Former 49ers tackle Joe Staley is happy and healthier in retirement

Many ex-NFL players are anguished when they find themselves on a couch instead of in a stadium on fall Sundays.

Joe Staley doesn’t count himself among them.

The former 49ers left tackle, now seven months into retirement, concedes that initially it was odd to be a spectator instead of a blindside protector after a career that included 13 seasons, six Pro Bowls and 181 regular-season games.

By October, however, he was just fine firing off tipsy mid-game tweets, another sign he was transitioning from Joe Staley to Joe Fan. In Week 5, during the 49ers’ unsightly 43-17 loss to Miami, Staley wrote on Twitter: “What the hell is this??!”

The question received more than 16,000 “likes” and served as the game-story headline the next day in The Chronicle.

“It was like a fan reaction,” Staley said. “I had a couple cocktails just watching the game and I’m like, ‘What is this? This is terrible. What is going on right now?’ I forgot for a moment that people would run with that.

“I’m watching as a fan. And wanting them to do well. But at the end of the day, it’s a game I watch. And I go back to my life. Like everyone else does.”

Staley, 36, is still connected to his football life.

He remains in close contact with 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey, one of his best friends. And he’s stayed in touch with other teammates including tight…

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