George Kittle is the ultimate hype man. Usually. After another disappointing loss, Kittle called out his own team at the podium.
“We’re the San Francisco 49ers. We have a standard to play at. We play at a very high level with a lot of energy and 100-percent effort on every play. I haven’t watched the tape, yet, but I don’t know if we gave that today at every single position.
We had a lot of young guys play. We’re missing a lot of guys. We just gotta make sure we’re playing at that level every single snap otherwise that’s going to happen, especially when you are down guys.
You can look at it as we’re down seven or eight starters, or you can look at it as that’s a lot of young guys that got an opportunity to go out there and make big plays and get their names known.
We’ve dealt with it before. It’s not easy, but I’m not gonna use that as an excuse.”
That’s a marked difference from what George usually says to the media - particularly about teammates. Even after the worst of losses, Kittle has always focused on the positive aspects of any performance. Yesterday George took the time to send a public message to the “young guys,” as he put it. Kittle is a team captain and a leader in the locker room - if anyone has the right to call out the team, it’s him. Especially after their performance yesterday.
The only curious part, to me, is that most of the injuries were on defense. That side of the ball wasn’t the problem yesterday, it was the offense that didn’t play up to their potential. The offense failed to score in the second half - a recurring theme this year.
As pointed out by Nick Wagoner on Twitter, the 49ers are averaging 6 offensive points per game in the second half this season. That’s sixth-worst in the entire NFL. There are injuries along the offensive line, yes, but when you have Deebo Samuel, Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and a functional Jeff Wilson, you have to do better than that.
With a banged up defense and the Chiefs and Rams coming up next, the offense is going to have to figure out a way to put four complete quarters together in the next two weeks. Maybe George Kittle was trying to get an early jump on that yesterday.
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