The 49ers have a problem, and one of the 49ers’ current captains contacted one of the team’s former captains to try to solve it.
As explained by Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area, San Francisco tight end George Kittle called former San Francisco left tackle Joe Staley for advice after a 43-17 blowout loss to the Dolphins.
“I talked to him after the last game and that’s one thing he told me,” Kittle said. “‘Look, you have to hold people accountable and you have to tell them that you hold them to the highest standard because that’s what we’ve done for the last three years.'”
Without Staley or cornerback Richard Sherman, who has been on injured reserve for several weeks, the 49ers may be lacking in on-field leadership. Kittle wasn’t ready to admit that.
“I’m not saying we’re lacking in that at all,” Kittle said. “I’m just saying we are trying to find our footing as a team, as captains too. When you lose Joe Staley, and Sherm hasn’t been here really. When you lose two guys who you look up to, it is hard.”
Someone clearly needs to do something, because the 49ers stand at 2-3 and they’re embarking on a seven-game death march.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re the QB, it doesn’t matter if you’re DeForest Buckner, it doesn’t matter if you’re Arik Armstead it doesn’t matter if you’re George Kittle,” Kittle said. “Joe would hold you accountable and he’d make sure you heard his point and what he thought was required of you on a daily basis.”
Much is currently required of the 49ers, if they have any chance to remain relevant over the next two months. We’ll all find out on Sunday Night Football whether the 49ers can begin the coming gauntlet with a win against a Rams team whose only wins this season have come against the NFC East.