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George Kittle sends clear message on state of the 49ers

May 30, 2024 at 8:34 AM

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Making it to one Super Bowl is a monumental achievement, but making back-to-back appearances is even tougher. This year's San Francisco 49ers squad faces that daunting challenge. After an overtime defeat in Super Bowl 58, the team is determined to rebound, return to the big game, and come out on top.

The 49ers boast one of the NFL's best rosters. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, tight end George Kittle acknowledged the challenge ahead but expressed confidence in the team's capabilities.

"Got a really good roster, great coaches, great players, ready to win," Kittle said. "I'd say that's the state of the franchise. Need to win now."

Of course, that's the same as the locker room mentality in recent years. The 49ers have enjoyed much success during the Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch era, playing in four NFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls.

"Your one goal is to make it all the way, make it through the entire season, and then get to the end and win," Kittle shared. "And, unfortunately, we didn't do it again. So it's just like, all right, gonna climb the mountain again. This time we just have to win."

While February's Super Bowl loss was heartbreaking for Kittle and his teammates, he is grateful for the opportunity to keep playing the game he loves. This perspective helps him move forward.

"I'd say how I put it past me is I still wake up every single day, and I got to play football, and I have another opportunity to go at it again this season," Kittle said of getting over the loss. "And nothing I can do about controlling that. It is what it is, and unfortunately, I didn't achieve the goal that I have to win a Super Bowl, but I have another opportunity to do it this year.

"So, does that suck? Yeah, but the fact that I have another opportunity with a fantastic football team, great roster, I'd love to again bet on my team. Not really, but figuratively speaking, of course.

"Why was it so hard? Multiple reasons. Playing football is really hard to make it through an entire season, to be as healthy as you can be, to try to make plays. Every individual player has their own individual goals, but everyone has the same team goal. And so it's been a really fun team to be a part of. We have a great core group of guys, and when you don't achieve that one goal that you really want to get to, it's tough."

Reflecting on some of his former teammates who have been through similar experiences offers Kittle some perspective. Like him, Joe Staley and Garrett Celek went to two Super Bowls, losing both.

Kittle continued, "Just listening to them talk about how hard it was, I get that now. I understand that, just playing for seven years. But you get past it because we have a fantastic roster and I still believe in this team, the ability that we have to win."

It's clear that Kittle remains optimistic about the 49ers' future despite recent setbacks. With a talented roster and strong leadership, the team is poised to face the challenges ahead and work toward another Super Bowl run.

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