Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle ‘pretty hyped’ about 49ers’ ability to compete in 2021

Jun 10, 2021 at 11:30 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have their share of doubters as the team heads into the 2021 season. After all, it is coming off an injury-plagued six-win campaign. But it also wasn't that long ago that the team was fighting for a championship, and much of that roster remains intact.

George Kittle sounds confident that the Niners can prove 2020, not 2019, was the outlier. The All-Pro tight end joined Michael Silver and his daughter, Natalie, on the latest Pass It Down podcast. The elder Silver has been pushing San Francisco as the team to watch in the NFC.

"I believe that if everything goes well for you guys, all things being equal because every team has injuries, I think you guys are the best team, in my opinion, heading into the season," Silver told Kittle.

It sounds like you won't get any argument from Kittle.

"I just look at what our defense did in 2019, and then what they still did last year even with some of our best players not playing," Kittle said. "Obviously, you've got to put up points, but as the Super Bowl showed, when you have a dominating D-line, it's kind of hard to put up points.

"I think our D-line is pretty dominating. Nick Bosa, I hope people don't forget about him. He's pretty good at football. He's back. I saw him the last couple of days. He looks massive. Like, he's ready to roll. You've got Dee Ford on the other side. You've got Arik Armstead on the other side. We just signed Samson (Ebukam) from the Rams, who I think is a hell of a football player because I had to block him. The dude is just a brick s**thouse. Excuse my language. He's very strong.

"With these Wide-9 defensive ends, good luck running the football on it, unless you just do gap scheme 24/7. Good luck with that. We have Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, and Azeez (Al-Shaair) in the middle with the linebackers. And we have a veteran secondary now, guys that have played in big games, guys that have made big plays. So our defense is elite."

Kittle played in only half of last season's game due to injuries. The team finished No. 15 in total yards and No. 21 in scoring. But the tight end believes the core is there for the unit to be so much better.

"And then you just kind of look at our offense and, oh no, we brought back Trent Williams," Kittle continued. "That's crazy. So, yeah, I'm pretty hyped. I'm pretty hyped about this season. I'm very excited. I think we've got talent all over the board. I really do. And I think we're deep at a lot of positions.

"Injuries are going to happen regardless. It's football. But I think we're very deep at positions where we'll have plenty of guys who can really step up if anything did happen. I also think we've had really great OTAs practices, and just seeing the guys run around, you can see that everyone's pretty excited for the season. We've got good energy rolling around in our building right now."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Kittle below.

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