49ers Blog and Q&A

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August 28, 2007
Staley tapped to start at right tackle

This just in ... Mike Nolan has made a decision on who will start at right tackle to open the season and the winner is rookie Joe Staley. Nolan announced the decision after talking to both Staley and incumbent Kwame Harris this afternoon.
Harris was the 26th overall draft pick in 2003 and he started all 16 games at right tackle the last two seasons. He has been a very good run blocker the last few seasons, but he has a hard time moving his feet in pass protection, which has led to several well-documented sacks and untimely penalties.
Staley, meanwhile, was the 28th overall pick this past April. He began his college career as a tight end and has the quick feet to keep up with the league's fastest defensive ends. He said he has been working on his power game and it remains to be seen whether he can be as effective as Harris as a run blocker. Staley said he curently weighs 310 pounds and ultimately hopes to max out at 320-plus pounds.
Here's what Nolan had to say in a quote released by the team:
"Joe Staley has been named the staring right tackle today. Starting positions on our team are earned. Nobody is handed a starting role. Just like the linebacker spot with Patrick (Willis), this decision had more to do with what Joe has done. Both Joe and Kwame had outstanding camps. It was a very close competition. Joe was more consistent. That is the reason for the decision. Joe earned the starting position based on his production on the football field both in practice and in the games."



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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