With San Francisco boasting a talent-rich offense, some players might miss out on an extra few targets, but the feast-or-famine situation Kittle found himself in often last season hasn't fazed the veteran tight end. He doesn't care about padding stats and would much rather see his team succeed, even if it means he has a subpar game statistically.
"If I have one catch a game, I know my fantasy football coach would be really mad at me for that, but it is what it is," Kittle said, via the team’s website. "As long as we're winning games and we're feeding the right guys the ball -- I'm never going to get mad if Christian McCaffrey has 20 carries and 10 catches for 300 total yards, I'll never be upset about that because he's such a talented football player."
McCaffrey gobbled up targets like Pac-Man during his 11 games with the 49ers. He had 464 receiving yards and four touchdowns out of the backfield and racked up 746 rushing yards and six scores on the ground. Considering he was acquired midseason at the trade deadline, those are some impressive numbers.
In Kyle Shanahan's offense, Niners players are often used outside of their traditional positions. McCaffrey is used as a receiver, Deebo Samuel transforms into a running back (or wideback) and Kittle makes his WWE dreams come true as a body-slamming blocker when he is not making catches and scoring touchdowns.
In 2022, Kittle had 60 receptions for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 starts. Not the worst season for the 29-year-old, but definitely not his most productive either. The dip in production has not deterred Kittle. He sees the bigger picture and understands that the possibilities are endless for a team with a unique dilemma: an excess of talented players.
"It's really fun to be on a team that does have a problem of too many mouths to feed," Kittle said, "because coach (Kyle) Shanahan does such a great job of scheming everybody into getting certain plays and it's just really fun to be a part of an offense that has so much talent on it."
The 49ers are loaded with do-it-all weapons on offense. From McCaffrey and Samuel to Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk or one of the many other capable skill players, the ingredients are all there for a Super Bowl run this season. With so many mouths to feed, it's time for Shanahan and the team to get cooking.