Through the first two games of the season, Kyle Pitts totaled four catches and only 38 yards, which sparked mass displeasure among Falcons fans on social media. To make matters even worse, Arthur Smith stirred the public opinion pot with his ‘this isn’t fantasy football’ comments.
“I know. And the thing is, it’s just got to take it with context. It’s the same thing. We’re trying to win, and he [Pitts] has a huge impact on the game. And so that’s a really good front [Rams] and certainly probably the most dominant interior pass rush [Aaron Donald] in the last decade. And so when you’re sitting there using different things to try to stay on track because the guy can be a nightmare.” Smith stated.
“I mean, we’re just trying to win as a team,” Kyle Pitts said. “I’m not selfish. I don’t think I always need the ball but, as a playmaker, we’re all competitors. We all want to score so at the end of the day it’s a team game and we want to win and if the ball comes my way, I’ll do the best that I can to do with it.”
As I stated after the Falcons’ Week 2 loss, the lack of production shouldn’t be necessarily blamed on Arthur Smith; in fact, if it’s any person’s fault, it’s Marcus Mariota. And on Sunday, the former Heisman winner found Pitts all afternoon, and it wasn’t on wide-open attempts. There were multiple receptions where Pitts was covered and Mariota just gave his freak athlete tight end a 50/50 ball, which is what fans have been pleading for. Give Pitts a chance, and most of the time, he’ll come down with it. But that’s not the only difference. Arthur Smith also designed plays to get Pitts involved early and often, including a tight end screen on the opening drive.
It’s not a profound statement to say the Falcons stand a better chance at winning football games when Kyle Pitts is heavily involved in the offense, but it is encouraging to see Smith and Mariota actively trying to get their generational tight end involved.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire