For the first few years of Michael Pittman Jr’s career, there have been questions over his status as the WR1 for the Colts.
No one questions his talent, or his drive, but either due to his rotating cast of quarterbacks, scheme, or some other factor, many remained doubtful that he could truly be “the guy”. A talented player, potentially even a WR1-B, sure, but beyond that, there were doubts.
Entering into the 2023 season, it was seen that this would be Pittman’s best opportunity to show that he is the Colts lead receiver going forward. He had a new, big armed rookie to help grow, and an offensive-guru of a head coach who figured to be able to get the best out of him.
So far, Pittman has lived up to those expectations and then some.
Through the first 3 games of the season, he has hauled in 25 catches for 230 yards and a touchdown. He has routinely been the most trusted option for both Anthony Richardson and his backup Gardner Minshew, and has showcased an explosiveness that seemed to be missing his first few years in the league. His touchdown against the Jaguars in the season opener is a perfect example.
He also has continued to show a prowess for pulling in those 50/50 jump balls. His big catch in the upset over the Ravens in Week 3 showcased that. Not only was the degree of difficulty extremely high, it was a high-pressure situation, one that the Colts desperately needed to get a big play on. Pittman delivered that for them.
The Colts receiving core still has plenty of question marks. Josh Downs has shown promise, but he is still a rookie, while Alec Pierce has been largely invisible through 3 weeks. Luckily for the Colts, Pittman is stepping up big time, and looks to be playing himself into a nice contract extension in the coming offseason.
During Monday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke with ESPN’s Stephen Holder. Stephen gave his thoughts on if Pittman is a true #1 receiver.
“We can argue about that, but what we cannot argue about is whether this guy has heart, and whether this guy has toughness. He is I think the kind of player, I don’t care what you categorize him as, doesn’t matter I don’t give a damn. You just want him on your team. You want him on your team, because he is going to make the plays that some guys are scared to make, frankly.”
Listen to JMV’s full conversation with Stephen Holder of ESPN below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!
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