Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle feels 49ers have taken a step forward this week, can still make playoffs

Oct 15, 2020 at 4:57 PM--

While everyone proceeds to write off the San Francisco 49ers following a 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, tight end George Kittle was excited to get back to work this week and prove critics wrong. The team hasn't won a home game this season and has the 4-1 Los Angeles Rams coming into town.

Kittle has no shortage of confidence in his teammates and coaching staff. He feels the 49ers could be on the verge of turning things around, and that starts with a good week of practice, which will, hopefully, lead to a winning performance on Sunday night.

"We had guys that came in today; I thought we had our best practice of the year today," Kittle told reporters today. "Guys were locked in. Our offense was humming. The O-line looked good. We had a great run period. The thing that I love about our team is we're hungry and we just want to play better, and we know that we're not playing at our best. We don't want to be 2-3, and we know that we're not playing at the level that we want to be playing at.

"I think this week has been really good for us in watching the film and trying to get better from it. I think we've definitely taken a step forward."

Kittle attributes some of the mental errors to the lack of a typical offseason, especially for the younger players. Of course, that isn't an excuse. Every team is dealing with that.

Injuries can't be an excuse either. Every team is dealing with those too. Although, the number of injuries that have impacted the 49ers does seem a bit excessive.

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All the 49ers can do is focus on what they can control and work hard to improve.

"You can definitely get better," Kittle said. "Like I said, we have gotten better. ... That's what football is. If you put your mind to it, if you put your passion in it, if you put your heart in it, you definitely come out better. I feel like I've gotten better this week. Obviously, I wasn't happy with my performance last week or even the week before that."

Kittle might have been modest on that last one. He caught 15 passes on his 15 targets for 183 yards and a score against the Philadelphia Eagles. Of course, the 49ers lost the game.

"How you get better is game reps," Kittle added. "You've got to start with it in practice, obviously, but the more you play, the better you get, and I know that we took a step forward."

Kittle still has a lot of faith in the 49ers, and it doesn't sound like the Revenge Tour is canceled or even postponed. Even with only two wins through five games, the tight end believes this roster can still make the playoffs.

"I think the biggest thing that I've seen is just the guys we have in the locker room and our coaching staff," Kittle explained. "I believe in our coaching staff. I think coach (Kyle) Shanahan is incredible at what he does. He game plans so well, and he puts guys in positions to succeed.

"And then the locker room, you have a group of guys who want to get better every single day. You don't have guys that are jumping off the ship. You don't have guys that are pointing the finger at each other. You also have guys that we do hold each other accountable. You have conversations like, 'Hey, why do we suck?' Or, 'Why did we suck on this play?' And we talk about it. We figure it out.

"You don't have guys saying, 'That was your fault. That wasn't my fault.' And so we're all heading in the right direction. We're going in the same direction. And I know we haven't played out best football the last two weeks, but, like I said, we did take a huge step forward this week, I believe.

"When you've got young guys at wide receiver — we're relying heavily on Deebo (Samuel) and Brandon (Aiyuk) — and they're just going to get better every single week they get to play football. When I see those guys go out there and they make those plays, and they have the confidence in themselves, it makes me excited, and they're a big reason why I believe we can turn this thing around and win some football games."

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