• Matt Woolsey

Setting the Tone: McGlinchey and Offensive Line Need to Seize Opportunity Sunday

Image Credit: Getty Images

Oh, baby, it is here!

The NFL season is officially underway, and the season opener between Tampa Bay and Dallas generally did not disappoint. I was slightly disappointing because I was playing against Amari Cooper in one fantasy league and had Ronald Jones in another (sigh). However, that is now water under the bridge, spilled milk, and time to move on. We will head over to Ford Field where the 49ers will go up against the Detroit Lions at 1 p.m. You can hear me preview this game on the Tom Greene Podcast.

There is hope with the 49ers having a healthy roster to start the season (quick, knock on some wood). Furthermore, there are a few players I am eager to see how they perform this Sunday; the first one I am curious about is offensive tackle, Mike McGlinchey. When McGlinchey was drafted in 2018, it was not the sexiest of picks. I personally was hoping for Roquan Smith because of the Reuben Foster troubles that began bubbling up.

Nevertheless, Smith was taken one pick before the 49ers’ turn. Despite not being the sexiest of picks, McGlinchey had a very nice rookie season and then turned it up another notch in 2019. He was not always the best at pass protection but an excellent run blocker. His mentor and friend, Joe Staley, would decide to hang up the cleats and retire before the 2020 season, then drop some weight and get into excellent post-football shape. I’m not sure if that inspired McGlinchey, but he too decided to lose some weight before the 2020 season and proved to be a mistake.

McGlinchey was getting blown up left and right off the line of scrimmage. A few times, he was pushed back into his quarterback. Many fans were calling for his head and were disappointed when the 49ers decided to pick up his fifth-year option. However, if we think back to his first couple of seasons, McGlinchey played well; the difference was his weight loss in 2020. He has since added twenty-five pounds, and I am ready to see if we have the 2019 Mike McGlinchey back.

Not just McGlinchey, either, but the whole offensive line. Football is won in the trenches, and if the line cannot hold up like last season, then it does not matter who the quarterback is; it will be a long game. So I am curious to see how the line as a unit holds up this season.

Most people are curious to see how Jimmy Garoppolo performs not just this week but every week with Trey Lance breathing down his neck. Garoppolo knows his days in the Bay are numbered; the 49ers invested too much draft capital not to make Lance their starter eventually. However, while Lance is riding the pine, I hope the handsome one lights it up and again helps this team to the Promised Land.

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