SANTA CLARA, Calif. – New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has trained against his share of elite tightrope in a professional career that began in 1975. But when Belichick looks at George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers, he sees one standing with – or above – the best of them.
“Kittle is a great player,” Belichick said. “He’s doing everything well. I’d put him right at the top of the league there, period. His ability to run, to catch, to open, to catch, to block, he’s doing everything at a high level. He’s as good as anyone, whom I have trained, or as good as anyone we have played against. “
This is highly praised by Belichik, who has been the Patriots̵
It is especially remarkable because Belichik trained four-time All-Pro Rob Gronkowski in New England from 2010 to 2018. Gronkowski is considered by many to be the elite tight end of his generation after winning five Pro Bowl seats and three Super Bowl rings. and landed on the site of the 100-year-old NFL team of all time.
Gronkowski joined quarterback Tom Brady in signing with the Tampa Bay Bookers this season after taking a year off from the league.
“He’s as good as anyone I’ve coached, or as good as anyone we’ve played against.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the 49th near George Kittle
Speaking to Bay Area media on Monday ahead of Sunday’s Patriots-49ers game, Belichick was thrilled in his praise for Kittle, which holds the record for most yards receiving solid ends in its first three seasons in the NFL (2,945 ) and the record for most receiving yards with a solid finish per season (1,377).
But according to Belichick, it’s Kittle’s ability to do well, combined with coach Kyle Shanahan’s ability to put him in a position to succeed, that’s what sets him apart.
“If you pay too much attention to him, he creates opportunities for some of their outstanding players,” Belichik said. “And if you don’t pay enough attention to him, then he can kill you. So he’s in a great system, he’s a great player. I don’t think there is a solid end to the league and we saw a lot of good and there were a lot of good, but I don’t think that there is someone in the league who does everything as well as he does. He just really doesn’t have any weak points. Just exceptional at every stage of the game. “
This season Kittle has 30 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns. He ranks second in receptions and yards among all tight ends, although he misses two games with a sprained left knee.