2020 was a down year for Mike McGlinchey.
Then again, it was a down year entirely for the San Francisco 49ers.
The writing was on the wall when he entered training camp slimmer, no longer had the veteran figure in Joe Staley, and started to get beaten more often. It was quite bizarre to see from him as it looked like he still had some trajectory in his potential. What went wrong with McGlinchey?
Kyle Shanahan explained it to a degree at his presser on Tuesday.
"There were a couple of things he took a step back on last year, which he understood," said Shanahan. "I think Mike, like everybody, didn't get quite the off season that he wanted. Not because he's not a hard worker or anything like that, just going through COVID and stuff like that. And so you see, where your weight's at, how that affected you going through that year. Sometimes losing weight helps, sometimes it hurts. I think he put a little bit more on, but I don't think that was the big thing. It was just being as strongest and most in shape, ready to go.
"And I think also the mental aspect of the game. When you come into the league as a high pick and you have a good rookie year and you go through a couple rough spots in your second year, that's not going to define you. It's how you come back from it. And I think Mike really attacked everything. And sometimes you’ve got to tell Mike to slow down a little bit, because it means the world to him. Just talking to him, being around him today and yesterday, you can tell he's in a great space and a great place. And I think he's ready to go. And I'm excited to see him out there this year.”
McGlinchey has a prime opportunity in front of him right now. He can rewrite the poor narratives about him from last season. I like what Shanahan specifically said when it came to the "mental aspect" for McGlinchey because of all the things that hurt him, whether it was weight or poor technique, it was the mental part of his game that looked the worst.
For a player who was supposed to be the captain of the team, he really had no accountability for himself and would lash out more if his performance came into question. This season, you hope he will erase that part of himself and just let his work do all the talking. I believe he can and will have a bounce back season. The offseason, especially since it went back to normal with OTAs, is just the perfect reset button he need.
McGlinchey already is 25 pounds heavier in training camp than last year, so his base should be a lot more firm now. Now all that is left to check is how his mentality will be following a poor rep. Only time will tell on that end.