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

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

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.”

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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.

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