BRADENTON, Fla. — One week after George Kittle squared off against Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon, the 49ers tight end's job doesn’t get any easier as he will face Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan.
While the Ravens' defense did get pressure on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, they were only able to sack him once. Kittle’s blocking along side the offensive line was part of the reason the Garoppolo stayed off the turf.
Jordan ranks second in the league with 13.5 sacks behind Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who has tallied 14.5. Kittle, who finds an incredible amount of joy in run blocking, is excited for the challenge.
“Run blocking I think is mostly effort,” Kittle said. “There’s technique to it whether it’s your hands or your steps but I think me and Mike McGlinchey did a great job all day controlling the edges.
“When you have a running back running like Raheem [Mostert] did, attacking the aiming point and slashing off the helmet it made it pretty easy on me. So it was a good day to run block.”
Kittle is very familiar with Jordan as the two stayed in the same hotel while at the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando. He couldn’t be more excited for the challenge of seeing him on the field.
“Oh, I love Cam Jordan,” Kittle said. “I got to meet him at the Pro Bowl he’s an awesome dude. We were like roommates next to each other in Orlando. Kept in contact with him the whole summer.
“He’s so much fun to watch. He wreaked havoc last Thursday so I’m looking forward to being able to compete with one of the best.”
After their tough loss in Baltimore, Kittle believes the 49ers are poised for a rebound. He wholeheartedly believes in the mental fortitude of the locker room, and their ability to move forward and focus on the task ahead.
“You’re either learning from a loss or you’re not,” Kittle said. “I think this team really handled the loss well, bounced back and got through the film. I don’t think we had to do much looking at ourselves in the mirror. I think we are all looking forward to being back on the field.
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“I think we are a pretty good football team. Unfortunately we didn’t get it done last week but this is another opportunity for us to go into someone’s house and try to leave with a win and that’s what our goal is.”
Kittle is also very well prepared for the noise he and the offense will face at the Superdome. He attended WrestleMania in the venue two years ago and explained how the extra 20,000 fans they packed into the arena is one of the loudest things he has ever experienced. But at least he knows what’s coming.