49ers Reaction

Why 49ers confident McKivitz can replace McGlinchey on O-line

The 49ers believe right tackle Colton McKivitz can replace Mike McGlinchey in the 49ers' starting lineup

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SANTA CLARA -- Colton McKivitz, whom the 49ers have penciled in as the starting right tackle, does not have to worry about constantly looking over his shoulder as the season approaches.

Offensive line coach Chris Foerster said he has so much confidence McKivitz is the right person to replace Mike McGlinchey that he is willing to allow him to make plenty of mistakes -- as long as he continues to make strides and learn from them.

“I think that knowing the job is his coming into it, and it's his job to lose . . . I think it is also going to help build his confidence,” Foerster said Wednesday after the 49ers wrapped up practice during organized team activities.

McGlinchey signed a big-money contract this offseason with the Denver Broncos, but Foerster made it clear he does not believe the 49ers’ offensive line will suffer with the move to McKivitz.

“Mike McGlinchey is one of the best run-blocking tackles in the NFL,” Foerster said. “Colton probably won't be quite that, but he is a very good run-blocker and his protection is really solid and consistent.”

Foerster highlighted McKivitz’s consistency, toughness, work ethic and character as reasons he believes the right side of the 49ers’ offensive line is in good hands. McKivitz will have time to settle into a full-time starting role after starting just five games over his first three NFL seasons.

“It's just a matter of starting week-in and week-out and not feeling like you're a short-term guy that has to get it done for one week,” Foerster said of McKivitz. “This now is your job to kind of work with and play through, so I'm excited for his opportunity.”

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Foerster pointed out that McKivitz’s first big test will happen during joint practices with the Los Vegas Raiders this summer leading up to the preseason opener on Aug. 13. The Raiders feature one of the league’s top edge rushers, Maxx Crosby, as well the No. 7 overall pick in the draft, Tyree Wilson of Texas Tech.

“It is going to be a challenge right out of the gate, just in training camp and the first preseason game,” Foerster said. “So he'll have a lot to go through this season, but we have a lot of confidence in the guy.”

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