SANTA CLARA — It’s only Mike McGlinchey’s second offseason as a pro, but he already has an advantage over many others: He has played across from some of the best in the business.
It’s not often that a player learns from multiple reps facing star pass rushers Dee Ford and Von Miller but that’s exactly what the 49ers second-year tackle has been able to do. He has faced Ford in practice as a teammate and has now had several reps and two games facing Miller.
“They are as good as advertised,” McGlinchey said. “It certainly helped our football team being able to play against those guys. Especially in the pass rush for Joe and I all week, to be able to see something like that. [It helps us] not only for that week but going forward for our season .”
McGlinchey explained that he was much less anxious going against Miller this year opposed to the end of last season as a rookie.
“A lot less anticipation than there was last season going into the game against him," McGlinchey said. “It’s practice, there’s not as much consequence for when you screw up or miss something.
“I had the experience from last year, got to go over the film and see what I did well see what I didn’t do well and I think I made a lot of improvements from that game last year to where we’re at now.”
Everyone knows that facing Miller is a challenge, but McGlinchey knows what it takes to win his matchup in the trenches -- even against the most intimidating opponents.
“Von will test every detail that you can figure out as an offensive lineman,” McGlinchey said. “So, it was good to see and good to stay in a process of what I do rather than focusing on how to win this week. It was good to see my technique work and the kind of stuff I did all season transfer over to blocking good pass rushers
“He tests everything about how you operate as an o-ineman. Everything he does is reactionary but it’s also with intent. He’s waiting to see what I do each rep and he’s going to use whatever he thinks against that particular set or run block or whatever it is.”
But who is more difficult to block: Miller or Ford? McGlinchey couldn't help but side with his fellow 49ers teammate.
“I’m not going to choose against my own teammate,” McGlinchey said. “They are both extremely gifted athletes and rushers and I’m never going to pick one or the other, except for the fact that Dee is my teammate and I’m going to pick him every time.
“They are different in their own right, both extremely good and extremely talented and they are similar in their athletic ability but what they do in terms of how they rush is different.”
McGlinchey knows that no two pass rushers are alike, and understands how Ford and Miller -- while dominant in their own ways -- bring two different repertoires to the table.
“Von has that elite get off, but that’s not everything he’s working off of,” McGlinchey said. “The way that Dee rushes is that he works everything off his first step, and then power or around to the edge. Von is a little more reactionary whereas Dee is more ‘take it to you.’”
“Anytime you can get reps against the best it’s a good thing, it’s definitely huge for us.”