True to Staley's words, 49ers' line doesn't suck

October 10, 2011, 4:11 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- In a hallway at the Holiday Inn in Boardman, Ohio, 49ers left tackle Joe Staley supplied a quote that was bound to be revisited throughout the season."Contrary to what everybody believes, we don't suck," Staley said at a time when the 49ers' offense ranked last in the NFL in total yards.In the two games since Staley's statement, the 49ers' offense -- and, most notably, their offensive line -- has thrived. The 49ers rallied last week from 20-points down to beat the Philadelphia Eagles.And the offensive line led the way Sunday in the 49ers' 48-3 thrashing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Candlestick Park.For the first time since 2006, the 49ers rushed for more than 200 yards (213, to be exact) while not allowing a sack of quarterback Alex Smith. Running back Frank Gore led the ground game with 125 yards and a touchdown on 20 rushing attempts.So is it any coincidence that Staley expresses confidence in the offensive line and then the offensive line kicks into gear?"I don't think it's a coincidence," Staley said Sunday. "I really believe what I said. I know the guys we have in our locker room. I know the guys that work with me every single day on the practice field, and all the work we're doing. I believe in every single one of those guys. It's exciting to see that come together and we're getting noticed."Right guard Adam Snyder said Staley's quote was not a rallying cry among the linemen.
"I might have looked like that, but no," Snyder said. "We know the guys in that room and the work we put in. It was only a matter of time before everybody else saw it. We got guys in that room that care about the game of football and care about their teammates. You can't ask for anything more than that."The improved line play has coincided with Adam Snyder's insertion into the starting lineup. Snyder replaced Chilo Rachal at halftime of the 49ers' 13-8 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 25.Each of the 49ers' seven active offensive linemen saw action Sunday. Rachal and Alex Boone reported into the game for several plays, with Snyder moving to a wing as a blocker from a position as an eligible receiver.So what's been the difference?"We got a better understanding of the offense," Snyder said.