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49ers’ George Kittle and Trent Williams: This is Jimmy Garoppolo’s team

Chris Wilson
Jul 30, 2021 at 6:03 PM


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The 49ers' pair of offensive stars were adamant Garoppolo remains the Niners' leader and starting quarterback. The duo also praised rookie QB Trey Lance but admitted the first-round pick's "hype man" game is a work in progress.


San Francisco 49ers star tight end George Kittle and stud left tackle Trent Williams didn't entertain the concept of a quarterback competition during an interview with NFL Network this afternoon. In the midst of Friday's practice, the stars' answers to questions about Jimmy Garoppolo and first-round-rookie QB Trey Lance left little to the imagination.

The two All-Pros went beyond echoing 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan's recent statement, "There's no open competition right now." Instead, they took it a step further by stating Jimmy G's status as the 49ers' "QB1" has never been questioned. Williams answered questions about San Francisco's quarterback situation first:

"Jimmy's been great. Jimmy's been great. Trey's been great. Literally, you couldn't tell that there's anything there – no animosity. Jimmy's been a very good professional. Honestly, this is Jimmy's team. I don't think there's ever been a question in that.

But like I said before, we had an opportunity to grab one of the best players in the draft. I think that was too good of an opportunity to pass up. But from what I can tell, Jimmy's been a great leader like he's always been and Trey's been a great learner."

Kittle's follow-up answer was nearly identical:

"Yeah, definitely what Trent just said. I think you get an opportunity to grab a really good, really talented player, and we brought him in. And Jimmy G is Jimmy G; He's a hell of a football player. He's got a quick release and he's the leader of this football team and he has been ever since he's been here, since 2017.

They've been fantastic. They bounce ideas off each other – obviously very different styles of quarterback. But they're good leaders and they're both great in the huddle and they're both just fun to watch play."

49ers Rookie Hype Machine - Day 2


The interview took place soon after slimmed-down rookie offensive lineman Aaron Banks did his best to pump up the crowd – a San Francisco 49ers training camp tradition for first-year players:


Both Kittle and Williams took advantage of the opportunity to poke fun at Lance's prior efforts:


Kittle explained, "Well, it's out Day 2 of hype videos, or hyping up the crowd. I think Banks was much better than Trey Lane, so we're going to make Trey go again, probably."

Williams added, "Yeah, I think Trey should go again."

Unaware of the Niners' rookie tradition, Kittle was asked, "So that's the rookie thing? You gotta go hype up the crowd?"

"Yeah, 'Rookie Hype Machine.' We did it last year with no fans. Our rookies had to go hype up no one. It was amazing...it was incredible."

Asked, "But this feels better, right? This is more like it?" Kittle responded, "Yes, it's less awkward for them. But yeah, we enjoy it. It's fun to have fans again, are you kidding me? You hear them cheering in the crowd a little bit. You know, the Faithful are fantastic fans, so we're enjoying having them back."

Topics discussed during the remainder of the interview included Shanahan as a player's coach, the increasingly competitive NFC West, and Kittle's experiences from his annual "Tight End University." You can check out the video here on NFL.com.
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