San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle addressed the media after wasn’t as chipper as usual, but still found a way to make his media availability enjoyable and informative. Kittle addressed the turning point of the game, which Kittle felt was when the 49ers intercepted Patrick Mahomes, but couldn’t capitalize and the Chiefs scored on the following possession. Kittle said it was “pretty brutal” when discussing his emotions and how it feels to lose a game of that magnitude. He kept repeating how the 49ers didn’t take advantage of their opportunities and wished he could play another half.
Kittle was asked about the offensive pass interference that he was called for as the first half was coming to an end: “Ref made the call, and I gotta live with it.” There was a follow-up question nudging Kittle to say something bad about the refs, but Kittle didn’t bite: “I gotta live with it. It is what it is. Ref makes a call. I live with it.”
Kittle on how proud he was of the Niners’ effort in Super Bowl LIV:
I love my team. I think we played a great game. Like I said, we didn’t get it done. There were a ton of great individual efforts out there. From T-Mo [Tarvarius Moore], Fred [Warner] had an insane interception. Our defense put us in a position to win the game multiple times and as an offense we just didn’t get it done.
I asked Kittle how special this season was for him to be apart of this team:
Going 4-12 to 13-4 or whatever it was. Playing in the Super Bowl was insane. One thing that sticks with me is, being part of Coach Shanahan and John Lynch’s first draft class. How we are kind of the foundation and helped build it up. We had a great draft class and we have a lot of great guys with us. The success that we had all season, being able to rely on each other whether it’s defense making plays, offense making plays, or Special Teams making plays. I think we did that well all year.
My next question to Kittle was if losing Super Bowl LIV will create more motivation for San Francisco to get back to the big game next year:
“Losing sucks. It just is what it is. Losing on the biggest stage is not fun. We’re going through a lot of emotions, and they aren’t fun ones. Ultimately, though, your goal is to win the Super Bowl. I’ll do whatever I can to come back. I think every team that loses the Super Bowl says they’re going to be back. I think what we have to do is realistically look ourselves in the mirror and say what worked well for us this year, what didn’t work well for us this year and say how we’re going to make ourselves a better team. That’s is what you try and do. You try to go out and win every single game. It doesn’t happen a lot, but that’s what you try to do. We are going to try to figure that out.”
That’s a harsh reality. Look at the past two NFC teams that made the Super Bowl. There is a lot of luck involved in getting to the Super Bowl. That’s not to take away what the 49ers accomplished this season. To me, this is one of the best teams in the past five or so years in the NFL. But because San Francisco wasn’t crowned a champion, they won’t be remembered as such. As much as Kyle Shanahan wants to bring everyone back, it’s going to be tough to do. The 2020 49ers roster will look different than the 2019 49ers roster. Hopefully, it’s for the better. As Kittle said, the foundation is in place for the franchise to be successful for many years to come.