San Francisco 49ers rookie offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey got to don the pads for the first time in practice Saturday. Here's what he had to say of the experience.


There's always a spotlight on rookie first-round NFL Draft picks, and San Francisco 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey is no exception. Already endearing himself to the fans over the Niners' first days of training camp by pumping up the crowd with the "rookie hype machine," the focus will also be heavily on his abilities on the field his rookie season.

Saturday's camp practice marked the first time players put on the pads, which is a great indication for the guys in the trenches.

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"It's a lot of fun to put the pads back on again," McGlinchey told reporters after Saturday's session. "It's been about eight months since I've put pads on and actually played real football. Guys act like it's a step up in intensity and stuff, but it's a lot easier for us in the trenches when you put shoulder pads on than when you're trying to do work in OTAs with just your helmets on."

McGlinchey, who is seeing plenty of time with the first-team offensive line, participated in one-on-one drills during the day. During one particular drill against edge rusher Cassius Marsh, McGlinchey gave up a would-be "sack" after Marsh doubled back to the inside:


McGlinchey recovered on the next drill, though, and forced Marsh towards the inside while holding his ground the entire time.

"I'm not really counting wins and losses in one-on-ones," McGlinchey said of the play. "I'm working on technique... working on the timing. Like I said, it was my first live pass-rush rep in eight-plus months, so the timing was a little off, he got into me and did a great job."

McGlinchey also noted how he'll often discuss technique with the 49ers' crop of pass-rushers to learn from their aspect as well.

Pass protection wasn't one of McGlinchey's bigger strengths at Notre Dame, which probably explains why he's gravitated so heavily to veteran left tackle Joe Staley and his well-known pass-protecting abilities. The two have developed a strong rapport since McGlinchey was drafted last April, even resulting in Staley referring to the rookie as "my best friend in the world" and "my little brother."

When asked how many questions McGlinchey asks Staley on a daily basis, McGlinchey said "between 20 and 30."

"I probably get on his nerves," McGlinchey admitted. "It's been great. I really can't think of myself being any luckier than I am, because I do ask a lot of questions and I don't really leave him alone. He doesn't ever turn me away, he'll never say 'shut up' or anything like that. So, he's there for me and he's there to help me. ... we think about the game of football very similarly, and we play very similarly. ...

"Until he tells me to shut up, I'm going to keep asking."

Staley has praised McGlinchey's mindset and approach to the game before, so it's good to see the rookie absorbing as much as he can.

And while one missed rep in practice isn't exactly a good look, what truly matters is just how McGlinchey uses it as a learning experience.

San Francisco kicks off its final practice of the week on Sunday, July 29 from Santa Clara.

Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @PeterPanacy on Twitter.