’s a different scramble.

  4. bullcharger says:
    January 22, 2020 at 9:00 am
    The dark years only end if they win. Just like losing to the Ravens in 2013, the team can easily change after a Super Bowl loss and never get back. Their division will be highly competitive for many years. There are no guarantees. the 49ers need to win.
    —-#
    Um. No. The dark years ended this season as soon as they became contenders. Your definition of dark years seems to be any team that doesn’t win the superbowl is experiencing a dark year. This season the 49ers have had has been a very successful season by just about every measurement and they don’t need to win a superbowl to validate it. The Ravens had a great and exciting season, New Orleans had a very good season the Vikings and Chiefs did also. An example of a team experiencing dark years? The Bengals, The Redskins, the Jets, the Giants…teams that didn’t give their fans any hope or reason to be excited all season.

  5. NFL (Niners Football League) says:
    January 22, 2020 at 9:01 am
    They need to win this one for him. He’s spent his entire career with the organization on alot of bad teams. He deserves it.

    *********************************************************************************

    Tell that to Joe Thomas.

  6. Blame the York’s for those bad seasons and all the ones since taking the franchise from Eddie D.
    Appears they finally got it right.

  7. It’s not about drafting at the top. They hit with Bosa but they missed with Solomon Thomas. It’s about getting value in the middle and late rounds e.g. George Kittle and Dre Greenlaw. The 49ers also have multiple guys who went undrafted and contribute, like Mosely and Mostert. That’s the thing about the 49ers that has gone missed by the sports media world (for the most part). Imbeciles like Booger McFarland want to talk about the first round picks on the D Line, but a lot of the key pieces were the result of great scouting and development.

  8. Agree … he’s a top notch player that deserves winning. That being said, 49er fans suffered for 5-6-7 years with 4-5 win seasons to get to this point. Win this next game and it will probably be worth it. Lose and it won’t. A lot went right this year and nothing guaranteed next year. Players want to get paid, injuries at key spots, other teams getting better, bad breaks, etc. The window starts closing as soon as the game is over. May the better team win.

  9. It’s too bad that Frank Gore can’t enjoy this ride with Staley.. He deserves it more then anybody. He was such a loyal soldier and teammate. Maybe he can retire with the Niners next year and if we are desperate at RB help anytime late in the season he can pull a Marshawn Lynch and join us late in season to make one final run for a Super Bowl.

  10. This is why whoever was responsible for getting rid of Harbaugh were idiots. The dark years go back further than 2007. He had such respect from his players, that when he was let go, multiple mainstays of the Franchise retired unexpectedly.

  11. redlikethepig says: Get a lousy record. Draft at the top for years..

    Yeah, it’s real easy….the very best talent evaluators might get the draft right 50% of the time. It’s not just a matter of picking high in the draft…no guarantees.

  12. the 49ers with Shanahan, Lynch and Jimmy G have the ability to do this for a longggg time. the similarities between the start to the Patriots dynasty is overwhelming. Pair that with how the similarities are with the early Shanahan years and Walsh years in SF and it is very eye opening.

  13. redlikethepig says: 1-22-2020-9:12am
    “Get a lousy record. Draft at the top for years. Finally hit it right. Get a bit of luck. Leverage rookie deals. This isn’t rocket science. It’s not magic. You have a couple years till everyone wants to get paid. Then it’s a different scramble.”

    ============

    You forgot about the hardest part: hiring the right people who can coach and draft.

  14. The dark days don’t end unless you win, and if you lose those dark days get even darker especially if you can’t get back there…Isn’t that right Atlanta?

  15. horsepedlr says:

    January 22, 2020 at 11:11 am

    bright side is they play the cards twice a season.

    ——————————————————————

    I get it that you don’t actually know much about the 49ers but prior to this season the Cardinals had won 8 straight against them. The Cardinals will be a tough out with Kyler Murray, there are no cupcakes in the NFC West now. No Browns, Bengals, Lions, Dolphins, etc.

  16. redlikethepig says:
    January 22, 2020 at 9:12 am
    Get a lousy record. Draft at the top for years. Finally hit it right. Get a bit of luck.
    Leverage rookie deals. This isn’t rocket science. It’s not magic. You have a couple years till everyone wants to get paid. Then it’s a different scramble.
    ————————————————–

    You make it sound so easy but that didn’t work for:

    Browns
    Redskins
    Bengals
    Jets
    Dolphins

    And on the other side of the coin, because the Patriots have done so well, they draft low every year….and they’ve dominated the NFL for 20 years.

  17. “collectordude says:
    January 22, 2020 at 9:25 am
    Blame the York’s for those bad seasons and all the ones since taking the franchise from Eddie D.”

    No argument that they’ve presided over some terrible teams, but they didn’t “take” anything from Eddie. He did that to himself when he decided to get into a bribery scheme. All Denise and John did was keep the team from being sold outside of the family and possibly moved out of the Bay Area.

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