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Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle explains how the 49ers’ culture helps players ‘level up’

Jun 12, 2024 at 12:15 PM

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At the San Francisco 49ers' recent "State of the Franchise" event, tight end George Kittle expressed his desire to play his entire career with the team that drafted him in 2017. Although Kittle has never spent time in another locker room, he strongly believes in the culture the 49ers have built under head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

This culture has been pivotal to the 49ers' recent success, with the team reaching four NFC Championship Games and two Super Bowls over the past five seasons.

Kittle discussed the importance of the 49ers' culture and what it has meant for the organization. Despite the team's early struggles, including a 0-9 start during Kittle's rookie season, their belief in what they were building never wavered.

"When you have a good core group of really good players, they kind of just set the standard every single day," Kittle shared. "And so when you bring in new guys, they look at [DE] Nick Bosa, they look at [LB] Fred Warner, they look at [WR] Deebo [Samuel], [WR Brandon] Aiyuk, and they're like, 'Hey, I want to be a really talented player, and they do the right thing, so I want to do what they do.'

"It just kind of levels up everybody around you. And then you throw a guy like [QB] Brock [Purdy] in, who you can tell his hunger for the game every single day at OTAs practices, camp practices, whatever it is, and guys are like, 'You know what? Hey, I want to level up to that as well.'"

Kittle notes that Shanahan and Lynch continue to build on what has been established, trying to bring in players with like mindsets who will seamlessly fit into a culture that has quickly become the envy of other NFL organizations. This is evident in both free agency and draft additions.

Kittle added, "And so then it just elevates all of us, too."
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