How Michael Pittman Jr.’s father helped prepare him for NFL

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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. has had football running through his veins ever since he was born.

His father, Michael Pittman Sr., spent 11 years as a running back in the NFL playing the majority of his career with the Arizona Cardinals (1998-2001) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-2007). He also spent a season with the Denver Broncos in 2008.

Pittman Jr. knew he always wanted to play football but he didn’t realize how accomplished his father truly was until he was around high school age.

“I always thought it was what I was going to do because to me football was normal,” Pittman Jr. said in an interview with ESPN. “I didn’t think my dad was special because he played in the NFL. It was just there since I was born. I didn’t really appreciate it until I got around 14 or 15, and then it sunk in that my dad really played in the league for 11 years.”

While Pittman Jr. wanted to be a running back like his father, the latter saw where the game was headed in regards to the position, and suggested his son work at wide receiver.

“Junior was stuck on playing running back because that’s what I played,” Pittman Sr. said. “He was very good at running back, but seeing your child and where the game was going, he was going to be tall, so that’s why I told him he was going to be a receiver.”

The position switch turned out to be the right move, and Pittman Sr. made sure his son was surrounded by those who have lived the NFL life. It’s part of the reason why Pittman Jr. transferred from Valencia High School to Oaks Christian High School because former NFL wide receiver Mike Sherrard was a part of the coaching staff, according to ESPN.

Pittman Jr. is on the verge of another successful season now being able to work with veteran Matt Ryan. Having that NFL blood in his veins could help him continue to ascend up the list of premier wide receivers across the league.

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