Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mike McGlinchey on 49ers: ‘It’s really hard to envision a team being more complete’

May 27, 2020 at 12:24 PM--

About midway through the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, the San Francisco 49ers might have felt they were on their way to a championship. That quickly changed.

Patrick Mahomes happened. A defensive meltdown happened. Some missed opportunities on offense happened.

Then, the 49ers watched as the Kansas City Chiefs celebrated with the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Mike McGlinchey has a lot of confidence that San Francisco's roster is capable of carrying the team back to the Super Bowl and win it this time. The offensive tackle on Tuesday spoke one-on-one with Jordan Schultz of ESPN on Instagram Live. McGlinchey explained why he believes so much in the team's talent to overcome a Super Bowl hangover and celebrate in Tampa, Florida, on February 7, 2021 (assuming the game isn't postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic).

"Just on paper of what our roster looks like, it's really hard to envision a team being more complete (from) top to bottom than we are right now, which is exciting," McGlinchey told Schultz. "But obviously, it doesn't mean anything unless you prove it come the fall. And, obviously, (we) have to stay healthy, and all those things that football tends to throw a wrench in.

"For us to have the production that we did out of Deebo Samuel and use him the way that we did last year, and he was a rookie. People forget that Deebo was a rookie last year, and he was one of the most vital parts of our offense."

Samuel figures to be an even bigger contributor in 2020. He hauled in 57 passes for 802 yards with three touchdowns through 15 regular-season games during his rookie campaign. He added 10 more catches for 127 yards in the postseason.

Then you had Samuel showing off his versatility with 96 combined rushing yards on five carries in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl. His 53 rushing yards against the Chiefs were the most by a wide receiver in the Super Bowl.

Samuel isn't the only 49ers receiver poised to potentially make a significant impact in 2020.

"We're getting a guy that could be -- I've watched him run. I've watched him play. I've watched him train," McGlinchey continued. "A guy like Jalen Hurd, who's going to come back and be healthy for us. If you watch him just from a naked eye, watching him train and squat, and run, how could you stop him?

"Trent Taylor's going to be healthy, and that's a huge get for us. We have another, Brandon Aiyuk, on the outside. Kendrick Bourne is a great player for us. And we have a bunch of young receivers that can still even elevate their games. That's the cool thing about what our offseason was for us, is I think we're returning like 18 or 19 starters on both sides of the ball."

McGlinchey knows that winning in the NFL doesn't just require a roster full of talented players. It also requires a little bit of luck when it comes to staying healthy. If the 49ers can do that and get just a little bit better than a year ago, it would be difficult to bet against them.

"So really, it's just about getting that little bit better, individually, across the board, that allows us to be that six-and-a-half minutes better to win the Super Bowl," McGlinchey added. "We get a little healthier, play a little bit more consistent down the stretch, and I think it's going to be really hard to beat us."

Then there is head coach Kyle Shanahan, who is widely considered one of the best football minds in the league. Don't say "one of" to McGlinchey, though. He doesn't believe there is anyone better.

"He's the single smartest person I've ever been around in the game of football," McGlinchey explained. "The way that he's able to evaluate who you are as a player, see a vision of what he wants to do, and how creative he and his staff are at exposing different matchup problems, and just the mindset that he has as a coach, he acts just like a player would. That's his philosophy. That's his mindset.

"And the way that he commands us and leads us, I've never been around somebody like him. I believe, and I think our team fully believes, that he is the best in the business at what he does. But he's got the mindset and intelligence and the drive to always keep improving himself.

"He understands that everything starts with him, and if he's not on his game, he can't portray that to the rest of the team, and he takes that very personally. It's something that's a dream to play for. I couldn't have imagined playing for somebody like him.

"Football is a crazy world, but I don't want to play for anybody else. So, hopefully, we can keep winning and keep getting him contract extensions so that we can stay here in The Bay and build something special."

Note: The full interview video has been removed from Instagram.

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