George Kittle

Kittle details how tight end position has evolved over time

NBC Universal, Inc.

The tight end position is a vital cog in the modern NFL offense, but that wasn't always the case before superstars like George Kittle burst on the scene.

While there were a handful of all-time talents to play the position, never has the group of tight ends league wide been as dynamic as it currently is.

During an interview on "The Dan Patrick Show," Kittle detailed how the position has morphed over time, citing versatility as a key change for the modern tight end.

"I think how it's evolving is you have more guys that can do everything," Kittle told Patrick. "You don't just have a 270-pound left tackle who has a tight end number. And you don't just have a 235-pound guy running choice routes. I think you're getting guys who are 240, 250, 260 pounds who are covering that gap. They're running routes, catching the ball, getting open. Being more than serviceable in the run game, in the pass-protection game.

"You can look at their "Madden" stats. All their attributes are going up just a little bit in all the categories. I don't like 10 personnel -- four wide receivers, one running back, zero tight ends. Not a fan of that. I'm all for multiple tight ends in there, maybe a fullback -- would rather have a tight end, unless it was [Kyle Juszczyk] maybe."

Kittle and Chiefs superstar Travis Kelce host an annual event called "Tight End University" where players at the position meet for on-field work and the ability to share ideas and help enhance each other's skill sets.

The All-Pro explained to Patrick that his main focus remains getting other tight ends prepared to face any situation they might encounter, which in turn increases the value placed on the position moving forward.

"But really I just want guys to have the opportunity to be in this position where they're comfortable enough to be on the field for every situation and have the confidence to execute in every situation," Kittle shared.

Since being selected by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Kittle has developed into one of the league's most dangerous weapons. The 30-year-old has been selected to five Pro Bowls and has been named First-Team All-Pro twice, with two selections to the Second-Team All-Pro squad as well.

Kittle's dynamic ability as a pass catcher while also being a destructive force as a run blocker helped highlight the importance of having an elite talent at tight end, with his legacy sure to continue inspiring players at the position for years to come.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Contact Us