Young stays loyal, picks Jones over Kittle as his tight end originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
There's a loyalty that comes with sharing a locker room, battling on the gridiron and going through all the bumps and bruises that comes with football. Hall of Fame quarterback and 49ers legend Steve Young showed that loyalty when presented with a tough question.
Would he rather have thrown to 49ers star tight end George Kittle instead of Brent Jones? To no surprise, Young stayed loyal to his former teammate and roommate.
"Brent Jones, you gotta understand me -- Brent, I wouldn't be able to play," Young said Wednesday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show. "He was like my psychologist, he was more than a roommate. When he retired I was like, 'Hey bro, whoa. Where are you going? You're my support staff, man. What's going on here.'
"But George is a unique talent, let's just face that."
Young and Jones played 11 seasons together on the 49ers from 1987-97. They won three Super Bowls as teammates and Jones' career really took off once Young became the full-time starting QB in 1992. Beginning in '92, Jones made four straight Pro Bowl teams.
Jones ranks second in receiving yards by a tight end in 49ers history, and eighth overall by any 49er. His 5,195 yards trail Vernon Davis (5,640) for the most receiving yards by a tight end in franchise history.
But in Kittle's defense, the 27-year-old is off to a historic start. In just his second season as a pro, he set the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377 in 2018. In just his fourth season, he already has made two Pro Bowl games and was named an All-Pro last year.
Off pure talent, it's hard not to pick Kittle over Jones but you can't fault Young for going with his guy. Not one bit.