Falcons’ Kyle Pitts made spectacular TD catch to close minicamp

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

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Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts talks about minicamp.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts was up to the challenge in seven-on-seven drills Wednesday, the final minicamp practice.

Cornerback A.J. Terrell was leading the call to “stop No. 8″ along the defensive sideline. Pitts has been working the secondary over, and Terrell wanted his unit to get some stops in the final minicamp practice.

Pitts laid out for a pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota to score in the red zone. He beat Terrell to the outside, stretched out and rolled one time on ground. When he got up he flipped the ball in the air.

“Practice was great,” Pitts said after practice. “It was a great way to finish it off. This team is competitive. Just offense going against the defense, so we just compete every day and bring out the best in each other.”

Pitts said he heard the defenders.

“I motioned over and I (saw) that I was in man (coverage),” Pitts said of his touchdown grab. “I had to win my match up. Had to just go out there and ball.”

Pitts, who was named to the Pro Bowl, caught 68 passes for 1,026 yards and a touchdown last season. He likes going against Terrell.

“I go against him a couple of times a day,” Pitts said. “It’s great work every time. He gets me better, and I get him better. He’s a great teammate to have and go against in practice.”

Pitts appears ready for his second season.

“It went better than it did last year,” Pitts said of his offseason. “Mentally. Physically. Just trying to be better.”

Ridder wanted No. 9: Rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder wore jersey No. 9 with the Cincinnati Bearcats.

After he was drafted in the third round by the Falcons, he checked on getting his college number.

“They asked me to choose from between 4, 13 and 16,” Ridder said. “Lorenzo Carter, he had 9. So, I sent him a DM after the draft to try to get that, but he had it locked up. I went with 4. I’m going to rock 4 for now.”

He didn’t inquire about purchasing the number from Carter.

“I’m a frugal guy,” Ridder said. “The number change can wait. He didn’t throw a (price for the jersey number) out. (I) just (played) dumb rookie, I’m just going to ask for it. He shot that down real quick.”

It’s unclear how much the number would have cost.

“I knew that there was a (price), but I didn’t know what the (price) was. So, I just wasn’t even going to go for it.”

Working with London and Pitts: Ridder enjoys working with rookie wide receiver Drake London, who’s 6-foot-5, and Pitts, who’s 6-foot-6.

“It definitely makes my job a lot easier,” Ridder said. “They are smart guys and big guys. Just being able to (throw high) and give them a chance to go get it. Playmakers go make plays, and that’s what they do best.”

Working in California: Ridder said he plans to work out with London in California over the dead period before training camp starts in late July. He’s hoping to have some more teammates join them.

“We’ll be out there,” Ridder said. “Obviously, Drake is going to be out there with me. I’m hoping to get some guys to come out there. Working with (quarterback trainer) Jordan Palmer and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. That’s who works out Drake. Just getting out there building a connection with all of these guys and try to come back better.”

Pitts and Franks: Pitts is helping quarterback Feleipe Franks as he works out with the tight ends.

“He was one of my good friends at Florida,” Pitts said. “To have him in there and just go through it, he’s a little fresh at tight end. So anything that I can do to try and help, I try and do. He kind of understands it. It’s great having him in the (tight ends meeting) room.”

Pitts believes Franks can make the conversion.

“Personally, I love Feleipe,” Pitts said. “I’m going to tell you the truth. I love him at tight end. He’s a great player. ... He’s a great playmaker.”

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