Publish date:

'Pitts Vs. Hurst'? Wrong Way To Look at Atlanta Falcons TE Competition

The partnership of Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst could in 2021 be a centerpiece of this team's 'healthy culture'

It is a football tradition - or it is, at least, for healthy football programs.

The Atlanta Falcons are working toward again being a healthy football program. And the partnership of Kyle Pitts and Hayden Hurst could in 2021 be a centerpiece of that work.

"Everyone likes to make the comparison of me vs. Kyle, but it's going to be 'me and Kyle,'" Hurst said after a recent training camp practice. "Our tight end room is really special with me and Kyle and Lee Smith and the other guys. 

"It has been really fun so far. It's a very tight-end friendly offense."

The Falcons have certainly spent to build the room, having traded for former first-round tight end Hayden Hurst before the 2020 season and then piling on with this year's selection of Pitts at No. 4 overall.

Hurst is obviously right about what new coach Arthur Smith likes to do with 12 Personnel; there will be room for both guys. (And FalconsSI can tell you that at the Saturday training camp practice, Pitts lined up ... well, everywhere. He's not just a tight end.) But before they take the field together, there can be something else that is a joy to watch.

Recommended Articles

A.J. Terrell Atlanta Falcons
Play

Updated Falcons Injury Report: 2 Key Players Out vs. Giants

The Atlanta Falcons were without two key players at Thursday's practice.

Matt Ryan touchdown dive Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Play

LISTEN: Will Falcons Find Matt Ryan Replacement in 2022 NFL Draft?

Locked On Falcons: Are the Atlanta Falcons Planning to Replace Matt Ryan in the 2022 NFL Draft? Plus Week 3 Keys to Victory

usatsi_11499274
Play

LISTEN: Can Falcons Get First Win This Week?

Locked On Falcons: Falcons vs. Giants Crossover Week 3 Preview with Locked On Giants

Sometimes this football tradition is skipped over, "competition'' turning into jealousy or selfishness. But done right? It is about guys who play the same position developing a brotherly relationship, with the older guy helping the younger - even as the younger is trying to steal “big brother’s” job.

Hurst seems to recognize that as an almost inevitable outcome, as he noted, "It's a big year for me, a free-agent year. I'm definitely focused."

And the Falcons will likely be focused, eventually, on paying (and maybe playing in a truly featured role) one tight end, not two.

But for 2021?

"I think we're going to be on the field a lot together and we're going to do some pretty special things,'' Hurst said. "He brings a lot to the table. I think I bring a lot to the table, too. I proved it last year, and I'm looking to build on that.''

And they are looking to build together - which is what a healthy football program does.