When you’re one of the best, you want to play the best. San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle knows this as well as anyone.
After recently being selected as the NFL’s top tight end and No. 7 overall player in the NFL Top 100 list, there is no longer a debate over whether Kittle is one of the NFL’s best players.
Shortly after the accolade, Kittle went on the podcast Pardon My Take, where he talked about various things, including the topic of facing off against the Seattle Seahawks‘ latest addition: safety Jamal Adams.
“When he was on the Jets, we were going to play them this year, so I definitely watched Jamal Adams,” Kittle said. “He’s a hell of a player, so I’m just excited. Like, the NFC West, that’s some competition out there from the Cardinals to the Rams, and now the Seahawks and us. It’s going to be a really fun one to play in. Jamal Adams is just going to make it a lot more fun for us.”
Seattle’s blockbuster trade for Adams sent two-first round picks and more to the New York Jets to secure the safety, creating what will be one of the most anticipated matchups of 2020 when Kittle and Adams go head-to-head.
Die-hard Niner with something to say? Join our community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook!
Kittle’s History Against the Seahawks
The addition of Adams changes a lot in terms of how the 49ers and Seahawks will square up against each other, but interestingly enough, it’s not as if Kittle has been a nightmare for Seattle since getting into the league.
Kittle’s lined up against the Seahawks five times, missing last year’s home loss to Seattle, but has never scored a touchdown and has never broken the 100-yard receiving mark.
This isn’t to say that Kittle hasn’t done well enough, as the former Iowa Hawkeye has averaged just under 47 receiving yards a game against the NFC West rival and has elevated his performance in the last two years like he has in pretty much every game.
However, it’s interesting to consider that Kittle has not dominated the Seahawks in a contest yet. Will Adams be the one to let that happen, or will Kittle’s job get even more difficult?
Kittle’s Comments on Shanahan
At one point in the podcast, hosts Big Cat and PFT Commenter talked about a legendary moment in the 49ers’ NFC Championship win over the Green Bay Packers, which saw head coach Kyle Shanahan predict the outcome of a third-down out pass before it happened.
You will hear all week about how good Andy Reid is with extra time to prepare and best HC to have never won a SB but can he see the plays coming before they even happen like Kyle Shanahan? #49wz pic.twitter.com/AZsZWYoJPM
— Winston Chung (@dubcmd) January 22, 2020
The hosts and Kittle laughed about the moment while the tight end hilarious explained how it feels to be around Shanahan when he’s reading games like he can.
“He said that, when he installed the play on Thursday for a third-down play,” Kittle said. “He goes, ‘Look, when we’re in this formation, and this guy covers you, he always holds. So just push him inside and break out. He’s going to hold you.’ And I was like, ‘Alright, sounds good…’ And then it happens. Like I said, the dude’s a wizard. It’s pretty fun to play for him.”
Kittle may be in the midst of a mega-contract negotiation, but it’s good to hear that he’s on good terms with Shanahan.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, Mont. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.