MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The 49ers' 31-20 loss in Super Bowl LIV was heartbreaking for the team but even more so with players collectively wanting to get Joe Staley a ring.
Staley, a six-time Pro-Bowler, has been through it all in his 13-year NFL career. From losing seasons to two trips to the Super Bowl and six head coaches, it’s been quite a rollercoaster ride.
Tackle Mike McGlinchey, who has been like a little brother to Staley, struggled to even answer how much more emotional the loss was because of what it meant for the veteran left tackle.
“Yeah. Absolutely,” was all McGlinchey could even get out.
Tight end George Kittle was able to put together a few more thoughts about Staley, who now has two devastating Super Bowl losses in his career.
“I love Joe Staley,” Kittle said. “He is incredible. Since Day 1 since I have been here he has been incredible. To see him get back to this stage, how happy he was and how locked in he was, he has been a leader for us all year, even when he wasn’t playing and he was hurt.
“He comes back and was playing at an elite level the whole season, It might have been some of the best left tackle [play] he has done. Joe Staley is a guy I love. There is nothing more that I want than to give him a win and give him a ring so that one hurts.”
49ers are known for the closeness of their locker room. They have enjoyed the thrill of their journey this season together and they will also suffer through the agony of their biggest loss. McGlinchey hopes that the camaraderie and desire to win is enough for Staley to stick around for the second year of his extension.
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“Some of my best friends are in this locker room and this is one of the hardest moments, — it’s probably going to be one of the hardest moments of all of our careers,” McGlinchey said. “That’s what’s tough about it. But knowing we did it together, I’m proud of this team, I’m proud to be a part of it and hopefully we are back here again soon.”
McGlinchey did share that he and Staley had a heart-to-heart after the game but would not reveal what the two spoke about.
“We talked, hugged it out and we’ll continue to talk the rest of this week,” McGlinchey said. “It’s his decision. I’m not going to get involved in that at all.”