But that doesn’t mean he won’t miss his former teammates or stop rooting for their success down the road.
In fact, one player that he’s excited to see what the future holds for is Atlanta’s second-year tight end, Kyle Pitts.
“Kyle Pitts,” Ryan said without any hesitation when asked by Fox 5′ anchor D.J. Shockley asked which guys he’s ‘really’ excited about. “Part of the bittersweetness is, man, I really liked playing with him, and how I think he can develop into one of the very best in this league. So I’m always going to be a fan and always enjoy watching him play.”
Ryan also mentioned defensive end Grady Jarrett and offensive tackle Jake Matthews as other standout Falcons players he will miss.
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Ryan on Kyle Pitts: ‘There’s No Blink in His Game’
Ryan checked off his 40th game-winning drive and ended up tieing with John Elway for the seventh-most in NFL history during the Falcons’ Week 7 victory over Miami last season.
He finished the day passing for 336 yards, 3 touchdowns with one interception.
The veteran quarterback mentioned that he was impressed with how well the Dolphins’ defense played but ultimately gave a lot of credit to the rookie tight end.
“He’s done a great job and he’s focused on just getting better week in and week out and he’s done that and I’m proud of him,” Ryan said in the post-game press conference. “The way he prepares during the week is getting better. I think he’s getting comfortable with that and it’s showing in the way that he’s performing. I give him a lot of credit. There’s no blink in his game.
“When the game is on the line or it’s an important situation, he just goes out there and executes the same way he does every other snap.”
Pitts racked up 163 receiving yards on 7 catches that game, breaking the Falcons’ franchise record for a tight end in a single game.
Ryan’s Sons Are Bigger Kyle Pitts Fans
Falcons fans are not only losing Matty Ice to Indianapolis, but they’re also losing the “Ice Cubes,” aka Ryan’s twin boys Marshall and Johhny. And while their dad is an MVP quarterback and a potential future Hall of Famer, the cubes are noticeably bigger fans of rookie tight end Kyle Pitts.
Ryan’s better half, Sarah, is always posting content of the twins obsessing over Pitts and it’s absolutely adorable.
For example, ahead of the Falcons’ Week 14 matchup against the Panthers in 2021, they shared a pregame message just for Pitts.
Dressed in their superhero gear––because, why not?––they said, “Hi Kyle Pitts, we hope you have a good day, man. And um, are you eating eggs like us? We are, but nobody cares about eggs.”
Pitts went on to have 5 catches for 61 yards in the Falcons’ 29-21 win over Carolina and people might say that the Cubes’ special message may have had a lot to do with his performance.
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