George Kittle: Fun Loving Freak Of Nature

As the final minutes ticked away of a disappointing Super Bowl LIV loss a few short months ago, a mic’d up George Kittle appeared on screen, mouthing some poignant yet powerful words.

“I will be back here. I will be back here and I will be back with a vengeance. You will not get the best of me. No sir.”

The “you” in question can be interpreted a few different ways. Is Kittle referencing the moment of the Super Bowl stage? The Kansas City Chiefs? Or perhaps the generality of the sport. Sure, Kittle posted a modest four receptions for 36 yards and was called for a questionable offensive pass interference penalty that potentially cost the 49ers a scoring opportunity towards the end of the first half. In spite of that brutal result, Kittle’s confidence and skill has never been questioned since being drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Throw in a fierce tenacity, infectious enthusiasm and excellent play-making ability adds up to the most complete and best tight end in the game today.

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In spite of that brutal result, Kittle’s confidence and skill has never been questioned since being drafted in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

The accolades for Kittle in three seasons were as unlikely as they are impressive, which already includes two Pro Bowl selections, two All-Pros, three 49ers records and four NFL records, but the superlatives for him are endless and certainly deserved: freak, beast, animal, relentless, passionate and dominant just to name a handful. His statistics, as good as they are, don’t show how underrated he is as a run-blocker, especially in the 49ers run-heavy offense. Given Kittle’s personality, he gets just as big a kick pancake blocking an opponent than making a big play (which there have been plenty). Given his statistics, receptions and yards after catch is where Kittle makes his money, seeing that he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal and is guaranteed a huge payday and bound to reset the market at the tight end position.

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Whatever the terms of his future contract, Kittle’s value cannot be understated. The complete package and a jack of all trades, he can do it all, and has. A locker room leader, a solid blocker, ferocious pass-catcher, elite play-maker which all have commanded the respect of media and other players around the league while praised by his coaches, teammates and fans alike. The 2020 season will certainly have the “Revenge Tour” mantra for the 49ers, attempting to avenge their most recent defeat, and the roster is still very formidable, despite some free agent departures. Many players will play a part to the fate of the upcoming season, but likely none as more important and indispensable as George Kittle. He is many things, but easily identifiable as a free-spirited freak. Beast unleashed yet again.

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