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Joe Staley Prepares for ‘Heated’ Game

Posted Oct 10, 2013

Joe Staley and the 49ers offensive linemen are preparing for a "heated" divisional game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The 49ers have never lost a divisional home game under Jim Harbaugh.

Against the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco’s Week 6 opponent, the Harbaugh-led 49ers have outscored the Cardinals, 50- 20.

Despite the previous results, Joe Staley expects a tough challenge from the incoming division rivals.

Staley’s individual matchup against Calais Campbell is circled by San Francisco’s blind-side protector each season.

“He doesn’t get a lot of the love he deserves,” Staley said on Wednesday. “He always makes plays.”

Staley, the two-time Pro Bowl left tackle, has respect for his opponent, but was honest with his feelings on the entire Cardinals team.

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“We know them, but we’re not friendly,” Staley said.

Staley is expecting a blitz-heavy Cardinals defense this Sunday. New coordinator Todd Bowles has led an aggressive defense with several free agent additions to the unit.

“They’ve held their opponents to 10 points or less the last two games and rank second in the NFL in rush defense,” said Staley when sharing his scouting report notes.

“They bring a lot of different pressures, a lot of variety,” the left tackle continued. “We have to do a good job of our responsibilities and reading our keys.”

Besides handling the blitz, the 49ers offensive line will look to continue recent success in the run game. Over the past two weeks, the 49ers have scored five rushing touchdowns. San Francisco scored two rushing touchdowns in the first three weeks of the season.

“It’s been fun getting back to the running game, really back to the gap and the old power schemes,” Staley said. “It’s been successful and that’s what it’s all about, moving the chains and scoring points any way we can.”

Staley said he appreciates the diversity of the 49ers game plans and how offensive coordinator Greg Roman mixes things up depending on the opponent.

The left tackle didn’t specify how San Francisco would attack Arizona this week, but Staley did stress that it will come down to one side imposing their will on the other.

“It’s always a heated game, especially in the trenches,” he said.

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