The 2020 NFL season was a turbulent one for the 49ers, including right tackle Mike McGlinchey.
McGlinchey, who the 49ers drafted with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, struggled in pass protection for the first time in his career and faced widespread criticism from the media and very online members of the 49ers fan base.
The 26-year-old told KNBR's Jacob Hutchinson that he regretted that he let the criticism get to him and how he responded to it.
“I’m more disappointed in myself for the way that I let it affect me and my approach going forward in my own game rather than the way that I normally have always operated which is just to focus on me and our team,” McGlinchey told Hutchinson. “I think I needed to have that. I think I needed to have moments like that. I think I needed to be able to deal with that and learn how to deal with that moving forward to become stronger, to become tougher, to become more aware of what I need to control mentally to be at my best.
"And that’s what’s cool about it. I get another opportunity to continue to grow this year and I’m excited to put that to rest.”
During practice before the 49ers' Week 6 game against the Los Angeles Rams last season, McGlinchey took aim at his critics, noting he was tired of the "arm-chair" analysts and felt he had a good season overall.
"I don’t really appreciate people who are the armchair quarterbacks that take a 30-second clip off of Twitter and think they understand offensive line play,” McGlinchey said on Oct. 14. “I don’t like that. But no, I can’t give up -- whether it’s one or two plays a game in a situation in Philadelphia when we were in a play-action pass, I went a little too heavy at the guy. Nick [Mullens] still had the ball in his hand and I caused the turnover inside our own 20-yard line. That kind of a thing just can’t happen. And so yeah, that’s a fair assessment.
"I think that each week it’s gotten better and better. I think that the things that you have been saying have been a little bit over the top. I think nobody’s watching a complete football game and they’re choosing a lazy narrative of one play and they see something on Twitter and they think they have it figured out. But no, I think it’s been a solid, solid year. Obviously have a lot of things to continue to improve on, but I’ve been doing that week to week, and just have to clean up.”
McGlinchey still was a dominant run-blocker in 2020 and has used the offseason to bulk up in order to be more effective in pass protection. The 49ers picked up McGlinchey's fifth-year option this offseason, signaling they still believe he is a part of their long-term plans on the offensive line.
McGlinchey has digested his 2020 film and knows there were bad moments. He knows he has to be better and plans to be.
“But the fact of the matter is, I had bad moments last year," McGlinchey told Hutchinson. "I definitely deserved some of the criticism that I got. I don’t know if it needed to be as extensive as it was from week to week, but that’s what happens when you’re a focal point of your offense that’s kind of injury-riddled and I was a first-round pick, so expectations are high.
"Expectations for myself are high, but on top of it, I understand how frustrating things went last year and there were some bad things that I put on film that will never happen again.”
McGlinchey and the 49ers have high expectations for themselves heading into 2021. As long as they can stay healthy and block out any external noise, there is every reason to believe the 49ers will be in the thick of the Super Bowl hunt next season.