Falcons vs. Giants: Arthur Smith Opens Up About Kyle Pitts’ Lack of Touches

Kyle Pitts vs. Gints

Getty Kyle Pitts #8 of the Atlanta Falcons.

“Where is Kyle Pitts?”

 

That was the big question when the Atlanta Falcons took on the New York Giants on Sunday.

The No. 4 overall pick was not targeted at all in the first half and didn’t get the ball until the final quarter of the Falcons’ 17-14.

NFL fans even took to Twitter to joke about the Falcons not utilizing Pitts more:

But when they did finally decide to use him, Pitts came in clutch with two key catches for 35 yards:

So, why didn’t the Falcons use Pitts more?

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Arthur Smith Discusses Not Using Pitts More

Of course, reporters were quick to ask about Pitts’ lack of touches in the postgame press conference and head coach Arthur Smith explained why it went the way it did.

“Yeah, look, those are surface narratives,” Smith said after the game. “The defense has a say, too. It’s a game of cat and mouse and sometimes these 1-on-1 progressions, they took it away. He’ll go to other places. We try to get all our guys involved.”

Smith pointed out that it’s not that the Falcons didn’t want to use Pitts more but credited New York’s defense for keeping him out of Matt Ryan‘s sight.

“Because he didn’t touch the ball early, doesn’t mean he wasn’t called,” said Smith. “But when you come up and the game’s on the line, they change it up and [Falcons quarterback] Matt [Ryan] found him when we needed to, so I was happy to see that.”

Despite not getting a lot of action, Smith was thrilled with Pitts’ performance and overall attitude in the game.

“It’s big,” said Smith. “It says a lot about him. I told you guys whether we win or lose we got to keep improving. Clearly there’s a lot of things for us to improve on, but at the end of the day, it says a lot about a guy like Kyle – you don’t touch the ball three and a half quarters and two of the biggest plays in the game, he comes up big in the clutch.”

Pitts’ biggest catch came on the game-tying drive where he drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone in the fourth quarter.

Thanks to Pitts and Younghoe Koo’s game-winning kick, the Falcons enter Week 4 with a win under their belt.


Kyle Pitts on Not Getting Many Touches: ‘I Don’t Get Frustrated’

Pitts was double and even triple-teamed by the Giants’ defense, which limited his ability to make plays, but it didn’t bother him.

“I don’t get frustrated,” Pitts said, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s 10 other people on the field who can contribute and make a play. I know if they are double-teaming me or three people are around me, someone else is open.”

Pitts ultimately finished the day having just three targets.

“They just had someone over the top and someone underneath,” Pitts said.

Adding, “It’s kind of like the nature of football. You can’t really control that or practice it.”

Despite not getting any action in the first 57 minutes of the game, Pitts didn’t complain about it and came in clutch when it was most important, which made Smith very happy.

“He’s exactly who we thought he was when we drafted him,” said Smith. “He’s not even 21 yet and that’s not only the physical traits, the mental traits, I think that shows up.”

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