Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey: ‘We aren’t just a one-dimensional football team’

Jan 30, 2020 at 11:09 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers rushed for 471 total yards through their two playoff games en route to Super Bowl LIV, where they will face the Kansas City Chiefs. That was after owning the No. 2 ranked rushing attack during the regular season.

So, yes, the 49ers are good at running the football.

But the 49ers are good at a lot of things. Their dominating run-game performances in the postseason, however, have led many in the media to underestimate the contributions of the passing game this season.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's career-high 3,978 passing yards were the fourth-most during a single-season in franchise history. Of course, this what-have-you-done-lately league will focus on his 208 total passing yards through two playoff games and say Garoppolo is incapable of carrying the team.

Second-year tackle Mike McGlinchey doesn't believe the key to stopping the 49ers is slowing their run game. The team has shown many times this season that it can win in several ways.

"Other teams aren't the media," McGlinchey told reporters at the 49ers' downtown Miami hotel on Wednesday, "and they've also watched every single game that we've got on this year, and understand that we aren't just a one-dimensional football team.

"We have a quarterback that can really sling it. We have receivers. We have -- the other one is on the other sideline -- but arguably the best tight end in football on our side, too.

"We have guys all over the place. That makes it really hard for teams to just focus on just stopping the run because we've proven time and time again that we can get after it in the pass game, too."

One player who appreciates the team's versatility is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. His own comments on Wednesday were an example of the 49ers' team-first mentality and how unselfish the players are.

"If they want to target me 15 times a game, I feel like I can go out and put up 150 yards," Sanders said. "But if they don't, I know we can still win. We've got a lot of pieces. You've got Kittle. You've got Deebo Samuel. You've got Kendrick Bourne. You've got myself. You've got Kyle (Juszczyk), and we've got a stable of running backs.

"I like that aspect. It's not all about me. We're able to spread the football around. We're able to run the ball when we want to run the ball and pass the ball when we want to, as well."

While the 49ers are capable of attacking an opponent several ways, there is no doubt that the team possesses an elite rushing attack thanks to names like Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Breida. But it isn't just the running backs who deserve credit.

"One, I think it starts with a great scheme from our head coach (Kyle Shanahan), and (run-game coordinator) Mike McDaniel, and (passing-game coordinator) Mike LaFleur, and the guys that scheme it up for us," McGlinchey explained. "Then we have 11 guys that really take the opportunities and love running the football. We've got skill guys that take pride in getting their head in and cracking on linebackers, and getting downfield, and accounting for middle-third safeties.

"And obviously, the offensive line, it's our job. It's always in our job description to be doing that. But the coolest thing about it, for me, is we've got a tight end that set the record last year with 1,500 yards in a single season, that takes more pride in blocking for the run than he does catching footballs.

"We've got a fullback that does whatever he's asked to do. We have receivers that can make huge plays in the pass game but some of their most impactful stuff has been in the run game this year, for sure."

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