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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers offensive line looks to lead team to another Super Bowl appearance

Aug 8, 2021 at 10:32 AM--

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The San Francisco 49ers' skill positions appear set. That includes a quarterback who led the team to a Super Bowl appearance and adding some young, dynamic talent via the draft. The 49ers also have running backs who are capable of being 1,000-yard rushers, playmakers at tight end, and wide receivers. However, the key to a possible return to the Super Bowl will be the offensive line.

From the start of free agency, the 49ers made a big splash by re-signing Trent Williams to a six-year, $138 million contract. But the veteran offensive lineman was close to going elsewhere. Williams, who the Washington Football Team traded to the 49ers in 2020 in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 third-rounder, played and started in 14 games last season.

According to ESPN's Nick Wagoner, Williams maintained he wanted to stay in San Francisco, but momentum for a new deal had stalled, and the Kansas City Chiefs were making a good push.

"Once I got the hunch that K.C. seemed like they were ready to make it official, I called Kyle," said Williams. "I couldn't even get it out and just tell him, but I was just like, 'Hey man, we need to hurry this up, if you get my drift.'"

Pro Bowl free-agent center Alex Mack, who played for Kyle Shanahan when the 49ers head coach was the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns and the Atlanta Falcons, signed with the team on March 19th.

In his introductory press conference on March 18th, Mack said he and his agent looked at other teams who would need a center and how those teams looked, which gave him an idea of teams worth considering as a destination.

"At this point in my career, it is where I want to play, and San Francisco is the place that made the most sense," Mack recently said. "I am excited to be here."

Both Williams and Mack agreed to terms with the 49ers on March 17th.

During a July 31st press conference, Mike McGlinchey said he is between 315 and 320 pounds now, 25 pounds heavier in weight than last year. It was something the team supported, so long as it didn't impact the right tackle's footwork.

"It was made clear by the coaching staff that no matter what we do in the offseason, and how much weight I put on, it will not happen if I lose what I am good at," McGlinchey shared.

McGlinchey, who was heavily criticized for his play last season, said he feels confident in his game right now and looked forward to testing his new ability against some of the best defensive linemen in the game—his teammates.

Offensive guard Laken Tomlinson said in an August 2nd press conference that he was happy for the opportunity to be around his teammates since organized team activities (OTAs). That wasn't possible last offseason due to the pandemic, and Tomlinson feels it has helped with team chemistry.

"Especially with the offensive line," Tomlinson shared. "Just hanging around each other, just feeling each other's presence changes everything."

The Detroit Lions drafted Tomlinson No. 28 overall out of Duke in the 2015 draft. He was traded to the 49ers in 2017, has been a fixture on the line with 63 starts, and has missed just one game.

The former Blue Devil said the extra time with the other offensive linemen is building chemistry.

In this past draft, the 49ers drafted Jaylon Moore out of Western Michigan in the fifth round and Aaron Banks out of Notre Dame in the second round. The latter has made an impression with several fellow veteran offensive linemen. Tomlinson said Banks is doing a great job because he stays in the playbook.

"He is a big cat out there too," said the seven-year pro. "Nimble feet, I love him. I love his approach to work every day. He is doing a great job."

"He has the talent, that is for sure," Mack said. "I think he needs to keep working hard, and he will be a really good player."

The 49ers also added offensive tackle Senio Kelemete, who has 88 game appearances and 42 career starts in his nine years in the NFL. Other key linemen the 49ers have on their roster are third-year offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill, journeyman Tom Compton, Shon Coleman, and Colton McKivit.

Offensive linemen are the unsung heroes of every team and do not get the praise for controlling the line of scrimmage. After all, they protect the quarterback and open holes for the running game. Every dynasty had dominant lines, from the Pittsburgh Steelers of the '70s, "The Hogs" of the Washington Football Team, the Dallas Cowboys' "Great Wall of Dallas," the Denver Broncos, and the New England Patriots.

The 49ers dynasties of the '80s and '90s have always had great offensive lines, and this year's unit has the ability to be as great as previous championship teams.

In a July 31st press conference, Mack said the offense has changed since his last time with Shanahan but feels he is doing a good job of keeping up with the flow of the offense and has the potential to be dynamic.

Pro Football Network recently ranked the 49ers offensive line 15th in the league, but with position coach Chris Foerster, San Francisco has the potential to make this a possible top-10 group.
  • Written by:
    Sports has been my first love since I was 12 years old. At one point I wanted to play football professionally. I started to take photography as a hobby in my teenage years but this was when I followed sports. I started to listen to sports radio, I found my true calling and it was to be a sports talk show host. Though I follow football and basketball, I started to have a new love of cultures around the world. After graduating from San Antonio College in 2018, I worked for the Castroville News Bulletin before going to A&M San Antonio to get my communications degree. Since I have written for the Ranger of San Antonio College, the News Bulletin and the Mesquite of Texas A&M San Antonio, I met many people and went to a lot of events. My major milestone was being in the press box of the San Antonio Commanders game for the Mesquite and being apart of a press conference with the Medina County Sheriff and other local news outlets. When I am not doing anything, I like to watch old cartoons on the DC Universe, play video games such as Mega Man and the Mass Effect series. I have also created Youtube channel called "Anger Management" with my friend Aaron Donnell.

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