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Falcons' Hayden Hurst, Kyle Pitts to join inaugural tight end summit

Top Falcons tight ends will participate in position-specific event organized by George Kittle, Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen

The Falcons offseason program ends on June 17, with players then free to enjoy some downtime before training camp begins in late July.

Hayden Hurst and Kyle Pitts have more to do prior to enjoying their calm before the storm. They have position-specific work ahead at the inaugural Tight End University summit, taking place from June 23-25 in Nashville.

Yeah. You read that right. Tight End University is a real thing.


Elite 49ers tight end George Kittle came up with the concept and enlisted Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen to help make the idea a reality. It is focused on one big event where Kittle said they have 40 tight ends confirmed to attend.

Pitts and Hurst are among them.

Tight End University even created a Twitter account for this endeavor, and has sponsors lined up to help facilitate the event. Remaining funds will be donated to charitable accounts as well.

While the summit's founders are having fun with this concept, they will get down to serious business during an exchange of techniques and ideas.

"I think it's a great idea," Hurst said this week. "You're getting some of the top tight ends together in Nashville at the end of this month, and it's going to be awesome. You'll get on the field with those guys and pick their brains about how to break down coverages. It's going to be a great opportunity."

The attendee list is a who's who of top tight end talent, with Darren Waller, Mark Andrews and Zach Ertz all coming for the event.

Hurst didn't single out a particular player he most excited to work with, but sees great benefit in the event.

"I pick things from other guys' games here and there, but I think it's going to be great being around all of them," Hurst said. "There are different ways to break down man coverage, how to sit in a zone or how to run certain routes. Just getting different perspectives will help sharpen your own game."

Hurst is looking for any edge heading into what he believes is will be a breakout year. The former first-round NFL draft pick is in great shape and highly motivated to put his best foot forward.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Max Blank and Falcons legend Harry Douglas made an appearance in Flowery Branch on day six of organized team activities.

Pitts, this year's No. 4 overall pick, has immense talent that many believe will lead to superstardom. The Falcons certainly hope he can make a profound and immediate impact on their offense.

This summit can only help those endeavors.

This position-specific meeting of the minds isn't the first of its kind. Denver edge rusher Von Miller started the trend four years ago with a pass-rush summit and Philadelphia right tackle Lane Johnson started one for offensive linemen after that.

Kittle thought it a good idea to get the tight ends together as well, especially considering the diverse responsibilities associated with the position.

"In my opinion, the tight end position is incredibly difficult," Kittle said in a May 26 interview on the Rich Eisen Show. "You have to run routes. You have to catch passes. You have to block defensive ends in the run game. You have to pass protect against them, too. You have to work against linebackers. You kind of have to do everything. Why not take a little time to learn from the best of the best? I'm excited that we got the ball rolling on it. We had to get Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen involved to throw some ideas around, and we're really excited about getting the first one down this summer."

Fans react to an Atlanta Falcons touchdown during the first half of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA, on Sunday November 24, 2019. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Atlanta Falcons)

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