Mike McGlinchey, the 49ers' 2018 first-round draft pick, got an immediate opportunity to learn from one of the NFL’s best offensive tackles in Joe Staley. Now that the franchise icon has hung up his cleats after 13 seasons in San Francisco, McGlinchey hopes he still can learn from Staley.
"Hopefully, [Staley] will be up [from his home in San Diego] helping us out with the Niners as much as possible," McGlinchey told ESPN's Jordan Schultz on Instagram Live (h/t 49ersWebZone). "I'm still definitely going to lean on him and send him things that I'm thinking about. He still does want to be involved with football, but it's to the point where your body's not letting you play anymore.”
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Staley broke down the extent of his injury issues earlier this offseason, including a “deteriorating” neck condition that doctors told him would require surgery were he to continue playing in the NFL.
The longtime left tackle is one of the most revered 49ers players of the 21st century, and McGlinchey knows there is plenty left to be learned from the six-time Pro Bowl selection.
"He's still a great football mind, the way that he prepared his whole career," McGlinchey said. "I mean, he separated himself because of that kind of stuff, and so he's got countless lessons that you can learn from forever.
"He has become one of my best friends, and rarely is our conversation just about football," McGlinchey added.
Trent Williams, acquired from Washington last month to try to fill that hole at left tackle, is another multiple Pro Bowl player who can help guide McGlinchey. That said, don’t expect Staley to just fade into the shadows and not be involved with the organization in some capacity in the coming years.