Breaking down the ways Kittle encouraged Lance vs. Texans

/ by Dalton Johnson
Presented By Toyota

George Kittle has been one of Jimmy Garoppolo's biggest supporters ever since questions swirled around the 49ers quarterback following their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. He also has been nothing but supportive of rookie QB Trey Lance ever since San Francisco traded up and selected Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Lance started in place of an injured Garoppolo on Sunday against the Houston Texans and earned his first win in the NFL. To no surprise, Kittle continued his non-stop support of the 21-year-old while being his usual maniacal self on the gridiron. 

On Tuesday, the 49ers tweeted a video of Kittle mic'd up for over seven minutes. Let's break down all the ways the star tight end encouraged his young QB on the way to a needed victory in Week 17. 

1:16: "Hey Trey, good job!"

1:26: "Be you."

2:03: "Hey, good job. You got your rhythm now. Let's go. Let's go."

Kittle was constantly talking with Lance coming on and off the field, as well as standing next to him while catching balls on the sidelines and keeping him encouraged.

2:21: "Hey Trey, let's go." 

3:03: "You got it now? You good? Feeling better?"

Lance then said how he felt more comfortable and got his rhythm at the end of the first half. The 49ers received the ball back with only 38 seconds left before halftime. The rookie QB went 3-for-5 for 56 yards to get the 49ers in field-goal position for their first points of the day.


"I know you did. I swear, two-minute drive is the easiest time to get rolling," Kittle responded.

This also was before the 49ers' next drive after Lance tossed an 8-yard TD to running back Elijah Mitchell to give the 49ers a 10-7 lead in the third quarter.

3:14: "Let's go Trey, all you baby." 

3:52: "You, you. Yes, yes, you. You're a dog! Good job Trey! Yes! You f--king dog! Ahhhhhhh!"

This, as they say, is the money shot. Watch Kittle's reaction the whole way through here as Lance unloads for a 45-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel, giving the 49ers a 17-7 lead after Robbie Gould's extra point.

4:18: "I'll be right back, I have to go tell Trey good job." 

4:22: "Great job," Kittle said to Lance in his most serious voice while dapping him up on the bench.

Kittle brought the same crazy energy on Sunday that he always does, no matter who the 49ers' quarterback is, and gave Lance the perfect message after the QB's early interception on a pass intended for the tight end. He also had Kyle Shanahan seeing his life flash before his eyes on the sidelines when Kittle smacked the coach -- in a good way of course -- after the TD. 

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“I would rather Trey avoid Kittle after plays," Shanahan said Wednesday to reporters. "I appreciate the encouragement, but Kittle for some reason can't control his aggressiveness. Trey definitely can handle it better than me, but I run from Kittle after good things because he will not change how he hits people no matter what.

"Whether they have pads on or not, whether they're on your team, he just gets too excited. So best thing is to avoid Kittle in those moments because he is an injury waiting to happen.”

As far as who to get the ball to, Lance, Garoppolo, Shanahan and the rest of the 49ers know it'll be key to not avoid Kittle at all costs Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams.

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