Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has confidence in Mike McGlinchey

Dec 16, 2020 at 1:41 PM--

The right side of the San Francisco 49ers offensive line, from the center on, has struggled this season. That includes one of the unit's anchors — right tackle Mike McGlinchey. Head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters on Wednesday and was asked about his third-year offensive lineman. More specifically, he was asked if he would ever consider replacing McGlinchey with someone like Justin Skule.

"No, I haven't considered that at all," Shanahan responded. "Mike McGlinchey's our right tackle, and I feel very good about our right tackle. Do I feel he's playing the best he can? No. I get the attention he got, especially on that holding call in the last play, and getting beat in protection there, but also going against a good rusher. That doesn't give him an excuse of it, but I'm not going to sit and make a huge judgment off of that.

"McGlinchey played very good winning football for us last year. I do not think he's the reason we're struggling. I think it's a collective deal, and I'm very happy with McGlinchey here, and I know John (Lynch) and I would do that all over again if we had the choice to."

While McGlinchey's Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade of 84.7 is a career-high, his pass-blocking grade of 59.6 is a career-low. Shanahan acknowledged that strength and weakness in a later question about the spotlight on mistakes committed by offensive linemen.

"When you get beat, you're going to get called out," Shanahan explained. "That's part of our business. McGlinchey had a big holding call. We did some stupid things on offense that seemed like we weren't going to be in that game, and we had a chance and showed some light at the end. And right when we got a little bit going, he had a big holding call. So, I get why that sticks out.

"And also, when you get beat in protection, and the quarterback gets hit, that's the only time they're going to notice you, which is alright. I mean, it's not alright, but it's part of the business."

The play Shanahan referenced negated a big 22-yard pickup by wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. Of course, the flip side is that had McGlinchey not committed a penalty, quarterback Nick Mullens almost certainly would have been sacked.

"We're happy with what McGlinchey does for us," Shanahan continued. "I think he does a very good job in the run game, really, almost as good as anyone. I think he's getting better in the pass game, but by no means do I not think he can be a very good tackle for us, whether it's right side or left side.

"He's made of the right stuff. And when you get beat in this league, it's how you respond, and I think you've got a tough enough man. I think you've got a guy who's invested enough that everything he goes through, he'll figure out a way to get better. And his first two years in the league, each offseason, he's gotten better. I thought he came into this offseason better. He's had [some] setbacks here in the last few weeks, but I think he'll step [up] big this week, and this will lead to a better season in year four for him."

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