SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ win streak has continued with virtual unknowns Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill playing offensive tackle.
Skule and Brunskill have done an admirable job filling in for injured starters Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey. Just like Staley and McGlinchey have similar personalities, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Skule and Brunskill remind him of each other.
The two young tackles are similar in their low-key personalities and their ability to focus without getting in their own heads. All it takes is a minute speaking with them to realize they could not be any more different than the pair of Staley and McGlinchey.
“They’re very loud and rambunctious people, and they like to give me a hard time about being monotone and not so loud,” Skule said. “But they’re fun guys to be around.”
“They’re like the same guy just different years," Brunskill said. "It’s really cool how tight they are and when you come into that room. It’s really awesome come into that room.”
Brunskill and Skule talked about the influences of Staley and McGlinchey on this week’s episode of The 49ers Insider Podcast. Both players said they have benefitted from a great culture in the offensive line meeting room that begins with those two players.
“To have those guys be as loud and funny as they are, it just lightens up the room,” Brunskill said. “Some of the days can get long with all of the meetings, and they love to bring the energy and make everything really fun. It’s easy to come in to work for that.”
Skule took over as the starter for the 49ers’ Week 3 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when Staley fractured his leg in the 49ers’ Sept. 15 win at Cincinnati. Staley invited Skule to his house to watch film of the Steelers in preparation for his first NFL start.
“This is his third year with coach Shanahan and we’re installing something in camp and Joe is taking as many notes as anyone in the room,” said Skule, a sixth-round draft pick from Vanderbilt.
“He doesn’t sit back in his chair, like, ‘Oh, I know this.’ He’s taking the most detailed notes out of anyone. When I saw that, it really resonated with me. This is why he’s been able to be so successful in this league for so long. He treats every day like a new day.”
Brunskill spent the previous two seasons on the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons. His first start came in the 49ers’ 20-7 over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6. Brunskill said Staley sets a good example in the meeting room but because of their similarities in experience, he and Skule can often relate better with McGlinchey, a second-year player whom the 49ers chose in the first round of last year'draft.
“It’s the perfect mix,” said Brunskill, who entered the NFL in 2017 with the Falcons as an undrafted rookie from San Diego State.
Staley could be back in the 49ers’ lineup as early as Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals. McGlinchey could return any time from Week 10’s game, Monday, Nov. 11, against Seattle, to Week 12 against Green Bay on Sunday, Nov. 24.