On Friday, 6-6, 245-pound Pitts matched up against six-foot, 191-pound Teez Tabor and won.
Although it was a close one as Pitts attempted to get away, Tabor stayed right on top of him, forcing Pitts to jump over him to grab a throw from Desmond Ridder.
And for a split second, you think Pitts has the ball but then he loses it before making a successful showstopping catch.
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Pitts Enters Year 2 With More Confidence
The transition from the college level to the NFL is anything but easy, however, Pitts made the adjustment look a lot smoother than most first-year tight ends. He finished his rookie campaign with 68 catches for 1,026 yards (15.1 average) one touchdown and 15.1 yards.
He was also named to the Pro Bowl and broke the Falcons’ franchise record for receiving yards by both a rookie tight end (Tony Gonzalez) and rookie receiver (Julio Jones).
After a successful rookie season, he now enters year 2 with a better grasp on the NFL and the Falcons’ offensive system, which gives him more time to focus on the other side of the ball.
“It has slowed down. Just a tick. Just a little bit,” Pitts told Scott Bair of AtlantaFalcons.com. “It was slower than it was last year because I’m more confident knowing the game. I’m seeing defenses and I’m trying to break them down. That said, I’m still studying my game to try and play faster.”
Pitts Draws Compliments from Veteran Teammates
Falcons’ cornerback Casey Hayward has been around the block when it comes to playing with some of the most elite tight ends in the league and he thinks second-year tight end Kyle Pitts can easily fall into that category.
“He has a chance to be elite,” Hayward said on July 29, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s really good. I’ve been around some really, really good tight ends. … He has the potential to be one of those guys. I think going into Year 2, the sky is the limit for him.”
To name drop, Hayward’s played with eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates, Super Bowl champion Jermichael Finley and Pro Bowler Darren Waller.
Hayward believes his newest tight-end teammate, Kyle Pitts, belongs in the same conversation entering his second season.
Hayward continued, “He has a different speed than most tight ends. Wide receiver speed. He doesn’t really drop balls or anything like that. And he’s still savvy with his routes. When asked to compare Waller and Pitts, Hayward acknowledged Waller is “probably” a bit faster while Pitts “has a bit more wiggle.”
But Hayward isn’t the only veteran that has been “around the block” and is dropping compliments and setting the bar extremely high for Pitts.
Projected QB1, Marcus Mariota, believes Pitts is incomparable.
“I wouldn’t sit here and compare him to anybody else,” Mariota said during a post-practice press conference on August 1. “I think he’s got a very unique skill set, one that benefits us, and we’ve got to just find ways to get him the ball.”