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Why a healthy TE Kyle Pitts called himself a 'super rookie' in 2024

Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts is having a good offseason. He's healthy and his fifth-year option was picked up. 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Kyle Pitts has coined a new term.

The Atlanta Falcons tight end is amid Year 4 of his NFL career. Given the circumstances surrounding his team, though, there are a lot of similarities between his first and latest season that have warranted an asterisk next to his veteran status.

"I would say I'm a super rookie," Pitts said Tuesday. "I'm not a rookie rookie. But we're all in this new offense, new regime, new schedule. We're all in this fresh."

When it comes to Pitts' side of the ball alone, the Falcons do indeed have many new key pieces in place. First, there's head Raheem Morris. Then, there's coordinator Zac Robinson. Finally, there's quarterback Kirk Cousins.

That's a lot without even mentioning all the incoming players – or rookie rookies, to stick with Pitts' lingo.

But if Pitts is dubbing himself a super rookie, that could mean big things for the Falcons.

The 2021 first-round draft pick's debut season saw his best numbers, popping off with 1,027 yards receiving on 68 catches. He only scored one touchdown but picked up a team-high 43 first downs.

A season-ending knee injury as a sophomore, however, derailed that success. He went down in Week 11 – with two touchdowns, 28 catches and 356 yards receiving already to his name – and never returned in 2022.

Pitts didn't fully return in 2023, either. Although he played in all 17 games, Pitts never consistently felt 100%. That's part of the reason his numbers, apart from the career-high three touchdowns, took a dip compared his other full slate of work in 2021. He finished with 667 yards receiving on 53 catches.

"It wouldn't say it was so much bad during the game," Pitts said. "It was more the preparation during the week, just dealing with soreness and tightness all through the week. Then, Sunday is show day, so I figured it out."

Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts #8 during OTAs at Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Photo by Shanna Lockwood/Atlanta Falcons)

From a health standpoint, Pitts won't have to necessarily figure it out in 2024. The Falcons have begun organized team activities, and Pitts is healthy.

So much so, the Falcons had enough confidence to pick up Pitts' fifth-year option last month.

"Definitely it's a blessing for the upstairs to still have faith in me," Pitts said. "I'll try to show them I can do something different this year."

It doesn't sound like the upstairs is all that worried.

"He's really excited about being healthy, and so are we," Morris said. "Getting a healthy Kyle Pitts back gives you a really dynamic player that we believe in a lot. … If we can get this guy going, we all know what he could be."

There's no immediate rush, considering the Falcons don't kick off until Sept. 8 for their season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but being full-go in the preseason and training camp is a luxury Pitts didn't have at this point last year. He can build a rapport with Morris, Robinson and Cousins before the bright lights even begin to shine. That way, when they do, he's ready.

So, he's confident – both mentally and physically.

"When you feel good, you look good," Pitts said. "Nobody can stop you."

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