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Mike McGlinchey says he ‘blacked out’ during head-butting barrage on Hroniss Grasu

Ow. Mike McGlinchey was a bit too stoked after Deebo Samuel’s game-sealing first down run against the Los Angeles Rams, and he took it out on Hroniss Grasu, discernibly in a fugue state.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that McGlinchey, Laken Tomlinson and George Kittle—who said on Adam Schefter’s podcast that he gives a shoulder bump to Shanahan and takes a “cheap shot” on him before every game—are too rough on him with their celebrations.

Kittle said on KNBR on Tuesday that he was glad it was Grasu instead of himself because that celebration could have turned nuclear. He said Shanahan replayed that clip multiple times for the team.

“That was really fun to watch as a team,” Kittle said. “Coach Shanahan played that one back a few times. Mike’s one-of-a-kind. He’s a psychopath in all the right ways and that’s why I love him. We’re very similar in that regard. We’re actually lucky that we weren’t standing next to each other because I think that celebration probably could have gotten even more violent. I loved it. It’s just getting our centers ready for next week.”

McGlinchey admitted Wednesday that he “blacked out” and apologized for ramming Grasu to a point that almost caused injury worry.

“I don’t know why I started head-butting Hroniss,” McGlinchey said. “I think as soon as we got the first down I just kind of blacked out and started celebrating and didn’t come to until he looked at me like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Sorry to Hroniss and thank God I didn’t hurt him any further because we need him this week and he’s going to step up for us huge.”

Grasu seemed happy to survive the endeavor, but like Kittle, said he appreciates McGlinchey’s energy.

“Mike always expresses his feelings and he’s the guy that we always feed off his energy,” Grasu said. “I think I was the first one he saw — I said something to him first to get him a little jacked up. I really didn’t expect him to take it to that level, but that’s why we love Mike because he’s always bringing that energy every single day.”

Though the way the energy from the third-year tackle manifested itself was surprising, his enthusiasm wasn’t.

He’d been criticized for poor performances, especially in pass protection, and admitted, after issuing a defense of himself against “armchair quarterbacks” who he claimed were not watching full games, admitted the criticism was a motivator.

“I mean I’m not gonna lie to you and say that it didn’t [help],” McGlinchey said. “It certainly did. It just gives you that little extra edge, and I appreciate the edge if that’s what you guys want to keep giving me. It’s awesome. It was it was a cool night. I played up to the standard that I know that I can play. I got back on track. I eliminated the bad plays and that’s all that it was.”


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