Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle, DeMeco Ryans focused on 49ers-Rams, not bulletin board material

Jan 27, 2022 at 5:10 PM--

It sure sounds like Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is searching for some bulletin board material to fire up his team for Sunday's NFC Championship Game matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

"Hopefully, I can see them again, because that was a fun body bag game," Kittle told reporters after the last time the two teams battled—a Week 18 49ers win that clinched a playoff berth for the Bay Area squad.

Kittle got his wish. The Niners are one win away from returning to the Super Bowl. In their way are those same Rams, looking to avoid losing their seventh consecutive game against the 49ers.

Morris didn't care for Kittle's post-game comments and had a message for the All-Pro tight end.

The 49ers, however, don't feel like they need bulletin board material for motivation. Returning to the Super Bowl is motivation enough.

On Thursday, Kittle was asked if he believes the upcoming bout will be another "body bag game."

"It's an NFC Championship, so win or go home," Kittle responded. "Both teams [are] 2-0 going into this game. We're basically 0-0. It's a new week. That's all we're focused on. The Rams are a fantastic football team that has found ways to win the last two weeks and completely routed Arizona [in the Wild Card round], the team that we didn't beat. And then they went down to Tampa and beat Tom Brady and the Bucs [in the Divisional round].

"So they're as dangerous as ever with stars all over the field, and that's all we're focused on, is the opportunity to play football against the Rams, a division rival."

49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, unlike his Rams counterpart, doesn't care about bulletin board material and doesn't feel his players do either. Blocking that out can sometimes be challenging in his day and age.

"I think there's a continuous flow of information now," Ryans said. "So, when it comes to bulletin board material, you have so many different outlets, so many different people saying different things, so I don't know if nowadays, there is some particular bulletin board material that can get guys pumped up.

"I always look at bulletin board material as how long is that going to last? You're there when the game is on the line, third, fourth quarter. Nobody's thinking about what was said throughout the week. If you have the guys, and it takes bulletin board material to get them to play harder or to do their job better, then you've probably got the wrong guys out there.

"We have a great group of guys, great group of men who just love playing football, and it doesn't matter what anyone says on the outside. There's no bulletin board material to make us play better. We want to be our best every time we step on the field. So what's said, it really doesn't matter. In this generation, it maybe helps some guys, but I feel like that's a bygone of past generations there."

Besides, Kittle believes Morris and the Rams probably misinterpreted his initial comments. The tight end was more referring to the must-win situation the 49ers were facing at the time. They needed to beat the Rams in Week 18 to make the playoffs and keep their season going.

"In context, the body bag game in Week 18 was more referencing us because if we lost, our season would be over," Kittle said. "If you have to find inspiration to play, it is what it is."

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