SANTA CLARA — Veteran left tackle Joe Staley accepted a good chunk of the blame for San Francisco’s problems on the offensive line in a 30-7 exhibition loss to Houston on Saturday night.
“Very disgusted with what we saw on the offensive line,” Staley said Monday. “Coach challenged us, he challenged us in the meetings to come out and have a really great week of practice and really great game. We’ve got to get going. The season is upon us and we’ve got to play a lot better than that.”
Staley watched game film Monday morning and saw again that he and his linemates were repeatedly beaten by the Texans’ tenacious four-man rush; San Francisco gave up three sacks. Coach Jim Harbaugh on Sunday called for better technique and fundamentals.
“We were violated at times,” Harbaugh said.
Staley, a fifth-year pro who received a $42 million, six-year contract extension in June 2009 to lead this line for the long term, was eager to get back on the practice field because he had a “bad feeling” still lingering from the game.
The 49ers finish the preseason Thursday night at San Diego. Staley, for one, is happy to play again right away in a short week after Saturday’s embarrassment in front of the home fans at Candlestick Park.
The 49ers, coming off a 6-10 season in which they missed the playoffs and failed to post a winning record for the eighth straight year, open the regular season Sept. 11 at home against the defending NFC West champion Seattle Seahawks.
That’s less than two weeks to clean up.Staley, who let Connor Barwin blow by him on one sack, wouldn’t say his unit is behind because of the lockout and missed minicamps and organized team activities, either.
“No excuses. I got beat,” Staley said. “We were terrible.”
Starting quarterback Alex Smith wound up 2 for 6 for 17 yards, just 4 more yards in the air than he lost in two sacks — and rookie second-round draft pick Colin Kaepernick wasn’t much better.