Joe Staley's historic career with the 49ers came to a close on Saturday. The former first-rounder announced his retirement on the final day of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Staley will be remembered for many things after 13 years in San Francisco. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, started two Super Bowls, was a beloved teammate and had one of the biggest blocks in franchise history.
NBC Sports' Peter King never will forget one block that showed exactly what Staley was capable of.
"I’ll never forget one of the great downfield blocks by an offensive lineman in NFL history, from the Niners’ 36-32 win over the Saints in the 2011 playoffs," King wrote in his latest Football Morning in America column.
Here's exactly what King recalled.
With 2:18 remaining and the 49ers down 24-23 to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round, quarterback Alex Smith took off with Staley leading the way. At nearly 300 pounds, Staley was on a mission and handed out a perfect block as the QB ran into the end zone.
That play perfectly displayed who Staley was as a blocker with his athleticism, heart and hustle. He certainly will be missed by teammates on the field and in the locker room.
There are countless reasons why Staley is an all-time 49ers great. Perhaps no better play shows why.