George Kittle

Kittle reveals simple secret to 49ers' strong team chemistry

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The 49ers have been one of the NFL's more successful teams recently, having reached the NFC Championship Game in three of the last four seasons.

A lot of that success has to do with the team's chemistry and veteran tight end George Kittle shared what differentiates San Francisco's locker room from others in the league.

"I think we actually like each other -- I think that's the No. 1 thing," Kittle told NBC Sports Bay Area's Jennifer Lee Chan. "We have a really good core group of guys that started off with Joe Staley, Garrett Celek, DeForest Buckner.

"Then you throw in like Arik Armstead, because he was like in his third year when I was a rookie, and you had these, you just had this good group of guys that were able to build this good culture, even though we weren't great our first two years and then you throw [Jimmy Garoppolo] into that mix too, like when we had that five-game win streak at the end of the year, we kind of got that taste of winning too."

Kittle recalled while the 2018 NFL season was a forgettable one -- especially with the team winning just four games -- the locker room didn't splinter.

Instead, the players understood they were on the precipice of winning -- they just had to string together more winning plays when it mattered.

"And it goes into '19 and it's just like this culture just kept building of, 'We know what we have to do to win, we just got to go out and do it,' and I think that's what it was," Kittle explained to Chan. "It's this core group of guys, then you draft guys like [Fred Warner] to get on top of that, Dre Greenlaw, Ross Dwelley's been here for six years."

With a core group like that, Kittle said the fondness each player has for one another ultimately is what separates the 49ers from other teams.

"You have this good core group of foundational guys who like each other, work hard and push each other," Kittle added. "And when you have all that, hey it's like sugar, spice and everything nice.

"That's all that matters."

Whether it's the regular season or the offseason, the 49ers' chemistry always is on full display, thanks to Kittle.

Kittle frequently lauded star running back Christian McCaffrey's on-field ability and even former tight end Dallas Clark understood Kittle plays a big part in keeping San Francisco's locker room motivated and focused.

"Where do start?" Clark told NBC Sports Bay Area in June. "The intensity, the passion, the love and just his willingness to sacrifice on every play for his team, for his teammates. It obviously just gets everyone around him jacked up and playing on a different level of intensity."

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With Kittle's voice being one of the more prominent in the 49ers locker room, it's clear he's continuing the lay the foundation that was laid for him.

And because of it, the 49ers have benefitted greatly, as evidenced by their success in recent seasons.

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