George Kittle is a vocal supporter of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but that doesn't mean the tight end is above clowning on his teammate.
Yes, Kittle has gone on the record to defend Garoppolo from criticism and to praise the QB's leadership. Of course, Kittle has also ripped Garoppolo's texting ability and even used childhood photos of the signal-caller as his background on video calls.
Humans contain multitudes, and Kittle covered the full range of his in his relationship with Garoppolo during an interview with Matt Maiocco on the "49ers Insider Podcast" earlier this week.
"Well, he's a slightly better texter, but he's still pretty terrible," Kittle told Maiocco. "His jawline still looks incredible, but he does throw a tight spiral and he's usually on the money for that."
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"It was fun seeing him out there again," Kittle said. "It was fun to catch from him. I've been in Nashville with [49ers backup QB C.J. Beathard], so it's been awesome to have a Niners quarterback throwing me the ball. But being able to catch from Jimmy and Nick again was definitely awesome. Jimmy's hummin', and it's just fun to see."
Garoppolo targeted Kittle 120 times in the 2019 regular season and playoffs, and the tight end was 21 clear of the next-closest pass-catcher (Deebo Samuel) despite missing two games. The quarterback and his roast-inclined target haven't had too many chances to link up this offseason, since the 49ers and the rest of the NFL haven't held any team-run practices or workouts due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Kittle worked out with Garoppolo in Nashville, Tenn. last month alongside 14 other 49ers. One player reportedly tested positive, and the NFL Players Association medical director advised against players conducting group workouts a day after the report. The NFL and NFLPA reportedly haven't agreed when training camps will start, so it's unclear when Kittle will catch passes from Garoppolo next.
Still, the All-Pro tight end was impressed with what he saw of Garoppolo in their limited time together.
Kittle is yet to sign a contract extension with the 49ers, but he said he didn't hold out because he was concerned what message he'd send as a captain. I wonder if his love-joke relationship with Garoppolo surely had something to do with it, too.