Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Patriots’ Bill Belichick explains why Kyle Juszczyk makes the 49ers so difficult to defend

Oct 24, 2020 at 2:47 PM--


The San Francisco 49ers arguably have the best tight end in football in George Kittle. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick raved about him this week while speaking with 49ers reporters. San Francisco may also have the best fullback in the league. Belichick believes that to be the case.

The Patriots coach was asked about Kyle Juszczyk on Friday and praised the fullback while explaining how his presence within the 49ers offense makes things more challenging to defend.

"Kyle's had a very good career, and he's a versatile player," Belichick told Patriots reporters. "When he was with the Ravens, they used him in a lot of different ways, and then San Francisco signed on to a big contract for a fullback – certainly the highest-paid player at his position by quite a bit, if I remember correctly – and he continues to be used in a variety of ways.

"He plays quite a bit as a traditional fullback, carries the ball some, but he's also out of the backfield kind of as a tight end would be in 12 personnel. So, when he's in the game, you really don't know for sure whether they're in 21, 12, or sometimes even an 11 personnel look."

While Juszczyk spends most of his time in the backfield, he has lined up inline, in the slot, and even wide a combined 47 times this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

"The players are still the players, but they are able to move him around to create the appearance of being in a different personnel group," Belichick continued, "and they are running plays that go with 11 and 12 personnel, as well as their 21 plays. But he's an excellent receiver. He's made some big plays in the passing game. He's a pretty good runner with the ball in his hands, and he's got good size, and he's a competitive blocker, so he provides a lot of value and certainly a lot of versatility for them."

Juszczyk's overall Pro Football Focus grade (61.8) is his lowest since his rookie 2013 season, but his career-high rushing grade (74.0) this year is the best among NFL fullbacks, and his pass-blocking grade (82.9) ranks No. 2 at his position.

Added Belichick: "The 49ers use the fullback more than any team in the league, and they probably have the best fullback in the league. So, those two line up, and he's been very productive for them."





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