49ers’ Joe Staley describes close relationship with rookie Mike McGlinchey


The San Francisco 49ers drafted Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey to eventually be Joe Staley’s replacement. Staley weighed in on the rookie tackle on Wednesday at the start of Niners training camp.

It’s not uncommon to see an NFL veteran threatened by the upstart. Perhaps some quarterbacks from the Baltimore Ravens or the Pittsburgh Steelers can explain how that works.

For veteran left tackle Joe Staley and the San Francisco 49ers, though, it’s more of the age-old tale of master and apprentice. Staley, a six-time Pro Bowler, is the master. 2018 rookie first-round draftee Mike McGlinchey is the apprentice.

Staley is about as iconic a member of the 49ers as it gets. The 11-year veteran has been with the team since they were bad, then good, then bad again and hopefully good once more. It’s been a ride, for sure, and Staley hopes the experience he’s gained over the years will translate over to the fresh-faced McGlinchey.

San Francisco kicked off training camp for 2018, and the budding Staley-McGlinchey relationship was something of note.

“He’s like, my best friend in the world,” Staley said of McGlinchey, via Fangirl Sports Network’s Tracy Sandler. “He’s like my little brother. I don’t know how to really describe it. I just see so much potential, and he has the absolute right mindset to succeed in the NFL.”

You can hear Staley’s thoughts on McGlinchey below:

This isn’t the first time Staley has endorsed the rookie, and even the Niners coaching staff has taken notice.

“They’re funny. It’s like two, giant 12-year-olds hanging out together,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said of the two, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Well, maybe two 21 year olds.

Earlier this offseason, the two were spotted at Khartoum’s — a local bar in downtown Campbell, California — and Niner Noise’s Aaron Tan shared the video of Staley and McGlinchey diving into some Backstreet Boys karaoke:

Goofing aside (yes, that’s important too), the real test will be how much McGlinchey absorbs from Staley’s mentorship. McGlinchey was widely viewed as the best college tackle in the NFL Draft this year, and he’ll be responsible for anchoring the right side of the 49ers offensive line this year. Probably next as well.

And from McGlinchey’s perspective, he’s taking it all in, as shown in a video shared by Barrows below:

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“Hopefully he can surpass me one day,” Staley noted of McGlinchey in the same presser.

That’s the plan. And while Staley, who’ll turn 34 years old next month, will likely still play well and effectively the next couple of seasons, the long-term hopes now shift focus to McGlinchey.

And if McGlinchey winds up being anything like Staley, the 49ers will be rewarded for their 2018 first-round draft move.

Next. 49ers 2018 offseason positional preview: Offensive line. dark

And then some.