There’s been a familiar face around the 49ers during their stint in Southern California: former left tackle Joe Staley is hanging out with the team and getting his first taste of coaching while his former club practices near his home.
Rumblings about a possible return to the team in some capacity began the moment Staley announced his retirement during Day 3 of the 2020 NFL draft. While he was recently mum on a return to the game, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Staley was excited to be back, and that the team was excited to have him in the building.
“Yesterday was his first day working,” Shanahan said. “It was our off day and he was so amped up. He was kind of annoying us all day, wanting to do more. But I’m pumped that he’s here. He’s passionate about football. He loves football. It’ll be nice to have him in the room. He’s never been on this side before, so he’s probably going to be a little sensitive realizing how we’re not always nice with what we say behind closed doors, but we’ll see how he does. I know he’ll be opinionated and I’m just pumped to have him.”
While the excitement has been apparent for the long-time 49ers left tackle, this isn’t a permanent addition to their staff. Staley lives nearby and wanted to take the opportunity to get on the field to try his hand at coaching.
“He’s going to be here this week,” Shanahan said. “He lives pretty close to here so he just wanted to come up with the week and try to see what coaching is about. And I know he’s got a passion for it and I know he wants to be around football. He wants to he decide if he wants to work this many hours before he jumps into it with his family. So, he’ll get a look at that this week.”
Staley in July told 95.7 the Game in San Francisco that Shanahan was eager to get him on his staff, but family was first and foremost for the 36-year-old who only walked away from a 13-year career one year ago.
“I know Kyle’s trying to get me up there to work on his staff, but I’m not ready to do the coaching thing yet,” Staley told the Morning Roast. “I’m really honestly just enjoying the time that I have with my family right now. I have two young girls, seven and four, and we’re enjoying spending a ton of time together. I’m catching up on all the time I missed while playing football and I’m not in a huge hurry to get back into something.”
A taste of the coaching life may give Staley an additional push to get involved, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him hold out longer. Either way, the 49ers would love to have a franchise legend in their building in some capacity, even if it’s just for a week of preseason work in Southern California.
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