49ers’ Veteran Joe Staley Gets Emotional Following Super Bowl Loss, Vows He ‘Will Be Back’
The 49ers blew a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter and were outscored 21-0 en route to a 31-20 Super Bowl LIV loss on Sunday. Among the players most disappointed by the missed opportunity, was offensive tackle and 13-year veteran Joe Staley who had previously lost Super Bowl 47 with San Francisco in 2013.
The 35-year-old appeared to be very distraught while being interviewed by reporters following the fourth quarter collapse. When asked if he thought 20 points would be enough to win the game, Staley responded, “No.” He was also asked if this Super Bowl loss stings more than the last one. Staley succinctly replied “Yes.”
After gathering his thoughts, the six-time Pro Bowler continued, “Yeah, I’m sorry. This is super disappointing. This is very hard being in this moment right now. You put your heart and soul and your whole entire life into trying to be a Super Bowl champion and you get towards the end of your career. And you realize how rare these opportunities are. Emotions are still raw and real for me right now. I’m trying to answer questions and I’m sorry that I’m not … but it’s … put yourself in my shoes for a second; it’s tough.”
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Since being drafted by San Francisco in 2007, Staley has seen four head coaching regimes fail before Kyle Shanahan worked to turn the franchise around and to have two opportunities to win a championship slip away is obviously heartbreaking. Adding to the dismay, he sustained a cut on his hand that required stitches.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo who went 20-31 with 219 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions acknowledged his offensive lineman in the post game press conference. “It sucks losing it for a guy, especially, like Joe, just everything he’s been through. This whole team, I mean, it’s an incredible team, a team that’s unlike any team I’ve ever been a part of.”
On Thursday, Staley told NFL.com that he’s not sure when he’ll retire and remains under contract until 2021 but also mentioned that sometimes he feels like he has five years left and other times it “feels like five minutes.” When asked about the team’s bright future Staley bluntly stated, “This football team, 100 percent. This football team is built for the long haul, and I could not be more proud of the guys that we have in our locker room. I think we have a ton of talent, and we will be back.”
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