As the playoffs are set to begin for the 49ers, George Kittle was reminded of his infamous line in the closing moments of his last playoff appearance.
George Kittle’s conviction in the face of defeat should become a rallying cry for the #49ers moving forward.— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) February 6, 2020
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.
( : @NFLFilms)pic.twitter.com/PfvqtkXRiW
Just days away from his first playoff game since Super Bowl LIV, Kittle isn’t taking anything for granted.
“I get to play my fourth postseason game, which is more than Tony Gonzalez ever got to play in in like 17 years. Trent Williams has played in two in his whole career. Alex Mack I think is at four, maybe five. You never know when you’re going to get that opportunity...The fact that I get to play in my second postseason in year five, every single snap matters. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the back side of the run, front side, you’re on the back side of a pass, it doesn’t matter what your role is. You have to do it to the best of your ability every single snap, because you don’t know if you’re going to get another one. if you lose that game, there’s no guarantees you’re going to be back the next year. So many things can happen. It happened to us last year. We thought we had a great team going into it, and all of a sudden we had 45 guys on IR, it felt like.
We’re in a position now where we have guys healthy, we have guys coming back. I think our offense is hitting a little bit of a stride here, guys are playing at a high level, and our defense looks pretty damn good. We’ve just got to keep this thing rolling and take advantage of every single snap that we have.”
This is the final “Run It Back” moment for so many of the players on this team. They realize the reality of the situation. There are around 30 free agents after the year ends. As Jimmy Garoppolo recently acknowledged to Albert Breer, he essentially has four more games left in his career as a 49er - at most. While Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have shown an ability to keep most of the team together, that is going to get more and more difficult with upcoming mega-deals for Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel, and others.
Kittle wasn’t alone in expressing the importance of each and every snap in the games to come. Trent Williams also spoke about what it’s like preparing for the playoffs.
“The vibe is amazing. the sun is shining brighter, it seems like. You wake up, the day starts out nicer. Half of the league is already enjoying the offseason, and then there’s another half of teams that took care of business during the season and get to play for something more. To know that you’re a part of that bunch, it definitely breeds confidence in the organization.”
The Dallas Cowboys are a good team, there’s no doubt about that. But I think they are about to run into a buzz saw, and I don’t envy the poor Cowboys that have to line up across from guys like Trent Williams and George Kittle.