The 2020 NFL season hasn’t been kind to the San Francisco 49ers. The team lost several key players to injuries that squashed any hopes of a return trip to the Super Bowl. One of the few players who has been on the field each week is offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey.
The 2018 first-round pick has proven to be durable in 2020, but he has faced a ton of heat for his performance. The Niners’ offensive line has struggled throughout the season, especially in pass protection.
McGlinchey didn’t take kindly to the criticism directed his way earlier in the season. The 25-year-old spoke out earlier in the season following two bad outings against the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.
“I don’t really appreciate people who are the armchair quarterbacks that take a 30-second clip off of Twitter and think they understand offensive line play,” McGlinchey said. “ I don’t understand. I don’t like that.”
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been one of McGlinchey’s biggest supporters. Shanahan has stood by the Notre Dame product. He believes McGlinchey will come back even stronger next season after everything he has been through in 2020.
“You don’t like people questioning you. You want to ignore it, but you can’t. The people that care about you, family members and stuff, they read it. It works them up, and it ends up getting back to you. I remember when I was little, I used to want to fight every single person I heard on the radio that would talk about my dad.
When it’s about you, it’s a little bit different. You get a little bit hardened to it, but you have to go through it for that to happen. Any coach, coordinator or play-caller, any player who’s in the limelight, it’s going to happen. I don’t care how good you are. It’s how you react to that.”
McGlinchey needs to get stronger in the offseason if he wants to silence the critics in 2021. Opposing defenders were successful bull-rushing him in pass-protection too often this season.
Pro Football Focus gives McGlinchey a grade of 57.7 in pass-protection this season, which ranks 69th out of the 84 eligible tackles. The pass-protection struggles don’t fall squarely on McGlinchey. San Francisco’s offensive line has given up 36 sacks this season, tied for eight-most in the NFL.
Although he hasn’t been great protecting the quarterback, McGlinchey has been one of the best-run blockers in the game, according to PFF. His 91.1 grade is tied for the second-highest in the league, behind teammate Trent Williams.
Shanahan was asked if the team will pick up McGlinchey’s fifth-year option and made it no secret that he wants his right tackle around for the foreseeable future.
“I think it’s a good thing for Mike to go through that stuff, cause I think it will make him stronger,” Shanahan said. “He’s made of the right stuff, he’s a good football player, he’s going to have a great career, and I plan on it being here.”
Do you think McGlinchey is the long-term answer at right tackle?