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NFL Journeyman T.Y. McGill 'Just Keeps Chugging' in Vikings Preseason 

MINNEAPOLIS – The second the ball was snapped, T.Y. McGill, Jr., lunged forward.

He muscled his way around 49ers right tackle Jordan Mills and into quarterback Brock Purdy, whom he felled for a loss of 7.

"Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen exclaimed during the simulcast, "I told you to look out for T.Y. McGill!"

The play followed McGill recording 2.0 sacks last week at Las Vegas. He finished Saturday's 17-7 loss to San Francisco with 1.5 sacks, splitting another one later in the quarter with Pat Jones II.

"I just knew that once we were down there [deep in 49ers territory], that it wasn't going to be a hard count, because that wouldn't benefit them at all – or they'd get moved up half a yard if we jumped," McGill explained. "I knew it was going to be [snapped] on '1.' So I just kind of tried to time it up."

The 29-year-old has always understood the importance of the preseason.

McGill, who self-identifies as a journeyman, is on his ninth different NFL team – not counting his two separate stints with the Chargers and the Eagles – and has never taken a moment in the NFL for granted.

"I feel like my résumé kind of says it all. Just a guy that keeps stepping up to the plate. That's just what I do," McGill told Twin Cities media members postgame. "Whatever opportunity I get, I take advantage of it and let the chips fall where they may."

McGill's work ethic has shined from the time he joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks in 2015.

He says he "just keeps chugging," and his teammates can certainly attest to that.

Vikings rookie linebacker Brian Asamoah II said it was "pretty cool" to see McGill put some splash plays on tape over the past two weeks.

"He works extremely hard, and everything he's doing is just a credit to what he's doing in practice," Asamoah said. "He gets it in practice, and it's not a surprise when he gets it in the game, as well."

Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell said McGill is "one of those guys that flashed" as he's evaluated Minnesota's roster.

And O'Connell reminded that McGill is making an impact beyond the 3.5 sacks he's accrued so far this August.

"He obviously wrecked multiple plays tonight, had the sack-and-a-half," O'Connell said. "[But] it's the plays that don't register on the stat sheet – when you see him explode through the line, it forces the [running] back to bounce, and then you see [Asamoah and Troy Dye] running down plays, that's all because of the impact those guys are having up front.

"He's had a really good camp. He's flashed in both games now," O'Connell added. "Really, when I go back and think about other guys, as well, it's really cool to see a guy like that understand the opportunity he may have and ultimately capitalize on it by performances like tonight."

While it's safe to assume McGill appreciates O'Connell's compliments two games in, don't expect him to rest on his laurels.

"I just work. I don't even know right now, in terms of where I am on the depth chart," McGill said. "Just grind, man. That's all I do."

Asked what keeps him going on an NFL journey that's included numerous stops, he pointed to his parents' support, as well as his wife Sara and their two young daughters, ages 1 and 2.


McGill also is thankful for veteran players along the way who have kept his chin up.

He specifically mentioned three-time Pro Bowler Michael Bennett, along with former Chargers teammates Brandon Mebane and Melvin Ingram, who have expressed confidence in his game.

"When you get the 'OK' from those guys, like, 'Hey, man – you deserve to be here' – things like that keep me going," McGill said.

He also paid homage to another former teammate, receiver T.Y. Hilton, when he celebrated his sacks by forming a "T" and then a "Y" with his arms.

"I was with T.Y. in Indy for two seasons, and the thing about that is, I always told him, 'Look, if I score a touchdown, I'm gonna hit it.' I never got to score a touchdown, but I still hit it anyway," McGill quipped. "So hopefully T.Y. ain't mad at me."

View pregame photos ahead of the Vikings-49ers preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

So, we had to ask … what does the "Y." stand for in McGill's name?

The lineman's reaction to the question could easily be saved as a "face palm" GIF, but he chuckled and proceeded to solve the mystery.

"Honestly, it really doesn't stand for anything," he said. "My name is Torrone. My dad's name is Torrone, but everybody [in the small town] growing up used to call him Tyrone, for some reason. … Then they started calling him Ty.

"And then when I was born, they were like, 'We're gonna call him T.Y. for short.' So there's really no Y anywhere in my name. It's just kind of in there now, though," he added with a laugh.

The second initial in his name may be made up, but McGill's talent absolutely isn't.

He's continued to impress fans on game day and coaches and teammates during practice, and he's determined to make an impact.

View pregame photos ahead of the Vikings-49ers preseason game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

O'Connell reminded reporters that he often pits the first-team offense against the second-team defense, meaning McGill's gotten plenty of reps against the Vikings starting o-line.

"I ask those offensive linemen, 'Who is sticking out to you guys, as far as somebody that's tough to block? Who feels heavy in those combinations?' " O'Connell said. "They're going back and talking amongst themselves, and T.Y. is a problem, so you start hearing that.

"[You're] showing the team some of these clips of guys making plays in those 'compete' periods, where the 1s are going against the 2s, and it's not a shock to you when he comes out here and does it," O'Connell continued. "It may be against guys listed similarly on the depth chart, but he's still making a lot of plays and showing up in my eyes."

McGill is happy with his outings against the Raiders and 49ers, but happy is a long way from satisfied.

He emphasized there's "always things to work on" and didn't hesitate when asked if he feels confident in a spot on Minnesota's 53-man roster.

"I can't say. I mean, I know I'm playing next week. So just go out there and ball out again next week and, like I said earlier, just see where the chips fall," McGill said.