Kittle jokes Deebo’s ‘Dad strength’ the reason for breakout season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Deebo Samuel‘s 2021 season has been nothing short of incredible.
The 49ers’ 2019 second-round draft pick put together an impressive rookie campaign, followed by a disappointing, injury-filled 2020 in which the wide receiver was active for just seven games.
This season, though, Samuel burst onto the scene in Week 1 as one of the NFL’s most exciting weapons, and he hasn’t slowed down since. He was one of five 49ers selected to the Pro Bowl this season.
In 14 games, Samuel has caught 70 passes for a career-high 1,247 yards and five touchdowns while also establishing himself as an excellent threat on the ground, rushing for 301 yards on 44 carries (6.8-yard average) with seven more scores.
49ers teammate George Kittle joined 95.7 The Game’s “Damon & Ratto” on Wednesday and gave his reason why Samuel was able to break out in 2021.
“Deebo has shot out of a rocket,” Kittle said. “He’s been nothing but phenomenal all season. I give most credit to that because he’s a dad now and he knew he was going to be a dad, so he’s got Dad strength. I’m working on that myself.”
Samuel recently became a father, but Kittle believes the “Dad strength” has been developing all season.
With Samuel having established himself as one of the NFL’s most unique and dominant offensive weapons this season, opposing defenses will have their hands full game-planning for how 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will use his dual-threat receiver.
“Deebo, you can line him up anywhere, and if a team plays man coverage, they have to have a safety in a box or a corner in a box and a man up on him when he’s lining up at running back,” Kittle added. “All the motions that he does, he can beat you on a lot of those crossing routes, he can beat you deep.
“There’s just so many places that Deebo can have an effect on your defense that you have to prepare for. But then if you put too much time and thought into him, I think we’ve got good players in me, [Brandon] Aiyuk, our run game. There’s just a lot of things that can open Deebo up and let him just hit it hard. I think if you combine all those things and get us rolling, there might be too many things to stop.”
Kittle and the 49ers hope Deebo’s “Dad strength” doesn’t wear off anytime soon as they make a run at one of the three NFC wild-card playoff spots.