The Atlanta Falcons started a season 1-0 for the first time since 2017 this year. It wasn’t a perfect Week 1 victory, but the Falcons defeated a division rival at home by two touchdowns.
However, it’s going to take more for the team to earn its respect nationally. That appears especially true with former NFL wide receiver Dez Bryant.
The 2014 first-team All-Pro wideout trolled the Falcons on Twitter for the team’s inability to get the ball to tight end Kyle Pitts. Because of that, Bryant also called on the team that drafted him, the Dallas Cowboys, to trade for Pitts.
Falcons fans obviously took exception to Bryant’s tweet. One Falcons fan pointed to the fact that the tweet seemed hypocritical. A year ago, Bryant sang quarterback Desmond Ridder’s praises on Twitter.
Since Ridder has only started five games in the NFL, it’s hard to think Bryant’s opinion of the young quarterback should have changed.
Bryant shot back at the Atlanta fan by calling the Falcons “a dysfunctional organization.”
The Falcons did struggle to get Pitts the ball last season. Pitts only had 28 receptions for 356 yards and 2 touchdowns in 10 games during 2022. That was with Marcus Mariota behind center.
In Week 1 this year, Pitts had 2 catches on 3 targets. While one could argue Pitts should see more targets, he did record 44 receiving yards on Sunday.
It’s refreshing to see Bryant defend Ridder, but his refusal to connect the quarterback to Pitts’ lack of production is, quite frankly, dumbfounding. Ridder is a young quarterback, so he limits what head coach Arthur Smith can do as a play caller.
And on plays where Pitts is wide open, like Bryant demonstrated on Twitter, isn’t it more Ridder’s responsibility to find the wide open tight end?
Ridder completed 15 of 18 passes in Week 1 but for only 115 yards. It’s likely going to take him and the offense some time before Pitts gets back to posting 4 receptions per game and 15-plus yards per reception.
He accomplished both of those averages as a rookie in 2021.