New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick paid the highest of compliments to San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle earlier this week ahead of the Week 7 matchup between the two teams.
Belichick told reporters “I don’t think there’s tight end in the league, and we’ve seen a lot of good ones and have had a lot of good ones, but I don’t think there’s anybody in the league that does everything overall as well as he does. He really just doesn’t have any weak points at all.”
Kittle, who joined Adam Schefter’s podcast on Wednesday, was asked about the high praise coming from the six-time Super Bowl winning head coach.
“It’s incredible,” Kittle said. “Coming from a coach like Belichick, a future Hall of Fame coach, because of the success he’s had and how long he’s sustained it, he knows what he’s talking about. To get a compliment like that from him it means a lot. It makes me excited even more to play this Sunday and go out there and prove I belong in that conversation.”
The praise from Belichick is meaningful not only because of his Hall of Fame resume, but because it includes Kittle in the same conversation with Rob Gronkowski – one of the best tight ends in NFL history who played under Belichick for most of his career.
Gronkowski has not been anywhere near the same type of impact player – at least in the passing game – since his return with Tom Brady and the Bucs this season, but Kittle can certainly make a strong claim as the best tight end in the league.
Kittle has 30 catches for 380 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season, but the 27-year-old tight end, who signed a five-year, $75 million deal before the season, is also recognized for his elite blocking ability as well.
Kittle, though, will be up against it this week as Belichick will surely have a game plan to limit the Niners tight end.
“It’s going to be interesting, my first time playing the Patriots,” Kittle said. “I’m excited to be there and the challenge because every single week they come out swinging and give everyone their best punch and that’s why they’ve been so good for so long.”