Kittle's 'alive' joke drew classic response from Shanahan

George Kittle

Kyle Shanahan had to know it was coming. The 49ers coach made waves in a pre-NFL draft press conference by saying he couldn't guarantee anyone would be alive come Sunday, and naturally, come Sunday, George Kittle had to jab the 49ers coach.

The star tight end made sure to text his coach the Sunday after the draft had concluded to let him know he was still there. Shanahan offered an expected response which surely came with an eye roll.

"I told him I was still here," Kittle told NFL Media's Mike Silver and his daughter Nat Silver on the "Pass It Down Podcast." "I'm still here, Kyle. I woke up. I think I had two guys that play for us and trained with me this offseason, tight ends, and I told them to. I don't know if they texted him. They were like, 'I'm not going to text my head coach that I'm alive.' And I was like, 'Oh come on, it will be funny.'

"He gave me a thumbs up," Kittle said of Shanahan's response. "Kyle's a thumbs up type of guy. Just like the thumbs up on the message, like, 'Thanks.'"

There is no time for emojis when you're Kyle Shanahan.

Shanahan's original comments came when he was asked if he could guarantee quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the 49ers' roster at the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft.


"I can't guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can't guarantee who will be on our roster come Sunday," Shanahan told reporters. "So that goes for all of us."

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A few days later after the 49ers selected Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick, Shanahan admitted he flopped on a comment that was meant to be a joke between him and the reporter asking the question.

“I totally bombed that on Monday,” Shanahan said on the first night of the draft. “I hated how that came off. I talked to Jimmy about it right away. I didn’t realize when I did it.”

Garoppolo, knowing Shanahan's sense of humor, didn't take the doomsday comment personally.

"No," Garoppolo told CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara. "I know Kyle pretty well, and I knew what he was trying to say when he said that. I don't know if he worded it the right way, but I definitely knew what he was trying to say. It definitely made for a good headline, though."

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