Kyle Shanahan: George Kittle should try to be himself, not Joe Staley

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49ers tight end George Kittle has spoken to retired 49ers tackle Joe Staley for advice on how to help a 2-3 team improve. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about the dynamic with reporters on Friday.

Asked whether the 49ers are missing “that kind of ‘asshole’ element” in the locker room, here’s what Shanahan said: “I like how you swore. I’m always nervous to do that. I don’t think so. I don’t want guys to learn how to be that word that you said. I want people to be themselves. If they feel like being that way and it’s natural, go ahead and be that way. I think George is a hell of a captain and he does it a great way. Staley was a hell of a captain who did it a great way. So, I appreciate George trying to do everything he can to get better, but I just want George to be hmself. Don’t try to be Staley, be yourself.”

It’s generally good advice, regardless of context. Everyone should always be themselves, at all times. Still, someone needs to step up and push the current members of the roster toward a higher level of performance, especially since the team is: (1) 2-3 overall; (2) 0-3 at home; and (3) embarking on a seven-day death march that could make it impossible to get back to the playoffs.

It starts on Sunday night on NBC, with a visit from the Rams.