Michigan State

49ers Left Tackle Joe Staley Reflects On His Days As A 230-pound Tight End At Central Michigan


Left tackle is one of the most important positions in football, and Joe Staley is the starting left tackle for the team that is currently favored to win the Super Bowl. But Staley was once a 230-pound college tight end. In fact, he says he was “the worst blocker in college football history.” Joe Staley joined Petros and Money on Fox Sports Radio to discuss the team’s quarterback situation with Colin Kaepernick, his awkward time as a college tight end and transitioning offensive lineman, and the Ravens’ defense.

On the difference between working with Colin Kaepernick as opposed to Alex Smith:

“I think Colin presents different things as far as how athletic he is, the things he can do with his feet and the read-option. … But as far as my job changing, my job’s still to create holes in the running game and maintain a clean pocket so the quarterback can make clean passes. That’s all part of football and I don’t think that’ll ever change regardless of who’s back there.”

On being a tight end in his first year at Central Michigan:

“When I was in college, I was about 230 pounds when I got there as a freshman and I was a miserable blocker. Just probably the worst in college football history. And it was a real liability to be out there on the field in a running situation. And then Coach Kelly came … and he was like, ‘We don’t need a tight end in my offense so we’re going to move you to right tackle.’ I was about 250 pounds and really thought about transferring because I did not want to play on the offensive line, did not want to have to get fat and sloppy and hideous. Then I just kind of stuck with it, and here I am.”

On transitioning from tight end to offensive tackle:

“It was really weird at first, especially because I was so light. I played that sophomore year, the whole season, at about 250 pounds, and an incredibly lean 250. I didn’t look like I belonged on the offensive line at all. It was actually kind of like, once I decided I was going to be an offensive lineman and I had to gain a ton of weight and I was always bloated and always forcing myself to eat way too much food, and terrible food for myself. I think I took it upon myself to kind of be proud of getting a belly and getting big, because I wanted to kind of fit in and look like a lineman. And once I started getting that I actually kind of enjoyed it. Now I’ve got a nice little gut.”

On the Ravens defensive front:

“Some huge human beings and very talented human beings, as well. Haloti Ngata is just one of the most massive people I’ve ever seen, and strongest, and most gifted players I’ve ever seen. And obviously you’ve got Terrell Suggs, still coming back from the injury and really starting to come along and looks really, really healthy and playing really, really well. You’ve got Kruger playing at a high level. They’re playing really good football right now so it’s going to be a great challenge.”

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