Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

‘I fit in really well here’: George Kittle says surging 49ers filled ‘with a bunch of psychopaths’

Oct 25, 2020 at 5:50 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers routed the home-team New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon, and running back Jeff Wilson Jr. had a career-high 112 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. He could have inflicted more damage on the Patriots defense if not for an ankle injury suffered in the third quarter.

The 49ers fear a high-ankle sprain for Wilson. The good news is that X-rays returned negative, and the damage is not worse than that. Still, it will likely mean significant missed time for the third-year back.

Wilson got the start against the Patriots, and teammates like tight end George Kittle had no shortage of faith in the running back headed into the game.

"Jeff Wilson goes to a dark place before every single game," explained Kittle. "It's different than it is in practice. You can tell he's angry. He attacks it. He wants contact. He deals contact. He delivers pain. It's awesome.

"You can just see it in his eyes. He's a totally different person. The way he runs and things, it's crazy. I love being on the field with Jeff Wilson. The way he carries the football, the way he makes people look at him after he's tackled. They're like, 'Why did it take four people to tackle that guy, and why are two guys on the ground from trying to tackle him?' Because he's an absolute monster.

"He has one of my favorite mindsets. He's a completely different person on game day, and it's just this dark place that he goes to, and I love everything about that."

The 49ers will likely miss Wilson's mindset and contributions on the field in the coming weeks. It's yet another injury for a team that has endured several. But the "dark place" mindset is not unique to Wilson.

"Football's a violent sport," Kittle said, "and if you don't kind of go to that dark place and be violent and be physical, you're not going to last very long. Coach Shanahan always talks about 'find a dark place.'"

That mentality is something Kittle remembers seeing from his former teammate, Pierre Garçon, and watching the receiver punching himself in the head after first downs.

"That was like the first look I really got at it," Kittle continued. "But then the longer I've been here and the more Kyle talks about it, the more I see everybody kind of goes to that dark place. Like I said, it's a violent game, and it's just fun to be part of a team with a bunch of psychopaths because I fit in really well here."

Linebacker Fred Warner liked that description.

"Obviously, psychopaths is a great word, I guess, to use," Warner said. "We all for sure have a little something off, and Kyle kind of talks about that where when you've got guys who have a little something off, and then you go out there and just impose your will on your opponent, obviously you see the result. And that just takes all three phases playing complementary football and executing at a high level. So, that's why you saw the result you saw today."

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