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George Kittle says 49ers eager to hit opponents, isn’t worried about Trey Lance

Aug 28, 2022 at 2:18 PM--

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Watch out, Chicago Bears. The anxious San Francisco 49ers are headed your way. Kyle Shanahan's squad is eager for its regular-season opener at Soldier Field, and the players are ready to attack Week 1.

"The boys are ready to go out and hit people who aren't the Niners," All-Pro tight end George Kittle said before hitting the practice field on Sunday.

In addition to Sunday, the 49ers will practice on Monday and Tuesday before taking Wednesday off. It's a schedule similar to training camp, which is intentional. The team will use this block of practices to sharpen its fundamentals before focusing on how it wants to attack the Bears.

"I'm ready to play football," Kittle said. "I'm definitely looking forward to these practices. I think we're going to be able to refine a lot of the things, focus on things that we think we can do at a really high level, as an offense, especially. Just continue to work on that, continue to get reps as an offense."

The 49ers have two weeks until kick-off at Soldier Field. Kittle believes the offense will have some similarities compared to last season with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. However, there will also be a lot of new aspects to the offense with Trey Lance at the helm.

"I think there's going to be a lot of similarities, but obviously, Trey runs the ball," Kittle shared. "He can do a lot of the zone-read stuff, so we're just going to have different stuff in there. But I think the run game is going to look pretty similar. And the pass game, we're going to have similar concepts, but it's just a different guy throwing the ball."

As for the 49ers' forgettable performance in their preseason finale against the Houston Texans, the tight end isn't too worried about that.

"We has a lot of rust, and it was a very vanilla game plan that we weren't in a room, studying our game plan," Kittle said. "We were still in [training] camp practices. It will look a lot different when we actually spend time in the room, game planning."

The team hopes that is enough time to prepare its second-year quarterback, Lance, who is entering his first season as a full-time starter. Lance received limited snaps during the preseason, playing in San Francisco's first and third matchups. That's 35 total snaps for the quarterback who started just two games in his only NFL season and only made 71 pass attempts.

"I'm not worried about Trey, in any means," Kittle said. "He had good plays. He had bad plays. It is what it is. ... Even throughout training camp, I haven't seen Trey be overly emotional after an interception or after a really nice go ball. He's even keel. And he's ready to go every single snap."

The tight end isn't concerned about his chemistry with his young quarterback. The two often discuss what they saw on the practice field, working together to ensure they are on the same page come game days.

"I know Trey's OK," Kittle said. "I know everybody on my team is OK. I'm going to ask them continuously how they're doing, just to make sure they're aware that they're in the present moment."

49ers work out several players

According to Field Yates of ESPN, San Francisco worked out tight end Dalton Keene.

In addition to Keene and the previously reported John Miller, an offensive lineman, the 49ers also worked out four others. They are defensive ends Austin Edwards and Tyree Johnson, offensive lineman Tyrese Robinson, and wide receiver Rod Williams, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

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