49ers' George Kittle settles debate on lineman, receiver identity originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
“I might identify more as an offensive lineman," Kittle said on a recent episode of ESPN+'s "Peyton's Places." "But when you’re getting thrown the ball a lot, you’ve got to run across the middle of the field, catch the ball over guys and score touchdowns, it’s hard not to be both, man.
“I think it’s 50-50. Tight ends play both ways, and that’s the beautiful part of being a tight end.”
The 49ers All-Pro tight end is a character both on and off the football field. And when he's not playing Rock-Paper-Scissors in the middle of a game with a cameraman, he likely is making sneaky contributions to the 49ers' offensive success.
To those in his way, though, it might not be so sneaky.
“Anyone who wants to guard me, I’m game for it, man," Kittle responded when asked if he prefers a linebacker or safety to guard him. "The best thing about being a tight end, I’m big enough to run over corners and safeties, and I’m too fast for linebackers to run with me.”
On the surface, Kittle's production through the air has gone down this season, but the impact he has on the offense has never been so significant. Kittle is one of the best blocking tight ends in all of football and his violent approach began at a young age.
While he might not be the one crossing the goal line and scoring touchdowns every game, he more than likely is helping block for the players who are.
And one thing is for certain, Kittle will be having a good time on the field regardless.