George Kittle

Kittle gave a blunt response about state of 49ers franchise

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After losing a Super Bowl -- the second to the Kansas City Chiefs in five NFL seasons -- one could understand if feelings of pessimism and despair heavily ring throughout the 49ers’ locker room

That couldn’t be further from the case for San Francisco star tight end George Kittle. 

Over a week into 49ers OTAs, Kittle is feeling good and optimistic, as he described when talking to reporters about the state of the franchise on Wednesday.

"Got a really good roster, great coaches, great players, ready to win,” Kittle told reporters (h/t 49ers Web Zone’s David Bonilla). “I'd say that's the state of the franchise. Need to win now.

"Your one goal is to make it all the way, make it through the entire season, and then get to the end and win. And, unfortunately, we didn't do it again. So it's just like, all right, [we’re] going to climb the mountain again. This time we just have to win."

Kittle, coming off his seventh NFL season where he had 65 receptions for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns, is ready to return to the promised land. The 49ers are, too, after a dominant 2023 NFL season. 

San Francisco finished the regular season 12-5 -- second-best in the league behind the 13-4 Baltimore Ravens -- and third in points per game (28.9) and points allowed per game (17.5). The 49ers also had nine NFL Pro Bowl selections and seven AP All-Pros -- Kittle earned both honors.

Sure, San Francisco's Super Bowl LVIII defeat still stings. However, Kittle emphasized he and the 49ers excitedly are back at the drawing board.

“It is what it is, and unfortunately, I didn't achieve the goal that I have to win a Super Bowl, but I have another opportunity to do it this year,” Kittle added. “So, does that suck? Yeah, but the fact that I have another opportunity with a fantastic football team, a great roster, I'd love to again bet on my team -- not really, but figuratively speaking, of course. 

“Playing football is really hard to make it through an entire season, to be as healthy as you can be, to try to make plays. Every individual player has their own individual goals, but everyone has the same team goal. And so it's been a really fun team to be a part of." 

The 49ers, alongside their nemesis in the Chiefs, are top candidates to meet in Super Bowl LIX at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans -- it would be just the second time in NFL history that the two franchises meet on three occasions for all the marbles (Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers -- Super Bowls X, XIII, and XXX).

Kittle is glad to try and run it back with a better ending, of course, and is proud to be competing for such a high-character organization. 

“We have a great core group of guys, and when you don't achieve that one goal that you really want to get to, it's tough,” Kittle concluded.”

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