Mike McGlinchey is devoted to avoiding the dreaded sophomore slump and controlling his own narrative heading into Year 2.
He is coming off an impressive rookie campaign as an immediate starter at right tackle. The San Francisco 49ers 2018 first-round pick was rated as the best rookie run blocker and finished the season with the second-highest overall grade among all first-year offensive linemen according to Pro Football Focus. McGlinchey was also among the NFL's most dependable first-year offensive linemen in 2018. He was just one of only two rookie tackles to play 1000 snaps in 2018 and led the entire 49ers offense with 1,054.
Tasked with building on his Year 1 performance, McGlinchey believes that a full offseason without the restrictions of pre-draft and rookie obligations should serve him well in 2019.
"You don't get to really focus on being a traditional offensive lineman (as a rookie). You've got so many other things and hats to juggle," McGlinchey said. "Having a whole year under your belt makes things a lot easier for you when you hit the ground running on Day 1."
McGlinchey admitted to getting behind on his footwork towards the end of 2018. He's spent the offseason concentrating on consistency, grasping the offense and bulking up. He's added 15 pounds since the end of last season and is already starting to feel the benefits of his added strength at the start of OTAs.
Another benefit, or pair of benefits, to add to McGlinchey's growth this offseason is the 49ers additions of Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. McGlinchey will have the opportunity to protect the edge in practice against those two talented pass rushers.
Ford racked up 13 sacks in 2018. He's also known for having one of the quickest first steps off the line of scrimmage. That provides a welcomed challenge for McGlinchey.
"Dee's everything that he's advertised, man. He's in the elite class with his get off and his ability to get into people and take control of blocks," McGlinchey said. "He's just quicker, and he's strong as well. If the timing's off, normally I'm hitting on the second step just a little bit later, and I'm still in control of the block. With Dee, you've got to be as fast as humanly possible because he's that good at getting into you.
"I'm excited to get to work with him. It's only going to make me better (and) the rest of our tackles better. He's going to be special for us this year and I'm certainly glad he's on our side now."