Even though the San Francisco 49ers are sitting at 4-5 and outside the NFC playoff picture, head coach Kyle Shanahan still believes his squad has a shot at qualifying for the postseason. If the Niners can get by a heavily favored New Orleans Saints team this Sunday, it sure will go a long way in helping to achieve that goal.
San Francisco right tackle Mike McGlinchey knows his team faces a daunting task going into New Orleans. The Saints looked like the best team in football during their Week 10 massacre of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, McGlinchey is confident that Shanahan is preparing a roster that looks completely different from it before the season started for a run at the postseason.
“We do a great job of coaching the mindset each and every week. There’s no staying the same in this game, you get bette or you get worse,” McGlinchey said. “Over the last two-and-a-half seasons that I’ve been here, this organization and this team do an incredible job of continually finding ways to get better throughout the rest of the year.”
It can’t get much worse for the 49ers than it did last week against the Green Bay Packers. The Niners were missing every skill position player that started in last year’s NFC Championship game, and the result was ugly. Still, the Notre Dame product believes the teams that put in the work early in the season will reap the rewards during the back half of the schedule.
“November and December make or break NFL seasons, everybody can do whatever they want for the first eight, nine weeks of the season,” McGlinchey said. “But when it comes down to it, it’s the teams that are getting better each and every week, trying to stack days, trying to stack games and experience to really make the run.”
San Francisco has more than $80 million in salary sitting on the injured reserve heading into Week 10, more than any other NFL team. Even without the likes of Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo and others, the right tackle is echoing his head coach’s sentiment that the 49ers aren’t out of the running just yet.
“We’re in a position where we can still be in it, and that’s all that matters when it comes down to it,” McGlinchey said. “The more that you go through the season, the more chances we’re going to have in the next couple of weeks here to get guys healthy and put us in a position where we can do what we know we’re capable of doing.
It’s going to be a difficult challenge for the Niners to get into the playoffs, but the players and coaching staff certainly sound like they’re up for it.