Who will be under center for the 49ers for their season opener against the Detroit Lions has been dominating headlines across the country.
Joe Staley does not have inside information from Kyle Shanahan on who it will be but he has kept in touch with his former teammates about how training camp has been going. He shared that there has been a common theme.
"Jimmy, everybody has been saying that he has had, by far, his best camp,” Staley told Matt Maiocco and Laura Britt on the 49ers Talk podcast. “That’s not just what everyone has been reporting. It’s what they are saying in the building too, talking to a lot of players.
“He’s really got an understanding of the offense that he hadn’t had before. He’s really putting in the work and feels confident. Is that because he’s getting pushed and competition? Maybe. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.”
No matter what happens, Staley believes the locker room is built to stay close throughout the process. He noted that when Shanahan and John Lynch began their tenure with the franchise, the goal was to put together a team that loved playing the game of football, and above all else put the team first.
Staley isn’t the only one who has made note of the unique characteristics inside the 49ers locker room during the Shanahan/Lynch era. Buffalo Bills receiver Emmanuel Sanders was surprised how comfortable he felt when he arrived on the scene in the middle of the 2019 season.
Kyle Juszczyk has shared how unprecedented it was that the 49ers locker room remained positive during their 4-12 season in 2018. The fullback couldn’t even imagine anything less than misery with that record while on any other roster.
Staley knew it was special from the beginning.
“100 percent,” Staley said. “From day one when Kyle and John got there, from the first year I was with them, until today, they had that in mind always. The guys they bring in the building have to be about not just being the best football player they can be but the best teammate.
“The mindset always has to be team first.”
With that in mind, Staley sees the team being in the best position possible — a veteran quarterback who is playing his best football and a talented rookie who will be the future of the franchise. The talent of the skill players also will take pressure off of either quarterback to carry the entire weight of the offense.
Because it is a locker room that doesn’t point fingers, Staley believes the entire roster will buy in to whomever Shanahan decides should be under center.
“I don’t feel like there would be any kind of blowback one way or the other,” Staley said. “I think all of people in that building take ownership on what they do. It’s almost a feeling of whoever is back there, we’re going to be good, because we’re good.”