Skip to main content
Publish date:

Coach Arthur Smith: 'I Told You So' Moment with Falcons Rookie Kyle Pitts

Rookie phenom Kyle Pitts got off to a relatively slow start with the Falcons. Falcons coach Arthur Smith wasn't worried.

Kyle Pitts was drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in April's NFL Draft making him the highest tight end selected ... ever.

After a relatively slow start to the season with the Atlanta Falcons - 17 catches for 139 yards and no touchdowns - questions were being asked if the hype on Kyle Pitts was justified.

WATCH: Kyle Pitts Justifies the Hype (Week 2)

With receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage out on Sunday vs. the New York Jets, Pitts had a breakout performance in London with nine catches on 10 targets for 119 yards and his first touchdown.

Head coach Arthur Smith was asked about Pitts performance, and he did his best to say "I told you so," without actually saying "I told you so."

"Kyle stepped up," said Smith. "Him and [Cordarrelle] Patterson both. Like I said, we'll continue to evolve offensively. It was good. He won one-on-one matchups, he made some big-time plays for us."

"Like I said, it's a long game. Everybody wants the hot take after week one. You have to see continual improvement. That's why Kyle is here. We like the player he's becoming. He'll continue to improve."

One person who was grateful to have Pitts on his side was quarterback Matt Ryan who passed two career milestones on Sunday. He had his 5,000th completion against the Jets. He's one of just seven quarterbacks in the history of the game to pass that mark.

He also moved past Eli Manning into eighth on for career passing yards on Sunday after his 342 yard effort against New York

READ MORE: Ryan Passes 2 Career Milestones, What's Next?

"I just told him right before I came in here I'm proud of him," said Ryan of Pitts. "I think there's going to be a lot of those in the future for him. He's done a great job of focusing on growth and development day in and day out, just trying to get better."

"There's a lot of noise both positive and negative that can distract you from that. He's been as good of a young guy of being able to just focus in on working hard every day and getting better, and I think he's done that for the five games we've had."

"I expect him to continue that. I think it's showing that he is really a talented player and can be a great player in this league."

Ryan had 45 pass attempts on Sunday, 18 of those went to tight ends. With Ridley and Gage missing, Ryan admitted getting Pitts, Hayden Hurst and Lee Smith more action was key to Atlanta's strategy.

"Absolutely. I think coming into the game we felt like we wanted to get those guys going," said Ryan. "You never know how it's going to shake out. Coverage can take you to different spots. But we got some man-to-man coverage looks and our guys won."

"I thought Hayden played really well for us today. I thought Kyle did an excellent job. Lee Smith, the big fella was out there making a few plays for us during the passing game."

"As a group, I thought their entire group played well."

Recommended Articles

Calvin Ridley Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants
Play

Don't Expect Ridley Back with Falcons - And What That Means

The Atlanta Falcons and head coach won't say it, but the tea leaves tell us they don't expect Calvin Ridley to return this season.

marlon atl jag
Play

Falcons Playoff Hopes Bolstered By Week 12 Results

Five teams ahead of Atlanta in playoff race lost this past week

Cordarrelle Patterson vs Jaguars
Play

Falcons Must Re-Sign Cordarrelle Patterson; Can they Afford Him?

Cordarrelle Patterson will be a free agent after this season, and it's critical that the Atlanta Falcons re-sign him.

The Falcons have a bye this this week before taking on the Miami Dolphins on October 24. The week off should be enough to get Gage healthy and see Ridley back with the Falcons after missing Sunday for personal reasons.