New 49ers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave likely will give his teammate George Kittle a hard time once the team begins preparations for the 2023 NFL season.
Hargrave joined 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” on Monday, where he discussed the bulletin board material Kittle gave the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the 2023 NFC Championship Game in January.
“That was something,” Hargrave told Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky (h/t 95.7 The Game). “Coach [Nick Sirianni] had put it up on a board and tried to give us a little motivation before the game. Just reminding us that basically they said we were a paper team, they were saying we were a paper team and stuff.
“That was something people took personally and just wanted to go out there and prove [them wrong]. But I think that’s all of us. When we hear someone talking down on us that just gives us a little motivation, so I think that was just a little motivation for us in that game.”
Heading into the NFC title game, Kittle was asked to give his opinion on whether the Eagles could go toe-to-toe with the physicality that San Francisco brings.
“I mean, they’ve got six first-round draft picks on the defensive line, they’ve got a really good secondary, they’ve got physical guys at linebacker,” Kittle told reports during the week leading up to the championship game.
“So whatever you see on paper, sure. It’s the NFL. When you look at paper, it should be like, ‘Oh yeah, we can match their physicality’ and stuff like that. And then you get on the field on Sundays and the film after the game will show you exactly what you’re asking. I know we’re going to come out, we’re going to be violent, physical, I’m expecting them to do the same thing. We’ll see.”
The Philadelphia defense took the remarks from the 49ers tight end as a challenge, leading to the 31-7 victory.
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While the game was a lopsided affair, it is essential to note that Brock Purdy suffered an elbow injury in the first half and backup Josh Johnson sustained a concussion later in the game.
Nonetheless, expect Kittle and the rest of the 49ers team to refrain from providing any bulletin material should they qualify for the playoffs next season.