Falcons QB Marcus Mariota Reacts to Kyle Pitts News

Kyle Pitts

Getty Kyle Pitts #8 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons will be without a key piece in their offense, tight end Kyle Pitts, for what could be the remainder of the season.

Pitts not only works as a receiver, but he’s also well-known for his ability to block––something the Falcons need in order to keep their offense afloat.

The Falcons’ 2021 No. 4 overall draft pick was placed on injured reserve earlier this week. Normally, a single player would be asked to step up in place of the injured but this time, it’s going to take more than that for someone of his caliber.

However, starting quarterback Marcus Mariota believes the Falcons have the right players to take care of it.

“You talk about earlier in the year with a guy like CP [Cordarrelle Patterson], you had to fill that role with a few other guys. It’s kind of a similar situation with Kyle,” Mariota said during Wednesday’s press conference. “He turned into one of our better blocking tight ends, he’s such a force in the passing game, so to fill that void you got to have a couple of guys step up and we got a great tight end group, and I think we’re more than capable of doing that.”

Backup Tight End Ready to Step Up in Pitts Place

With Pitts sidelined, the Falcons will turn to backup tight end MyCole Pruitt, whom Mariota is very familiar with from their time in Tennessee together.

“He doesn’t get a lot of credit, and he deserves a whole lot,” Mariota said. “Not only does he block at the point of attack and do a lot of different things for us … Unfortunately, with Kyle going down, he had to step into a bigger role and had a huge play for us on one of those keepers.

“It’s kind of fun for me – I’ve known MyCole since we were in Tennessee together, and I have complete faith and trust in him. He’s done a lot of the dirty jobs and it’s cool to see him have success today.”

Since entering the league in 2015, the 30-year-old has appeared in 86 career games with 28 starts. He’s logged 519 yards and eight touchdowns on 67 targets. So far this season, Pruitt has played in seven games, making one start, and catching four passes for 31 yards and a touchdown.

While Pruitt might not be used to taking on a larger role, he’s been preparing for this moment for his entire career.

“I’ve been ready this whole time to take whatever is thrown at me,” Pruitt said, via AtlantaFalcons.com. “So, it’s going to be that same approach. I’ve been taking the same approach this whole year, so that’s just going to be the game plan.”

HC Arthur Smith Has Faith in Pruitt

Mariota isn’t the only one who believes Pruitt can step up in Pitts’ place, head coach Arthur Smith also has faith in the veteran, whom he brought to Atlanta after spending time with him with the Titans.

“He was a very productive player coming out of college,” Smith said. “He’s a very powerful guy. Even as a veteran, some of the schemes we ask, he’s improved a lot. He’s a heavy-handed player. He’s got great feel for space, he’s a natural athlete, played multiple sports in high school, smart player too. You can see when guys try to tackle him, the way he finishes. Heavy-handed, smart player.”

But Pruitt won’t be alone in filling the void left by Pitts.

“We’ll try to find more roles for (Pruitt),” Smith said. “And same for Parker Hesse; he’s done a lot of the dirty work. We’ve got other guys. Hopefully we get Feleipe back, and then Firkser, so we’ll see.”




Read More