This week, a large group of tight ends from around the NFL descended on Nashville for the first annual Tight End University retreat. The event is being hosted by Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, 49ers tight end George Kittle, and longtime Panthers and Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen, but the list of attendees is quite large.
Per multiple reports, Darren Waller, Noah Fant, Zach Ertz, Mark Andrews, Mike Gesicki, Cole Kmet, Jonnu Smith, Eric Ebron, T.J. Hockenson, David Njoku, Robert Tonyan, Kyle Pitts, Ethan Wolf, O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, Hunter Henry, Blake Bell, Kyle Rudolph, Logan Thomas, Dawson Knox, Dallas Goedert, Irv Smith Jr., Tyler Higbee, Chris Herndon, Austin Hooper, Kaden Smith, Marcedes Lewis, Hayden Hurst, C.J. Uzomah, Colby Parkinson, Anthony Firkser, Chris Manhertz, Ross Dwelley, Dominique Dafney, Charlie Woerner, Daniel Helm, Will Dissly, Alex Ellis, Luke Stocker, Eli Wolf, Delanie Walker, and Levine Toilolo are all in attendance.
Get a group of players that large and that diverse in skill sets together, and they’re bound to be able to teach each other things that other attendees may not know. That’s exactly the purpose of the retreat, according to Kittle.
“I’m a big believer that you surround yourself with good people which brings the best out of you,” Kittle said, per ESPN’s Turron Davenport. “We’re sharing our strategy with guys. Our mindsets, how you approach the game. All of this is for the tight end position to take a step forward. I’m excited that we have such a great group of guys.”
Kittle also explained why he thinks tight end is the most fun position to play.
“I think TE is the most unique and diverse position,” Kittle said. “It’s the most fun position because it’s the only one on the field where you get to do everything that a football player does. You run block, you pass pro, you get to run routes and catch the football.”
Kittle is widely considered the best blocking tight end in the NFL, and he’s also arguably the position’s top receiving threat, with most people in and around the league agreeing that he and Kelce are the league’s top two players at that spot. His versatility is key for the 49ers’ offense, and part of what makes him such a special player. He wants to pass that on to some other players around the league.