49ers’ George Kittle Celebrates Kyle Shanahan’s Offensive Creativity

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers, Kyle Shanahan

Getty George Kittle celebrating the San Francisco 49ers winning the NFC Championship game with Kyle Shanahan.

If there’s one player who knows Kyle Shanahan‘s San Francisco 49ers offense inside and out, it’s George Kittle. Selected in Shanahan’s first-ever draft as the Niners’ head coach, Kittle has appeared in 82 of the 49ers’ 98 regular season games since the start of the 2017 season and started all nine games of the team’s playoff appearances proceeding.

Appearing on the “Waddle & Silvy” show for ESPN Chicago, Kittle explained the joy he feels playing tight end in Shanahan’s offense, as he’s afforded a chance to have fun and try something new seemingly every week.

“I mean, it’s really fun,” Kittle said of via 49ers Webzone. “First off, the great thing about tight end [in this offense] is that you get to do everything. I get a run block. I get a pass [protection]. I get to run routes for touchdowns. I get to run the ball in reverses and stuff like that; jet sweeps. So just his creativity and the way he attacks defenses, it’s like, different every single week. And it’s really fun to be a part of something that kind of changes week to week, and you’re not just running your head into a wall, running the same plays over and over and over.

“So the creativity is awesome. The way he uses motions, how he sets it up. We run outside zone like three plays in a row, and even though it’s not a good run, he’s just setting it up to run a play-action or a bootleg – like a naked bootleg – off of it. It’s just fun to be a part of that stuff because if you can do everything in his offense, then the pass game just opens up. If you dominate in the run game, the pass game opens up.”

Using the run as the building blocks from which the passing game is set up, Kittle has witnessed how Shanahan’s scheme has evolved first hand and enjoys the process of being a cog in the ever-evolving system.

“There’s just so much to this offense,” Kittle added. “It’s just really fun to be a part of it and see how it’s evolved over the course of my career. … Like, one time [WR] Brandon Aiyuk is going to fake down block, and the next play he might actually down block and I’m out and around. And the more you can do that to defenses, man, it’s really fun to be a part of.”

George Kittle Believes in the San Francisco 49ers’ New Kicker

Turning his attention to one of the newest member of the 49ers, Jake Moody, Kittle was asked what he knows about the Michigan product and gave a rather obvious answer.

“I know the kid we drafted in the third round, he’s going to be a good kicker,” Kittle said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s made some big kicks in college, so I’m looking forward to that.

Asked what it will be like to no longer have Robbie Gould on the sidelines after being teammates for his entire professional career, Kittle noted that it will certainly be different but he’s going to remain optimistic about the future.

“But it is a little bit different. You’re just thinking about it maybe a little bit more because it used to be, ‘Hey, Robbie’s out there. Three points guaranteed.’ And even if Robbie did miss, I was like, ‘Eh, he’ll make the next five. I don’t really care. It is what it is.’ Never really had to worry about it.

“So I’m going to stick with that type of confidence in my new kicker, and we’ll see what happens. He is a good kicker.”

If Moody can produce at the same level as Gould during his tenure in San Francisco, Kittle will likely be able to have the same confidence every time Shanahan calls for the kicking unit.

George Kittle Comments on Growing Up a Chicago Bears Fan

Despite playing the entirety of his professional career in San Francisco, Kittle actually grew up as a Bears fan, as “Waddle & Silvy”noted. Asked what it would have been like to have been drafted by Chicago, Kittle admitted it would have been great but noted that, because he wasn’t drafted until the fifth round, it’s not like like they didn’t have chances to pick him.

“Being a Bear would have been fantastic,” Kittle said. “I’m pretty happy with where I ended up. Doing pretty well for myself out here in San Francisco. But the Bears are always dear to my heart, and the Cubs. I’ve got to get back to Wrigley.

“But, hey, you know what it is? That’s the draft. All these guys, they say they have a chip on their shoulder. All these teams looked past me. I got drafted in the fifth round. All 32 teams looked past me for five rounds. It is what it is.

“I’m just happy to have the opportunity to be playing football at a high level, and that’s just been my mindset since my career started. And hopefully, more guys take that mindset as opposed to a chip on their shoulder.”

For fans of the Niners, it’s safe to say Kittle still being on the board at pick 146 turned out pretty well, as John Lynch was able to add a do-it-all tight end who has to date made it to four Pro Bowls and made an All-Pro team all before he turned 30. With three more years left on his contract, it will be incredibly interesting to see what else Kittle is able to accomplish.

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