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How George Kittle responded to a question about 49ers’ Super Bowl strategy

Jun 11, 2024 at 1:10 PM

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San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle joined the "Dan Patrick Show" and was asked a question he had not encountered before: What would he change about the strategy the 49ers deployed in their Super Bowl loss against the Kansas City Chiefs?

Kittle didn't immediately have an answer. However, after reflecting on the game, he prioritized better ball protection, feeling that might have made the difference. The fumble by running back Christian McCaffrey during the opening drive is the one play that sticks out in the tight end's mind.

"I think if we could [avoid] that turnover, I think that's a difference," Kittle stated.

It's worth noting that Kittle had an opportunity to recover the fumble, which would have kept the football in the 49ers' possession. The tight end drew criticism for distracting himself while the ball was loose, allowing Chiefs defender George Karlaftis to recover it.

When Patrick pointed out that the fumble occurred near him, Kittle responded, "It was, yeah. I mean, the ball bounced on the ground, something behind me I can't see; super unfortunate."

Kittle wasn't much of a factor in the passing game, hauling in just two passes for four yards. However, he doesn't view that as a significant factor in the loss.

"If you watch every single game [last season], there's games where I had 15 targets, and there's games I had one target," Kittle explained. "And that's just kind of where our offense goes. And while I would fully love five to eight targets a game, there's just games that's not going to happen, so I just try to contribute in other ways, like I have my entire career.

"So yes, there's times you're sitting there like, 'All right, come on now. It's time to throw me the ball a little bit.' But I think overall, we won a lot of games the way that our offense is going to be going, so I'm not going to complain too much. But it is, 'Hey, I run routes pretty well, too,' sometimes."

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