This just in: Tight end George Kittle of the 49ers can’t block.
Says who? Doug Gottlieb, the man of a million takes, apparently all undercooked. Here comes the verification:
— TheSFNiners (@TheSFNiners) December 3, 2019
Gottlieb, a Fox Sports radio host, seems to be a bit of a hit-run artist. Recently, Gottlieb decreed that Fresno State should not have retired Paul George’s uniform.
More recently he decreed the Eagles’ win in the 2018 Super Bowl one of the biggest flukes in sports history. (What? No love for the 1988 Dodgers or Buster Douglas?)
He doesn’t confine his righteous certitude to sports. Recently he tweeted “Nat King Cole’s ‘A Christmas Song’ is the greatest Christmas song ever.. yes I’m Jewish.. but I’m also correct don’t @ me”
We could be here all day, but you get the point.
Before we move to the inevitable Twitter pile-on, let’s take a moment to be real. Let’s say Kittle is a run-of-the-mill blocker. That doesn’t conform with popular opinion, but let’s play this out. Last season Kittle set an NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end. Even if he didn’t block like Mike Ditka-times-John Mackey, he still would be one of the shining stars of the ascendent 49ers.
Kittle’s teammates would beg to differ, though. All-Pro tackle Joe Staley recently credited Kittle as a significant part of the 49ers’ success in the run game: “He’s been terrific with that since Day 1. He impresses every week and is a complete tight end, probably the best in the game.”
Kittle himself has said that beyond the hand and foot technique, “run blocking is mostly effort.”
Background: the look-at-me sports pundit — let’s call it Gottliebism — is nothing new. In fact, it borders on cliche. Kittle can’t block. Jimmy Garoppolo can’t play press coverage. George Clooney has bad breath. Taylor Swift can’t sing in Mandarin.
Yes, we realize we are enabling him as we speak, but hey, provocateurs have to eat too.
And now that Twitterstorm we promised you. We start with a change of heart on the part of Gottlieb — who is about to find out how difficult it is to unring a bell.
Kittle can block, part of San Fran’s success is his chips, LB blocking- couple of friends who are GMs and DOPP have told me that while he is good, he ain’t Gronk – BUT, I don’t think he fits the reference I made to great pass catchers who aren’t blockers- so I was incorrect
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) December 4, 2019
— Jon McClure (@Jon_McClure_) December 4, 2019
— Inside the 49 (@insidethe49) December 4, 2019
Someone pulled out the receipts https://t.co/GGmdwjuyRs
— BroBible (@BroBible) December 4, 2019
If Kittle can’t block then Brees can’t pass, DeAndre Hopkins can’t catch and Bill Belichick can’t coach!!! This might be the worst take, not of the season but in recorded history
— Nick Ludlam (@nludlam84) December 3, 2019
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 4, 2019
— Willie Phistergash (@Phistergash) December 4, 2019
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