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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers TE George Kittle recalls his first NFL start during a conversation with Greg Olsen

Sep 24, 2020 at 2:24 PM--

Tight end Greg Olsen is a member of the division-rival Seattle Seahawks after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers. That means he'll have at least two opportunities this season to watch from the sidelines as George Kittle does George Kittle-type things.

The two teams' first meeting of the season will be on Sunday, November 1, at CenturyLink Field.

This offseason, Olsen had a chance to have a lengthy conversation with Kittle for the Seahawk tight end's podcast, TE1, on the Blue Wire Podcast network. The episode premiered on Wednesday. Olsen remembers the first time he had an opportunity to watch Kittle first-hand. It was the Niner tight end's first NFL start, and it happened to be against Olsen's Panthers.

Carolina ended up winning the game — also Kyle Shanahan's first as a head coach — 23-3. Kittle remembers the matchup vividly.

"I come out on the field, it's my first start; they're like, 'Hey, you're just going to start,'" Kittle shared. "I pulled my hammy in camp, right? This was crazy — I pulled my hammy in camp, I missed two weeks, I played one preseason game (against the Denver Broncos), scored a touchdown, and the next day, they traded Vance McDonald.

"So they're like, 'Hey look, this is your job to lose.' And I was like, 'OK, cool.' And the next day at practice, I tweaked my hammy again."

Kittle sat out the remainder of the preseason and then started during the team's regular-season opener as a rookie.

"The first person I see is Cam Newton warming up right in front of me," Kittle continued. "For some reason, it looked like he was seven feet tall. Just massive. I was like, 'OK, that's cool.'

"First play of the game, I'm pretty sure we run a play-action. I'm blocking Julius Peppers, who I was playing with in Madden 2007. And I was like, 'Dude, this is so cool.' I was like, 'Oh my God!'"

Kittle finished the game with five receptions for 27 yards on six targets.

Olsen and Kittle discuss several other topics during the nearly hour-long conversation, including his football background, what he's learned from other NFL tight ends, pre-game rituals, and more.

Kittle also discusses his trip to Las Vegas with cornerback Richard Sherman after the loss in Super Bowl LIV.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Kittle below.

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