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Hawks in the NFL: Pro Bowl Edition

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George Kittle continued his ascent to NFL stardom with a fun week in Orlando.

NFL: Pro Bowl Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

His team’s season may have been over weeks ago, but George Kittle wasn’t quite done impressing.

Kittle caught five passes - leading all receivers - for 39 yards in Sunday’s Pro Bowl in Orlando. His NFC squad came up short in a 26-7 loss to the AFC, however. It was the third straight victory in the annual exhibition for the AFC squad.

The second-year pro earned a plethora of praise from the ESPN broadcasting crew, including color commentator Jason Witten.

Witten, who knows a thing or two about playing tight end in the NFL with 11 Pro Bowl selections, said, “He is a really good football player. He understands [head coach] Kyle Shanahan’s system. He runs underneath, the play action.”

Kittle’s popularity seems to be rising as well, and from all reports it sounds like he won quite a few fans over earlier in the week.

We also saw a glimpse of what the future holds for Kittle after football — broadcasting. It’s difficult to argue after seeing this interview with Austin Hooper on “The George Show.”

As if Kittle’s 1,377 receiving yards — the most ever by a tight end in a single season — weren’t impressive enough a stamp on his 2018, we also learned that he led the league in yards after catch with 900. Iowa fans can take some spiteful solace in the fact that Kittle’s 900 narrowly edged out Christian McCaffrey’s 897.

Casey Kreiter was on the opposite side of the field, assuming long-snapping duties for the victorious AFC. Kreiter executed 146 snaps without error for the Broncos this season, and was featured in the Denver Post during Pro Bowl week. Kreiter will be a free agent in March, but it sounds unlikely that he’ll be going anywhere.

“I love Denver,” Kreiter said. “I love being there. We’ll start (talking contract) here (soon), I hope. I want to be a part of the solution and I would love to play in Denver my whole career.”