San Francisco 49ers: Joe Staley Showing Leadership on Niners Offensive Line

Brian WinettCorrespondent IIIOctober 5, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  David Akers #2 and Joe Staley #74 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate a fourth quarter field goal during their game against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 25, 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The 49ers defeated the Bengals 13-8.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Joe Staley came out to the press before the 49ers game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

This isn't the kind of coming out San Francisco has grown accustomed to.

However, Joe Staley came out and proclaimed that the offensive line of the San Francisco 49ers "don't suck."

While this writer has been critical of Joe Staley since draft day (preferring a trade up for Darrelle Revis instead), Staley is finally showing the leadership that has been lacking in the offensive front for the past few seasons.

By Staley standing up in public and claiming that he believes in his line-mates, he motivated the line to play the best game they've played in a long time.

It wasn't a perfect game by any standard. However, it was a complete game. The 49ers killed the last three minutes of clock in front of Frank Gore by manhandling Philadelphia's eight-man front.

In years past, the 49ers' lack of confidence would have brought them three and the defense would have had to seal the game for a second time.

Whether this was Staley's intent or he was just tired of people talking smack is immaterial. The result was there.

This year's team is different, and while this new confidence starts with head coach Jim Harbaugh, Joe Staley deserves credit for standing up and becoming the leader he was drafted to be.