Who is Bruce Kittle? He's a football coach at Lipscomb Academy High, a motivational speaker, former Offensive Tackle, and George Kittle's father. He was also George Kittle's coach when Kittle was growing up and admitted for much of his son's life, he thought George would be an offensive lineman.
This may be the secret sauce to what makes George Kittle such a multifaceted, do it all kind of player.
It's also the explanation of why he's such an incredible blocking tight end.
Every person in a fantasy football league understands what Kittle can do as a pass-catcher. In the last three years, no other tight end has as many catches an yards as him (216 catches for 2,945 yards), but what makes him special is his skills when it comes to run blocking. His right tackle Mike McGlinchey said Kittle has the mentality of an offensive lineman and is one of the key components of their running game. And as everyone remembers, that became an integral piece of the Niners' Super Bowl run. Who can forget San Francisco DEMOLISHING the Packers in the NFC championship game, and because of their run game, Jimmy G only needed to throw the ball 8 times to get to the Super Bowl. Kittle is a big reason why they were able to do that.
In this episode of Bussin' With The Boys, Taylor and Will interview George and his father Bruce Kittle. His dad outlined exactly how Kittle became so special at this, and I think it starts with the fundamentals. Check out the answer Bruce gave when the boys asked him what made him the maddest as a coach.
"Run game. Bad hands, bad footwork," George said with no hesitation
And that was just the beginning. His dad then came through with the heat.
"I thought he was going to be an offensive lineman. I played OT, I had this small little kid-sized blocking dummies, you know? He was doing mirror dodge and punch drills ever since he was in 5th grade because I thought for sure he was going to grow into an O Lineman ... And I think overall, mostly he's embraced the grind and been a guy that's invested so that's all been pretty good, but we're still learning how to deal with him being a tight end rather than an offensive tackle. There's some disappointments in life you never get over. This is one of them."
Wow. That is world class fatherly chirping if I've ever seen it.
Of course, Bruce was talking tongue-in-cheek, but the point here I think is an important one. Many NFL players play multiple positions before landing at the one where they make the greatest impact. For example, Prince Amukamara played running back so well it was undecided what position he'd play at Nebraska until his sophomore year, when he switched to corner, became an All-American, and was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He took the knowledge he learned as an offensive player to become a defensive star.
Likewise, George Kittle was trained to be an offensive lineman, and has taken those skills he learned from his father to become one of the best blocking Tight Ends in NFL history, in addition to his All Pro receiving.
I urge everyone to listen to this episode of Bussin' With the Boys, because it's an illuminating look into what makes George Kittle so great... Also CANNOT wait for the video to drop on Youtube, father-son jabbing is always better on video.