Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has much been impressed with Kyle Pitts’ rookie season, as he sees that the former Florida Gators star continues to improve “every day.”
The Falcons passer took some time during his press conference ahead of the Week 18 home clash with the New Orleans Saints to reflect on Pitts' debut campaign in Atlanta so far.
“Just getting better every day,” Ryan said. “And I give him credit. He’s worked really hard all year. It’s not an easy year that first year. You know, after he finished college, getting ready for the draft. It’s just nonstop. I’ve been impressed with him of his capacity for work.”
Ryan sure has not been the only one within the Falcons organization to be much fond of Pitts’ rookie season so far. For one, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith noted following the win against the Detroit Lions last month that Pitts is “just getting started.”
Overall, Pitts has been quite the reliable offensive threat for Ryan over the season. He comes into the Falcons’ regular season finale leading the team in receptions (66) and receiving yards (1,018). However, he has hauled in a mere one touchdown catch, as he has been targeted 13 times in the red zone.
There is a possibility that the Falcons may have already seen the last of Pitts in his rookie season. He came away from the road loss to the Buffalo Bills with a hamstring injury, which prevented him from being a full participant in practice this week. The team opted to place an injury designation of questionable on him for the Week 18 matchup with the Saints.
If Pitts goes on to play in the game, he will have an opportunity to make notable history, as he needs a mere 59 receiving yards to break longtime Chicago Bears star Mike Ditka’s record (1,076 in 1961) for the most such yards by a rookie tight end in a season.
Regardless of whether Pitts reaches this feat, he has already built up a formidable 2021 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year resume.