Former 49ers all-decade left tackle Joe Staley announced his retirement over the weekend, but it sounds like he won’t disappear from sight for too long.
Staley not only will be missed by his 49ers teammates on the field, but also by fans and staff alike. His balance of humor and hard work is irreplaceable. Even former 49ers teammate Patrick Willis said some of his funniest memories of Staley are from the in-house production, “The Joe Show.”
Staley’s wisecracking nature was no different when he spoke to the media on Tuesday via video conference. He has lofty plans for his future, and already has relayed them to coach Kyle Shanahan.
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“Yeah, I mean, I'd love to be the head coach,” Staley joked on Tuesday. “If Kyle said any capacity, that's just where my mind is at right now. That's a joke so please don't print that.”
It will take a little time for retirement to really sink in for Staley, who was a starter for the 49ers for 13 seasons. He shared that he will likely take a year off to get healthy and enjoy life at home with his wife and two young daughters.
“I haven’t, right now, thought about what that capacity would be,” Staley said. “This is all still very, very fresh and my mind right now as it's going forward is to take some time and enjoy my family and get used to not being a football player anymore and moving on from that.”
No doubt, a personality like Staley’s will be in high demand on the media side of football, and he has already been approached about pursuing a future in front of the camera. He might, however, prefer to be on the field with players, still contributing to the production of the team, as he always has.
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“I still have a huge love for the game of football obviously and I think I can definitely serve in some capacity because I have a lot of knowledge and I feel like I'm a pretty good teacher," Staley said.
“I would love to get into coaching possibly down the road, but if not that, maybe some kind of consulting maybe. I definitely won't be a stranger around here or nothing like that.”
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Staley shared that he already has been in preliminary talks with the 49ers about being involved with the team in some capacity, but nothing specific. Shanahan, without relinquishing his head coaching duties, would love to have the veteran left tackle at the facility.
“When you have a guy like Joe, with how good he was, his personality, how everyone likes to have him around, I know us as a coaching staff, we'll have Joe anywhere he wants to be,” Shanahan said.
“Whatever Joe wants to do in his life, whether it's professional karaoke singer, professional dad, hang around the building at the Niners, or go do standup somewhere, I think he's going to be all right. I hope he’s part of us though. We like having him around.”
No matter where Staley lands, he will bring his fun-loving attitude and work ethic to the table. 49ers fans undoubtedly will be keeping their fingers crossed that Santa Clara is his destination.
“What it looks like five years from now is pretty much the same I've been my whole life,” Staley said. “Whatever I’m going to be doing, I’m going to be working really hard at it. Hopefully, I'll be a lot lighter, in a lot better shape, be healthier and just be the best family man, best dad I can be. Just working incredibly hard at whatever it is.”