After a breaking records in just his second season as a pro, George Kittle can only get better, and learning from the best isn’t a bad route to do so. And you can’t get someone much better to learn about the tight end position than former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez—he might get elected to the Hall of Fame this weekend.
San Francisco 49ers tight end coach John Embree was the latest guest on Matt Maiocco’s 49ers Insider Podcast and said he set a few days up to where Kittle could train under Gonzalez—the way Embree wants:
“Me and him [Embree and Gonzalez] are going to go have dinner with George, because I want him to share some things with Kittle, that him and I have done together that helped him be successful and just some things from a mindset standpoint that he did that George needs to do to sustain success.
“George and him are going to do some stuff, stay down there and do some stuff over a week’s period. Getting to know each other a little bit and doing some things. Tony is someone that has continued to watch players and knows how I work, and things I want done. So Tony is going to work with him on some of those things and teach him some tricks and nuances.”
49ers coaches can’t work with players in the offseason due to the collective bargaining agreement, but players and former players can. Embree coached Gonzalez during his time in Atlanta and Gonzalez knows how Embree wants things and what to go over with Kittle. This can give Kittle a good idea of what to train for in the offseason and to show up at OTAs and training camp on the same page as his coach.
Kittle spoke on the training as well in a recent chat with Damon Bruce and said he’s all ears:
“That’s just something that coach [Jon Embree], because he coached Tony obviously, he told me after the season that it’s something he’d be interested in me doing because he thinks Tony, watches all the games and he has a lot of advice. Anything I can pick up from a hall of fame tight end and a guy that’s going to be there. Like I said, his film speaks for itself. Any piece of advice I can take from him whether that’s ar way to catch the ball tips on routes, tips on reading safeties, whatever it can be, I’m going to absorb it like a sponge and hopefully take it with me into OTAs season.”
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce broke the record for single season receiving yards by a tight end, in Week 17 of the 2018 season. Approximately an hour later, Kittle broke Kelce’s record in receiving yards to set things at 1,377. Defenses no doubt are going to find a way to clamp down on Kittle for 2019 given his prior productivity. With Gonzalez’s help, perhaps he can stay above the competition and break a few more records while he’s at it.