In his first NFL bye week, Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts did his best to relax and not think about football. He spent time with his girlfriend, went bowling, and even got a taste of his hometown Philadelphia when he got water ice from a food truck in Atlanta. Water ice is as much a staple food in Philadelphia as cheesesteaks are. Water ice is a sugary, sorbet-like dessert, similar to what some call Italian ice in other places in the northeast.
"It was a good memory," Pitts said with a smile, "Definitely [as good as home]."
And Pitts rightfully earned a break after his breakout game in London. He reeled in nine passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons' second win. His touchdown came when he was matched up against Jets 6-foot-4 288 pound defensive lineman John Franklin-Meyers at the goal line.
"I was pretty excited when I saw it," Pitts said about the matchup.
Pitts' enjoyed his time overseas and for his first touchdown celebration he sipped imaginary tea with wide receiver Christian Blake, a drink that the British are known for. He admitted that he did sip real green tea in the days ahead of the game which he enjoyed.
The game against the Jets in London was a long-awaited one, as Pitts' first four games in the NFL were not reminiscent of the dominant player that made him the No. 4 selections in the NFL draft. The biggest lesson Pitts says he has learned from his first five games in the NFL is the importance of preparation.
"Preparation, that's something that'll help you win," Pitts said. "I feel like everything correlates from home the way you come out here and prepare in the morning before practice. After practicing, just take care of your body."
In college, preparation was important for Pitts but it was not as emphasized as it is in the NFL because of the many tasks student-athletes balance.
"You kind of had less time because of tutoring and things like that," he said. "So when it's your actual job, that's all you have to do."
Pitts will look to keep the momentum going this Sunday against Miami; a team he is familiar with. The Falcons held joint practices with the Dolphins during training camp, and while Calvin Ridley generated much buzz with his route that racked up over two million views on Twitter, Pitts did some damage of his own.
Line up in a drill against Dolphins safety Eric Rowe, he blew past the cornerback and planted his left foot in the ground, cutting hard and leaving Rowe behind for the touchdown.
"After today, it showed what people have been saying," Rowe said in August. "...You can see the potential. The way he moves. I know he's still just a rookie. But you can see when someone has talent. … He's long. He can move. I know he's going to cause problems."
And Pitts will get his opportunity to cause problems against the Dolphins this week — and build off his dominant performance in week five.
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