Joe Staley Gives 49ers OC Geep Chryst High Marks for Offseason Practices

To those who are doubting the San Francisco 49ers even before the 2015 season begins, Joe Staley isn't losing any sleep over such criticisms.

Yes, the team has undergone major changes before the four-time Pro Bowl left tackle enters his ninth season. But if you ask Staley about the mood around 49ers camp these days (which a reporter did last Thursday), you'll quickly find out that the second-most tenured San Francisco player has a great deal of optimism towards his "squad" and its chances of being succesful.

"I'm really excited with what I've seen this offseason," Staley said at the conclusion of a nine-week offseason program. "Personally, (I think) this has been one of the best offseasons we've had since I've been here. Everybody's very focused and excited. I think with a new coaching staff, (there is) new energy, new ideas, I think that has something to do with it as well."

In Staley's estimation, the offense's new play-caller has sparked the unit with creativity and a detail-oriented approach.

Geep Chryst's condensed playbook with shortened verbiage, coupled with NASCAR-like practice tempo, has given Staley and his teammates an upbeat outlook for 2015.

"It's not a completely new system," Staley said of the 49ers offense. "We're just adding some things we really haven't done in the past. How much that is incorporated, we'll just have to wait and see when gameplans and the regular season comes along.

"We got a lot of work in and really a lot of great coaching points on things we haven't done in the past."

Based on what was observed during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp, San Francisco's offensive coordinator featured many of the free-agent additions in a variety of ways. Names like Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson and Reggie Bush were all able to make eye-catching plays while supporting the production of long-standing contributors like Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.

Staley shared his viewpoint of the offense's progression from the perspective of one of the game's top blind-side protectors.

"(Geep) has a great understanding of the offense and how everything fits together," Staley said. "He understands how the offensive line's blocking schemes affect what the quarterback does."

Also helping matters is how Chryst has worked the past four seasons with Colin Kaepernick and a majority of the team's offensive personnel. Staley said that's a big plus for Jim Tomsula's first year as the franchise's head coach and Chryst's first season as the team's OC.

"It's not like he's a new coordinator who is trying to figure everybody out," Staley said. "He's got a lot of history with the guys in the locker room."

So does Staley.

The team's star left tackle stands as one of the most influential leaders on the roster. But that doesn't mean Staley is going to change his approach to the game.

"I think once you start changing who you are, it becomes phony and people don't respect you as much," the veteran lineman said. "Be you, and work the same exact way you've always worked and don't try to go out of your way to be something you're not. I think that's what speaks more (about) leadership."

With that in mind, Staley's leadership has been centered on leading by example and not letting outside distractions influence how the team views its chances of competing in a deep NFC West division.

Any media chatter about the 49ers having a hard time with a new staff and several new players has not affected Staley.

"It doesn't bother me," he said. "We're always focused on just getting better in the day and let the season play out how it does. There are a million factors that go into whether a team is successful or unsuccessful. You can't predict that now. All we can control right now is getting better as a football squad."

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