Record-setting George Kittle looking beyond personal glory in post-Gronk era

first_imgSan Francisco won four regular-season games to the Rams’ 13 last season and the Niners have lost three of their last four to Los Angeles. Yet, with Garoppolo poised to return from the torn ACL in Week 3 that wrecked the 49ers’ hopes last year, Kittle has no concerns about their ability to compete with the team that present the biggest barrier to him adding team success to his individual accomplishments.”I’m not going to lie, when we have Coach Shanahan calling plays, I’m pretty confident every single game that we go into,” Kittle said. “I’m not worried at all.”I’m just really looking forward to playing the Rams twice a year, that’s going to be fun. They’ve added some big pieces to their Super Bowl team, and I’m just looking forward to competing against them because it’ll show what we’re really made of.” Entering only his third year in the NFL, Kittle is still some way off matching the achievements of Gronkowski, who is a lock to enter the Hall of Fame, possibly as a first-ballot inductee. However, Kittle already has a jersey in Canton after a historic second season.In the dying embers of a 49ers season derailed by injuries, with the light fading at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Kittle sent the San Francisco sideline into raptures with a 43-yard touchdown against the Rams that would on another day have been nothing more than a footnote in a largely meaningless Week 17 contest. Related News Kittle, Kelce and Ertz — The post-Rob Gronkowski generation of elite tight ends That score saw Kittle break the record for most receiving yards in a single season by a tight end. It took him to 1,377 yards, surpassing Travis Kelce (1,336), who had broken Gronkowski’s previous record mark of 1,327 earlier on the same day, with the achievement made all the more impressive by the fact Kittle played with three quarterbacks in 2018.”It wasn’t a goal of mine, it wasn’t an expectation,” Kittle told Omnisport of the record. “I don’t really set too many individual goals, all my goals are kind of team-oriented. I just want to win as many games as possible, I just want the team to do well. I could have zero catches, and if we win I’d still be happy.”I think I had a really good offseason, it put me in a position to have a good year. I kind of clicked with Jimmy [Garoppolo] and then when Jimmy got hurt, obviously when CJ [Beathard] came in, he’s my college quarterback. And then Nick Mullens, he just stepped up and it really felt like I didn’t miss a step with him.”He’s just a football player, that’s why it clicked so well. The fact that I had three quarterbacks and Coach [Kyle] Shanahan at the steering wheel directing us – it just made it pretty easy. We’re just going out there playing catch and having fun with it.”Recently placed on display at the Hall: record-breaking artifacts from TEs @gkittle46 and @ZERTZ_86 from the 2018 season. Kittle set the new single season record for most receiving yards by a TE (1,377). Ertz set the new single season record for most receptions (113) by a TE.— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 22, 2019Describing his campaign as “playing catch” does not do justice to an incredible season in which he proved a nightmare for opposing defenses with his athletic talent and his abilities with the ball in his hands.However, Kittle knows there is plenty he can do to improve, possessing a work ethic akin to that of Gronkowski, for whom a commitment that likely shortened his career was overshadowed by the veneer of his off-field personality.Asked if he can improve on his record-breaking year, Kittle replied: “You can always get better, no matter what year you have. I broke that record but I only had five touchdowns so I’ve got to get better in the red zone. I had more drops than I wanted to, that’s something I have to work on.”You can always improve in the run game, no matter what, nobody’s ever perfect at that and that’s something I take a lot of pride in. You always get better, those are things I’ve always looked at trying to improve on. I’ve been focusing on that this offseason whether it was strength gaining for the run game or just catching as many passes as I possibly can, those are things I’ve been focusing on and I feel like my game’s definitely stepped up a little bit.”Kittle’s work as a run blocker was clear for all to see in 2018. When he wasn’t catching passes and slicing through defenses, he was aiding a vastly improved 49ers ground attack by driving defenders down the field and often into the turf.As much as run blocking has partially defined the start of Kittle’s pro career, so it did the end of Gronkowski’s. Shorn of most of his dominant physical traits due to the wear and tear of his outstanding career, the primary way in which Gronkowski influenced the Patriots’ Super Bowl  53triumph was as a dominant run blocker.Break the record, might as well score too. Congrats @gkittle46 #GoNiners— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 31, 2018However, Gronkowski also made key contributions as a receiver, including a diving catch to set up the only touchdown in New England’s Super Bowl win over the Rams, who will again be the team to beat for the 49ers in the NFC West next season. The NFL will have to adapt to life without Rob Gronkowski in 2019, but that adjustment may be made easier by the presence of a player seemingly positioned to replace him as the gold standard at tight end.Plenty of similarities can be drawn between Gronkowski and 49ers star George Kittle. At his peak, Gronkowski was a freak athlete who served as a mismatch against linebackers and safeties. Kittle’s athleticism is comparable to that of Gronkowski, with whom he also shares an exuberant, fun-loving personality.last_img read more

Marcelo does not go to account

first_imgMarcelo has so far played eight LaLiga matches, a sign that he has clearly lost the game with Mendy on the left side. And of those eight games, Madrid has only left the goal to zero once (5-0 against Leganés); In the remaining seven games, Madrid conceded nine of the 16 goals he has received in total in this domestic championship. Zidane, despite the eloquence of the data, defends the Brazilian: “He was well defensively. You get data, but we’re happy with everyone When players play, we will continue fighting for everyone. This is still long. “ Although it is less and less long, 24 days of the 38 totals have already been consumed, more than three fifths of the championship are left behind and Madrid is the leader with one point over Barcelona, ​​although with the feeling that the income could have been greater if they had added points that were counted, such as visits from Valladolid and Celtic to the Bernabéu. There is no longer a Cup (Real won 3-4 in the quarterfinals, also with Marcelo as a starter) and if Zidane wants to continue playing the Brazilian, he must do so in LaLiga.And if it does, it will do so knowing that, for the moment, it does not go to account, with the data in hand. Madrid has played this course with Marcelo 1,256 minutes, dialing 36 in favor and receiving 17; Without him, it has been 1,924 minutes, 37 goals in favor and 13 against. The distance does not seem like much, but the key is in the minutes: there have been many more without it and even so the figures are even. With Marcelo, Madrid scores a goal every 35 minutes and receives it every 74 ‘; Without it, it takes 52 ‘and they don’t mark it for 148’. Or what is the same: with Marcelo Madrid improves a bit in attack (shortens 17 ‘the margin to see the door), but instead receives a goal in half the time that without him, exactly. Align the Brazilian, statistically, does not rent, but Zidane seems determined to keep the veteran side in the dynamics of the team, whatever happens and despite what weighs … Zidane is showing a genuine interest in recovering several players from the Real Madrid squad. In some cases, this insistence is bearing fruit, as in those of Modric or Isco, which after signing a very disappointing last season have recovered flight this course. Other players are becoming more complicated to channel to the elite level; Bale, for example, had his second title before Celta followed after El Sadar and again disappointed; or Marcelo, who did leave positive things against the Vigo team, but which means, according to the data, a hole through which Madrid is bleeding in the defensive phase.last_img read more