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If there is an unsurmountable amount of pressure that comes with being the highest tight end ever taken in the NFL Draft and being heralded as a generational talent, you wouldn’t be able to tell in speaking with Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts. Taken with the No. 4 overall pick, Pitts showed various flashes on what a dominating presence he can become at this level.
Kyle Pitts totaled 1,026 yards, setting the Falcons’ record for receiving yards by a rookie, passing Julio Jones. He also set the team’s overall record for single season receiving yards by a tight end, topping Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Those accolades helped garner Pro Bowl honors.
Having your name alongside two of the greatest pass catchers in league history in your first year is surely an accomplishment, but Pitts’ focus is already homed in on what aspects he wants to be better in to continue progressing in his development. We spoke with Kyle Pitts on behalf of C4 Energy and its newest Skittles collaboration to get his assessment of his transition to the NFL, what he learned and what he’s looking to improve upon.
How has your offseason gone so far?
So far it’s been going pretty well. I kind of relaxed a little bit leading up to the Pro Bowl and I got back to training some before it. That was fun and I’m about to get back into the groove of things with my offseason training.
Looking back at Year 1, what are some of the things you feel you can improve on?
I would say my routine. It can change almost every night, every week, but mine changed pretty often. Now it’s about keeping a good, consistent routine, [improving] my habits with recovery, sleeping, and being the best pro I can be.
There’s obviously a lot to take in during your first year. Was it difficult managing everything and trying to get quality sleep?
It was sometimes because you’re doing so much and you can get caught up with time after practice. You try and get things in that you might miss, like a haircut, getting clothes for the game and sometimes you look up and you’re not getting in bed until 10 o ‘clock and you got to get at least seven to eight hours in. You just have to have some of those nights where you get things done in a better fashion and have better time management because that’s what helps you last longer.
What are some of the things you did to get your mind off of football?
Golfing is something I took up. During the pandemic, everything was shut down but I could still go golf. That’s something that’s interested me and a hobby I picked up. That was something I was doing on the Tuesdays we had off. I would go golfing just to get away from the game and that was something that was peaceful for me.
Every rookie has that “Welcome to the NFL” moment. What would you say yours was?
I would say training camp. Realizing that you have to take care of your body in order to perform at the highest level — and that’s every day. It’s not like college where you might get in the cold tub after practice and you’ll be fine. In the NFL, it’s about longevity, so finding a way to achieve that helps make sure you get more bang for your buck.
In getting a chance to look back at your first year, what are some of the things you felt you did well?
I feel like each game I learned something new to use to help me prepare myself to win a matchup faster or do something better on the line. Just studying film was amazing for me just to try and get better each game and not be stagnant.
Who were the vets you were able to lean on for advice?
I had a couple of vets. When I was younger, I always gravitated to being around older people. With the Falcons, it was Lee Smith, Hayden [Hurst], Calvin [Ridley], and some of the other receivers. I just picked their brains, and they always tried to lead me in the right direction, telling me things on how the league works, how to be successful, and stay successful. I had a pretty good support system on the team. Whenever I had questions, I could ask multiple people.
How helpful has the partnership with C4 Energy been and how have you used the product?
I think it’s really helpful because, in the morning, I can be a little groggy and need a little kick start. I’ll take one of the C4 cans with a granola bar on the way to a workout and that gives me the boost I need to be able to attack the workouts in the best way possible.
With training camp in the distance, how will you spend the remainder of your offseason?
I would say just remaining in the best shape I can, mentally and physically and I’m looking forward to having a better year than the last one.
Follow Kyle Pitts on instagram @kylepitts__