49ers

Kyle Shanahan apologizes to George Kittle for falling shy of NFL record

Kyle Shanahan apologizes to George Kittle for falling shy of NFL record

George Kittle had a career game Sunday, in just the first half.

The second-year 49ers tight end caught seven passes for 210 yards. With a full 30 minutes remaining in the game, he was just 5 yards shy of breaking Shannon Sharpe's NFL single-game record for receiving yards by a tight end.

You figured Kittle would shatter that record, right? Nope.

He didn't catch a single pass in the second half, and no one felt worse about that than 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan.

"Coach Shanahan already apologized," Kittle said on 49ers Postgame Live after the 20-14 win over the Broncos. "Multiple times, he said he was sorry. He owes me one, but the W is OK with me."

Postgame host Greg Papa pressed Kittle on when Shanahan found the time to apologize.

"Right after the game, and in the locker room, he said it again, but it's all right," Kittle said.

[RELATED: Watch Kittle's monster 85-yard catch-and-run touchdown]

Kittle entered the game with 893 receiving yards this season, and he got a few friendly reminders of how many yards he needed to reach 1,000 for the season.

"My mom made sure to let me know I needed 107 yards today," Kittle said. "She told me that probably five times. Richard Sherman told me, too. It was pretty fun to get that."

Kittle now sits at 1,103 yards on the season with three games remaining.

Joe Staley not worried about 49ers future despite no new contract

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USATSI

Joe Staley not worried about 49ers future despite no new contract

Joe Staley’s undetermined future with the 49ers could make the team take a closer look at a tackle early in this year’s draft, but the veteran remains unfazed about his future after 2019. 

The 49ers selected Mike McGlinchey with the No. 9 overall pick of the 2018 draft as the heir apparent for Staley’s left tackle position. Staley is under contract through 2019, but there still haven't been talks about his future with the club.

“We haven’t had any discussions,” Staley said. “I made it very clear, to I think everybody, that I want to play as long as I can. I still love the game and feel like I can play at a high level. Still feel like I’m valued on the football team.” 

Staley is not worried that things have not been ironed out yet. He remains steadfast that his desire is to remain in Santa Clara following his 13th season. 

“I know it’s my last year under contract but I’m not worried about that,” Staley said. “I’m just going to go out there and do everything I can to help us win games this year.” 

Staley is moving forward with a "business as usual" mentality. He is one of the veterans who continually shows up for the offseason program, even though it is voluntary. He explained why, at 34 years old, he prefers to participate in organized team activities (OTAs) instead of doing his own program elsewhere. 

“I just love being around everybody and I don’t know, I’d much rather be here than somewhere else,” Staley said. “I think for me too, it’s like I need the structure, I’m used to the structure.

“It works well for me. Not to say that I can’t manage my time away from here when I’m not. I do when I’m down in San Diego, but I just enjoy being around the guys too. It was never a thought for me to be anywhere else.”  

[RELATED: Staley gave 49ers scouting report on Dee Ford before trade]

Staley, a six-time Pro Bowler, has started in all 174 games that he has played with the team. The remaining tackles on the team are McGlinchey, Shon Coleman, Christian DiLauro and Daniel Brunskill

NFL draft: Quinnen Williams ranked higher than Nick Bosa by Chris Simms

NFL draft: Quinnen Williams ranked higher than Nick Bosa by Chris Simms

The 49ers likely will have their choice of a top defensive prospect with the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Should the Cardinals select quarterback Kyler Murray, defensive linemen Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen will fall in the 49ers' lap. All three are top prospects in their own right, but NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms has one atop this trio. 

"I would say Quinnen Williams is probably the best one (player in the draft)," Simms said recently on Pro Football Talk Live. 

The 49ers will have an interesting decision to make if both Bosa and Williams are there for the taking. While Bosa is the consensus pick by many, he believes there's certainly an argument for Williams.

"I think there's a lot of things that play into this, certainly. First of all, Quinnen Williams is awesome," Simms said. "I think Nick Bosa is just slightly less of them." 

Roster construction could be a big factor in the 49ers' decision, however. Their defensive line is full of players they selected high in the draft but fit more as an interior rusher like Williams instead of an on the edge like Bosa. The 49ers, in theory, could pair Bosa and Dee Ford as a dominant pass rush on the outside.

[RELATED: The Choice -- Nick Bosa intuitively drawn to sport that shaped his life]

"Another thing you have to take into account is the San Francisco 49ers have drafted defensive tackles in three out of the last five drafts," Simms said. "They probably look at that and go, 'We're full at that position.' ... It's very close between Bosa and Quinnen Williams."

Decisions will be made and it will only get trickier between now and the start of the draft on Thursday.