SANTA CLARA - 49ers rookie offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey will face one of his toughest opponents yet when he lines up against Broncos linebacker Von Miller in Week 14.
“Its exciting," McGlinchey said. “It’s why you play. It’s way I wanted to do this, to be the best at what I do. Playing against a guy like that can kinda prove to yourself, and prove to everybody else that I am one of the best at what I do.”
McGlinchey has been one of the standouts of the 2018 rookie class, starting all 12 games thus far for the 49ers. He explained his mentality as he prepares for Miller and the Broncos.
“That’s kind of the mindset this week,” McGlinchey said. “The old Ric Flair saying, ‘To be the man, you gotta beat the man’ That’s what I’m hopefully going to try to do this week.”
When asked what makes Miller one of the best, McGlinchey said Miller is the total package, from technique to strength.
“When you watch him on film,” McGlinchey said, “a lot of times you think you have him extended off the end, but his ability to bend back underneath, and collapse the pocket in that regard is really impressive. He can get you off balance with his footwork and the way he moves his body.
“He’s the number one or two pass rusher in the league.”
To prepare for the challenge, McGlinchey has tried to make things tougher on himself in practice. He has worked with defensive linemen a little offsides to simulate how Miller will get in front of him quickly. He has watched film to study Millers footwork and timing.
“He’s the total package,” McGlinchey said, “so you have to be ready for everything.”
With four games left, McGlinchey remains focused on the task at hand each week. While he is aware that he will face another tough opponent in Khalil Mack soon, this week is all about Miller.
McGlinchey admits he got caught up looking ahead earlier in the season, and realized how he needed to change his focus. That’s when things started clicking for the rookie, understanding that he needed to zero-in on the things he could control.
McGlinchey started to see things differently in Week 4 when he faced Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram.
“It was the Chargers game,” McGlinchey said, “when I had Melvin Ingram across from me and he beat me on first drive. It was like the third play of the game. And he beat me because I was thinking about too much.
“I was thinking about what he was going to do, where I need to set, what was going to happen. And he beat me right inside. Luckily C.J. [Beathard] got the ball off in time.
“After that series I thought, there’s no point to worry about this. It’s only going to hurt me, so don’t treat him as he’s Melvin Ingram. Treat him like he’s just a number. He’s a faceless guy. Where’s his alignment, and just set to it. That’s what I’ve tried to do since then, this season.”