Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Baldinger responds to FS1 host’s comments that 49ers’ George Kittle is ‘not really a blocker’

Dec 5, 2019 at 1:38 PM--

FS1 host Doug Gottlieb grabbed some headlines this week after commenting that San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle isn't a blocker.

"George Kittle, not really a blocker," Doug Gottlieb said. "Unbelievable talent but not really a blocker."

Any 49ers fan knows this statement to be false. Kittle is a fantastic blocker, maybe the best in the NFL. Kittle's Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade of 74.4 ranks in the top 5 among tight ends, and his run-blocking grade of 78.1 on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens was his best of the season.

Likely sparked by Gottlieb's comment, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger used the game between the 49ers and Ravens to show why Kittle is considered an elite blocker and how he is crucial to San Francisco's No. 2 ranked rushing attack.

"You don't get on the field at Iowa for Kirk Ferentz unless you can block, and [Kittle has] taken those skills to San Francisco," Baldinger said. "The best blocking tight end in the NFL."

You can watch Baldinger's breakdown below.

Kittle takes a lot of pride in his blocking and it's something he considers to be a strength in his game.

"When I first got to Iowa, I was 6-foot-2, and like 200 pounds, so I was definitely not a stereotypical tight end," Kittle said in January. "The first thing my strength coach said to me was if you want to play tight end at Iowa, you have to learn how to run-block. So that's something I took a lot of pride in, and I still do to this day.

"I personally think if you can move a guy from point A to point B against his will, that's a better feeling than scoring a touchdown, in my opinion. If you can put a guy on his back and he doesn't want to be on his back, it's a great feeling. There is not much that can beat that."

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