Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports


49ers-Patriots: Bill Belichick says George Kittle ‘doesn’t have any weak points,’ opts not to discuss Jimmy Garoppolo trade again

Oct 19, 2020 at 1:29 PM--


Jimmy Garoppolo played his first three-and-a-half NFL seasons with the New England Patriots under coach Bill Belichick. The Patriots traded him to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017.

Garoppolo became the starter for the 49ers, signed a five-year contract during the ensuing offseason, and last season led the team to a Super Bowl appearance.

Belichick, while speaking with 49ers reporters via a conference call on Monday, was asked what he's seen from Garoppolo's development since the trade.

"Well, we haven't played him since then," Belichick responded. "I haven't really studied him, but we'll take a close look. But I mean, it just looks like about what I thought it would like. I mean, he's a quality player. The 49ers gave him a high contract that, you know, reflected their confidence in him going forward to lead their team, won the NFC Championship last year behind him. So, I think that all speaks for itself."

However, Belichick did not want to discuss the trade that sent the quarterback, who most felt might eventually replace Tom Brady, to San Francisco.

"Like I said, it's been three years," Belichick said. "I think we've all talked about that plenty. We've moved on from that. Hopefully, (49ers general manager) John (Lynch) has too. I mean, that was a long time ago."

Belichick did share that he is happy Garoppolo landed with the 49ers. Although, he will be rooting against him on Sunday.

"I'm glad it's worked out for him in San Francisco," the Patriots coach commented. "I hope it doesn't work on Sunday, but otherwise, I'm happy that he had the opportunity to play for a great coach and a great organization and play on a great team. I think he deserves that. He's certainly worked hard, and he earned it. I'm happy for him and his family."

One of the 49ers' most potent offensive weapons, and someone Belichick and the Patriots will have to account for and stop, is George Kittle. The Patriots coach had nothing but praise for the All-Pro tight end.

"Kittle is a great player," Belichick said. "He does everything well. I'd put him right at the top of the league there, period. His ability to run, catch, get open, after the catch, block, he does everything at a high level. He's as good as anybody that I've coached or as good as anybody that we've played against.

"He's got a great skillset, and the 49ers put him in positions that really stress the defense and make it hard. They also use him somewhat as a decoy to open up things for other guys too. If you pay too much attention to him, it creates opportunities for some of their other outstanding players. And if you don't pay enough attention to him, then he can kill you.

"So, he's in a great system. He's a great player. I don't think there's a tight end in the league, and we've seen a lot of good ones and had a lot of good ones, but I don't think there's anybody in the league that does everything overall as well as he does. He just really doesn't have any weak points at all. Just outstanding at every phase of the game."





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