Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Kyle Shanahan explains what makes 49ers tight end George Kittle so much fun to coach

Jan 13, 2020 at 2:32 PM--


The casual NFL fan knows San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle as a talented receiving threat who can out-muscle opposing defenders. Kittle literally carrying New Orleans Saints defenders down the field during the 49ers' dramatic Week 14 win may immediately come to mind.

Die-hard 49ers fans, however, know Kittle is much more than that. The tight end takes a lot of pride in his blocking and is an integral part of the team's rushing attack, which ranked No. 2 in the NFL during the regular season.

"If your tight end can't block the outside defensive ends, it's extremely hard to run outside zone," Shanahan told reporters on Monday, "and Kittle can do that whether they're head up on him, which we call six-technique, or if they can do that with their head up outside on him, which we call a nine-technique. That's very rare."

Kittle initially caught the eye of head coach Kyle Shanahan because of his blocking at Iowa. The tight end had just 48 catches for 737 receiving yards with 10 touchdowns during his time with the Hawkeyes. Those are some nice numbers until you realize they weren't from his senior year. They were his combined stats from all four years at Iowa.

Kittle holds the NFL record for the most single-season receiving yards by a tight end with his 1,377 in 2018, and he racked up another 1,053 this season through 14 games.

While Shanahan saw the pass-catching potential in Kittle, he knew the tight end could be a key blocker on offense. Surprisingly, it's that aspect of his game, not his receiving skills, that makes Kittle so much fun to coach.

"An hour before practice every day, you can always hear the sleds outside," Shanahan shared, "because (tight ends coach) Jon Embree takes those tight ends out every single day, and they hit sleds every day to where eventually I'm like, 'Hey dude, you don't need to do it anymore.' But, he does.

"That's what he believes in, and I've seen the results. I mean, those guys only get better, they don't get worse in anything. They play through injuries, they're extremely reliable, and very talented.

"Kittle, everyone knows what he's done in the pass game, but he has never once in three years came up to me during a game and said, 'Hey, I need this route,' or, 'Hey, we've got to do this.'

"He's never once came up to me about a pass play, but he comes up to me about every seven plays about what type of run play we need to do, who we need to allow him to hit, things like that. It makes it very fun to call plays for him."

The 49ers are preparing to host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 19. A San Francisco win would earn the team its seventh Super Bowl appearance.





More San Francisco 49ers News



George Kittle explains why he would love to see the 49ers draft Kyle Pitts

By David Bonilla
Apr 28, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers are selecting a quarterback after trading up nine spots last month to the No. 3 overall pick in tomorrow's NFL Draft. But what if they weren't? George Kittle joined Good Morning Football this morning, and Kay Adams presented the All-Pro tight end with an interesting hypothetical. What if the Niners didn't select a quarterback and drafted former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts instead? How would Kittle feel about that? "Well, see, I like that idea a lot because I think we have four good tight ends on the roster right now," Kittle responded, "but you add Kyle Pitts, all the things that he could do, his versatility, I mean, I'd enjoy running 23 personnel up and down the field. Two backs, three tight ends, spread them out, run the ball



49ers' Kyle Shanahan explains why he decided on Trey Lance on April 19

By David Bonilla
May 3, 2021

On April 19, with 10 days remaining until the 2021 NFL Draft, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, along with general manager John Lynch and quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello, traveled to Fargo, North Dakota, to watch quarterback Trey Lance work out. A consensus had not yet been reached on who to draft at No. 3 overall, and there remained rampant media speculation surrounding who it might be. The 49ers were learning towards a player — Lance. They were since trading up on March 26. They were also considering Justin Fields of Ohio State. Mac Jones of Alabama was a safety net, in case plan-altering flaws were found in the other two. Jones was actually the first quarterback prospect who Shanahan studied as soon as the regular season ended. At the



Kyle Shanahan explains how trading up made things easier for the 49ers

By David Bonilla
May 3, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers sat at No. 3 for over a month, and even when they were on the clock, no one was 100 percent sure who they were drafting. We knew it would be a quarterback, but which one? Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch remained secretive throughout the whole process. Imagine how under wraps things would have been had they stayed at No. 12. That's why the 49ers traded up. They didn't want to sneak around in the shadows, evaluating quarterbacks and hoping those prospects didn't talk to anyone about the team's intentions. "At 12, you see two guys on tape, like, 'Man, if any of these guys are there, I for sure would take them,'" Shanahan told Rich Eisen during an interview on the Rich Eisen Show. "And you know



49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan won't say if team's draft decision has been made

By Kirk Larrabee
Apr 26, 2021

Do the San Francisco 49ers know who they're taking with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft? Possibly, but if they do, they're not going to tell the public before the pick is announced. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch spoke with reporters for around 30 minutes on Monday regarding the upcoming draft, which will begin Thursday evening (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) in Cleveland, Ohio. The main topic of discussion, of course, was what the 49ers will do at pick 3, and where they stand at this point in the process. There have been reports in recent days that the 49ers have made a decision and that they still are debating their decision, but either way, Shanahan wasn't about to give any hints. "So, do we know exactly who we want? Maybe,


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone