The public consensus might be that the 49ers' 2020 season is a lost cause.
George Kittle disagrees.
Even after the club’s most lopsided loss in years, the All-Pro tight end believes that the 49ers can turn their season around.
“The biggest thing I’ve seen is just the guys in the locker room and our coaching staff,” Kittle said. “I believe in our coaching staff. I think coach [Kyle] Shanahan is incredible at what he does. He gameplans so well and he puts guys in positions to succeed.”
Injuries have had a huge impact on the performance of the 49ers on game day. Shanahan pointed out on Wednesday that the offense had yet to have a practice with all of their key players on the field at once, until this week.
Without consistency at practice, the product on the field has shown a lack of rhythm due to missed assignments and miscommunication.
Kittle believes the players that general manager John Lynch and Shanahan have assembled have the character and mettle to weather the storm. The team is approaching the most challenging portion of their season, but they are taking it one game at a time and aren't giving up.
“In the locker room we have a group of guys that want to get better every single day,” Kittle said. “We don’t have guys that are jumping off the ship. We don’t have guys that are pointing fingers at each other.
“We do hold each other accountable. We have conversations like, ‘Hey, why did we suck on this play?’ We talk about it, we figure it out. We don’t have guys say ‘This was your fault,’ or ‘It wasn’t my fault.’ ”
As the 27-year-old learns to be a better team captain, it appears that the 49ers' two young receivers are in his sights as players who will step up. Kittle has vowed to learn from Joe Staley’s advice in holding both Deebo Samuel and rookie Brandon Aiyuk to the standard that he keeps for himself.
Kittle believes the young receivers will be integral pieces in the team’s future both immediately and long-term.
“We are headed in the right direction,” Kittle said. “I know we haven’t played our best football in the last two weeks but we did take a huge step forward this week,” Kittle said. “We are relying heavily on Deebo and Brandon and they are just going to get better.
“When I see those guys go out there and make those plays and they have the confidence in themselves it makes me excited and they are a big reason why I think we turn this thing around and win some football games.”
The 49ers host the NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. They will need all of their offensive weapons to be on the same page to offset the pressure that All-Pro Aaron Donald and Co. will undoubtedly be putting on Jimmy Garoppolo.