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San Francisco 49ers' Joe Staley cried over change


Current Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly called San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley into his office when the two were at Central Michigan. Staley had just finished his freshman year as a tight end, but Kelly was moving him to the offensive line.

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"You have no idea how much I just did not want to play offensive line," Staley the Detroit News reported Thursday. "When I was freshman in college, I was the liability in the run game as the tight end. I was the guy you did not want to have out there blocking everybody. I was terrible. I hated blocking. I just wanted to go run downfield and catch passes.

"Then, they were like, 'You're just going to block everybody for the rest of your life,' and I was like, 'Awww, no.' I remember leaving. I got out of earshot of the coaches' office and (started crying). Then I go over to my ex-girlfriend's dorm. I show up and I have tears in my eyes. She said, 'What happened?' I said, 'They're putting me at offensive line, I want to leave.'"

Staley stayed and three years later had gained 70 pounds and was a first-round draft pick. He's now a two-time Pro Bowler playing in Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

"It came about slowly," Staley said. "I really enjoyed the camaraderie and the team within the team of the offensive line when I first started playing — that whole concept of working together and being accountable for those five guys — and just the work. I always had a really strong work ethic. That comes from my parents and my high school coach.

"I always just really enjoyed working and I was really challenged by our strength coach to get big and do it the right way. But my first year sucked. I was probably the most miserable offensive tackle in the history of football."

Apparently, the switch worked out.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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