49ers

Watch incredible George Kittle block at Iowa before he was 49ers star

Watch incredible George Kittle block at Iowa before he was 49ers star

49ers tight end George Kittle is a great blocker. That’s it, that’s the article.

OK not quite, but it could be. And only because there’s evidence to prove it, both in stat form and this clip from when he played his college ball at Iowa.

Right?!

So despite FS1's Doug Gottlieb saying he's "not really a blocker" last season, the evidence proves otherwise. 

This is only a fraction of why Kittle is about to be the highest-paid tight end in the history of the NFL. He’s a big part of the 49ers’ success and the people in charge of signing the checks made it very clear he isn’t going anywhere. 

After being a fifth-round draft pick in 2017, the two-time Pro Bowler has proven to be a major steal. 

[RELATED: Jimmy Garoppolo NFL's most accurate QB with deep passes in 2019]

His 2,945 receiving yards since then are the most by a tight end during his first three NFL seasons … ever. Kittle also set the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in 2018 with 1,377. His work in the run game also is strong, and not just when he's running dudes off the field. 

It’s nice to see he’s always been this way.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

NFL rumors: Washington team to change name in next '24 to 48 hours'

NFL rumors: Washington team to change name in next '24 to 48 hours'

The Washington NFL team soon will have a new nickname.

Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson reported Saturday that the team will announce a new name in the coming days, and he broke the news on live radio.

"Washington is about to have a new name in the next 24 to 48 hours," Robinson said on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas. "Yeah, that's going to happen, for sure. Definitely happening."

When hosts Clarence Hill Jr. and DJ Ringgenberg pressed Robinson for what the new nickname would be, he didn't have that information.

"But I heard the NFL is starting to take steps to tell everybody who has Washington's nickname on its platform, to start scrubbing it, start taking it off. Which means something's coming," Robinson said.

The call for Washington owner Dan Snyder to change the team's nickname was renewed in recent weeks in light of racial tensions gripping the country. Sponsor FedEx asked the team to change the name. Fred Smith, the chief executive for FedEx, owns a stake in the Washington football team, and the shipping company holds the naming rights to the stadium.

 

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

Snyder issued a statement on July 3 stating that the team would undergo a "thorough review" of the nickname after years of criticism and mounting pressure from sponsors.

Shortly after Washington's announcement that they would review their nickname, MLB's Cleveland Indians released a statement saying it was open to discussions about changing its name.

On a recent episode of "Race in America: A Candid Conversation," former 49ers safety and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner said it's time for these teams to change their names.

"I'm for changing the names," Whitner said. "Cleveland Indians, that's offensive. The Indians, they were done very dirty in the history of America. And the Redskins, I think the same thing. I think they should change the name."

Whitner played for Washington in 2016, the final season of his 11-year career.

[RELATED: Sherman blasts NFL's jersey swap rule]

The 49ers are scheduled to host Washington in Week 14 on Sunday, Dec. 13.

The Washington NFL team has used their current nickname since 1933, but it sounds like that will be changing very soon. Other professional sports teams might follow in their footsteps.

49ers' George Kittle again follows Jimmy Garoppolo jokes with praise

49ers' George Kittle again follows Jimmy Garoppolo jokes with praise

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."

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

"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. 

[RELATED: Watch 49ers rookie Kinlaw imitate Donald with knife drill]

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.