ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — New Broncos right tackle Mike McGlinchey wasn’t always a fan of his new quarterback.
“For the longest time, I really couldn’t stand Russell,” McGlinchey said on Thursday, the first time he’s spoken to Denver media since signing a five-year, $87.5 million contract last month.
While playing for the 49ers, McGlinchey played Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks seven times. McGlinchey only came out on top twice. The losses created hard feelings, but those have washed away since becoming teammates.
“To be in the locker room with him and to be able to be in the huddle with him now has been awesome,” McGlinchey said. “Russ, first and foremost, he’s a workhorse. There’s nobody in the building that works harder than him. He’s addicted to this game and is addicted to trying to be great. That rubs off on a lot of people.”
McGlinchey thinks Wilson will bounce back from his less-than-stellar 2022 performance.
“There’s a reason that he’s had the success in this league that he’s had,” McGlinchey said. “I’m excited for what we can all do together because I think with coach, with Russ, with the talent we have on this team, I think we have a really good shot to help Russ get to even higher heights than he’s been.”
Getting to “even higher heights” won’t be easy, considering Wilson has already won a Super Bowl. To be clear, McGlinchey is setting his sights on bringing another Lombardi to Denver.
“That’s the only thing that matters,” he said.
Despite last season’s 5-12 record, McGlinchey doesn’t think trying to build a championship team is unreasonable.
“This team is capable of that,” he said. “We have a head coach that has been there and done that. I think everybody is chomping at the bit to turn this franchise around and start winning games for Denver.”
The Broncos tried to spark that turnaround by bringing in new head coach Sean Payton and spending big money in the trenches. That spending included bringing in McGlinchey, as well as left guard Ben Powers from Baltimore.
McGlinchey believes the revamped offensive line was worth the money.
“I think our unit is something to really be excited about,” he said. “We have two guards that are as big and quick and powerful as probably anybody in the NFL. I certainly believe in the two tackles that we have here that we can be upper echelon.”
The new starting lineup took the field together for the first time on Tuesday, the first of 10 practices as part of the Broncos’ offseason training activities.
“Now that we’re practicing, we can start building that chemistry on the field with our techniques and certain ways to fit things, especially in the run game,” McGlinchey said. “We’re going to get there and we’ve already started. It’s going to be fun.”