SANTA CLARA —Dee Ford’s first step off the line of scrimmage has been called one of the fastest in the NFL, and after only two days of practice across from him, 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey has confirmed that to be true.
"Dee is everything he's advertised as,” McGlinchey said. “He's in the elite class in his get-off and the ability to get into people and taking control of blocks. I felt that for the first time in the run game today -- how different he is in the timing and the fit on the edge there.”
McGlinchey explained how much that makes a tackle have to stay on their toes. A split second too late and Ford will be making his way past the them.
“He’s just quicker, and he’s strong as well,” McGlinchey said. “So if the timing is off, if normally I’m hitting on the second step, just a little bit later, I’m still in control of the block. With Dee, you got to be as fast as humanly possible because he’s that good at getting into you.”
It will provide a challenge for McGlinchey and the other tackles on the offensive line to practice opposite of Ford. The challenge, however, will only make all of them that much more prepared.
“Excited to get to work with him,” McGlinchey said. “It’s only going to make me better, the rest of our tackles better. He’s going to be special for us this year and we are certainly glad he’s on our side now.”
McGlinchey sees how Ford will also open up things for the rest of the defensive line including DeForest Buckner, who had a career best season in 2018. When McGlinchey attended the 49ers Community’s Golden Getaway fundraiser, he had time to sit in on Robert Saleh’s coaching seminar where the defensive coordinator explained the impact that Ford would have.
“One of his highlights was how Dee is just going to create space for people,” McGlinchey said. “I think a huge example of that was last year in Kansas City they had Chris Jones. He came away with 13 or 14 sacks last year and I think a lot of that has to do with who he was paired with on the outside.”
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Jones actually finished 2018 with 15.5 sacks and has a similar build to Buckner who stands an inch taller at 6-foot-7 and 10 pounds lighter at 300.
“DeForest is as special as it gets when it comes to playing defensive line in the league,” McGlinchey said. “And now that he has someone that takes away double or triple teams, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch those two work and rest of the D-line for sure.”