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Mike McGlinchey: 'I really couldn't stand Russell Wilson because of how many times he beat us'

Mike McGlinchey, once a fierce rival of Russell Wilson, has had a change of heart since becoming teammates with the nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback on the Denver Broncos.

Following Thursday's OTA practice, McGlinchey openly admitted his previous disdain for Wilson, attributing it to the quarterback's overwhelming success against the San Francisco 49ers, where McGlinchey had spent the first four years of his career.

However, their time together in the Broncos' locker room has quickly altered McGlinchey's perspective. He spoke highly of Wilson, praising his work ethic and relentless dedication to the game:

"For the longest time, I really couldn't stand Russell because of how many times he beat us,"he said. "Being in the locker room with him and sharing the huddle has been an incredible experience. Russ is an absolute workhorse, unmatched in his commitment to the game and his pursuit of greatness. His unwavering passion has a profound impact on everyone around him," he continued.

"There's no denying the reasons behind his remarkable success in the league. I'm truly excited about what we can achieve together. With Coach [Payton], Russ, and the exceptional talent on our team, we have a genuine chance to elevate Wilson's game to even greater heights," McGlinchey added.

Wilson's dominance fuels rivalry: McGlinchey's journey from foe to friend

McGlinchey was thrown into the heated rivalry between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, spearheaded by Wilson, when he was chosen as the ninth overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Throughout his career, Wilson has been a formidable opponent, haunting the 49ers on numerous occasions even before McGlinchey entered the NFL. With an impressive 18-4 record against San Francisco, including a memorable victory in the 2013 NFC Championship Game, Wilson has been a constant thorn in the 49ers' side.

The Arizona Cardinals are the only other team that Wilson boasts double-digit wins against (11). In his 21 regular-season encounters with the Niners, he has thrown for an impressive 4,353 yards and 36 touchdowns.

During his tenure with the 49ers, McGlinchey faced Wilson and the Seahawks in seven head-to-head matchups, resulting in a lackluster 2-5 record. Their most significant triumph in the rivalry came during Week 17 of the 2019 season when the 49ers triumphed 26-23, securing the NFC West title and the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

Even during the 49ers' remarkable 2022 season, where they finished with an impressive 13-4 record, Wilson managed to outshine them. Leading a fourth-quarter comeback, Wilson secured an 11-10 victory for the Broncos over San Francisco in Week 3.

Concluding his rookie contract with the 49ers last season, McGlinchey made a pivotal decision to join forces with Wilson in Denver. The 28-year-old signed a lucrative five-year, $87.5 million deal in free agency, solidifying his role as the starting right tackle responsible for safeguarding Wilson's blind side.

With their past rivalry now behind them, McGlinchey and Wilson are poised to create a formidable partnership on the Broncos' offense. As the duo takes the field together, the NFL awaits eagerly to witness the impact they will make and the heights they can reach.

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