Anthony Pittman Credits Adrian Peterson for His Improvement

Adrian Peterson

Getty Adrian Peterson on the field before a Vikings vs. Lions game.

The Detroit Lions have a deep linebacker group, but one of the players that is catching some major headlines early on is Anthony Pittman.

During the first few weeks of camp, Pittman has impressed coaches in a big way with his play on the field. As he tries to grab a role in Lions camp for 2021, Pittman is looking back on some of the encounters he had on the field which prepared him for this moment in time.

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Speaking with the media on Wednesday, August 4, Pittman referenced some of the encounters he has had with legendary running backs, specifically former teammate Adrian Peterson in helping him get better on the field.

Detroit Lions Training Camp Media Availability: Aug. 4, 2021 | Dave Fipp, Tim Boyle, Anthony PittmanWatch Detroit Lions special teams coordinator Dave Fipp, quarterback Tim Boyle and linebacker Anthony Pittman meet the media following practice Aug. 4, 2021. Detroit Lions Training Camp presented by Rocket Mortgage Subscribe to the Lions YT Channel: More Lions NFL Action: #DetroitLions #Lions #NFL Keep up-to-date on all things Lions: Visit Follow:…2021-08-04T15:37:00Z

“I played against Frank Gore my first year, that was a welcome because he’s a legend. (Last year) I’d go against Adrian Peterson every day. He’s a future Hall of Famer. So just watching him run, trying to tackle him, trying to catch up to him. It’s like dang, it’s A.P. It made me better, though,” Pittman said to the media.

Pittman has used that seasoning to improve, and as a result, he feels confident heading into another season with the Lions thanks to all he has seen up until this point. As a result, he has been able to put himself in better positions on the field.

“Really just understanding what the offense is trying to do, putting myself in that position, and then from that point, it’s just ability. Letting my reach go and get it and making that play. Confidence. I’m confident, yes sir,” Pittman said.

Thus far, Pittman’s maturity has shown on the field in a big way. He’s made plenty of plays in practice and doesn’t look as if he wants to slow down at all. In the end, he might be able to thank the lessons from some veteran running backs in getting him there should he make it.

Anthony Pittman Knows Inside Track to Lions Roster

For Pittman, it’s no mystery what has to happen in order for him to crack the roster. The last few years, he has been stashed away on the practice squad. In order to break through, he isn’t just going to have to open eyes at linebacker, but on special teams as well.

“Focused on linebacker, but also, I’ve got to be a special teams demon. Punt, kickoff, punt return and kick return. All four. Just do whatever I can to help the team. It’s what I signed up for. I’m a professional so, you know, do my job, coming to work, that’s what it is,” he said.

Should Pittman be able to assert himself at linebacker as well as special teams, he might make an overwhelming case to stay with the team.

Pittman’s Stats and Highlights

Pittman is not a household name for the team at linebacker, and he has been a player that hasn’t generated much buzz in the past. He has only played in a single NFL game in his career, and registered 1 combined tackle and 1 quarterback hit in 2019. Most of Pittman’s reps have been on the practice squad for the Lions, where he landed after the 2019 NFL Draft as an undrafted free agent. While in college, Pittman was a stud for Wayne State, where he recorded 181 career tackles, and was tied for the 12th most tackles for loss with 31.5 in his career.

A check of the video shows some of the traits that the coaching staff has been raving about early in camp:

Anthony Piitman Wayne State University Football 2018Anthony Pittman LB Wayne State University Football 20182018-11-27T22:37:07Z

Pittman hopes to crack the Lions’ roster for good this season, and though it’s early, he certainly seems to have made a favorable impression on the decision makers. There’s a good chance working with the Lions for the last few years as well as some of the legends he’s crossed paths with have helped him.

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