Pittman, the Colts’ leading receiver, complained to an Indianapolis Star reporter about his involvement in the offense, saying among other things, “They didn’t target me today, for whatever reason. Maybe I’m not a big part of the offense.”
Pittman gathered reporters in the Colts’ locker room Wednesday in an attempt to clarify those statements.
“Obviously it was a very frustrating loss the way that it happened,” Pittman said of the Browns’ 39-38 victory. “And I’ve never been a good loser. I’m actually a very poor sport. It’s something that I’ve been working on my whole life, and it’s just hard for me sometimes. And when you lose, sometimes you lose your composure, you lose your head. And I think I was a little dramatic when I said that.”
Pittman, known as a fiery competitor who often is involved in on-field confrontations with opponents, is the Colts’ leader in targets, receptions and receiving yards. He had five targets and two catches in Sunday’s game, including a 75-yard touchdown on which he broke loose of two defenders.
All of that made the nature of his comments surprising, and Pittman acknowledged those realities.
“Obviously, I am a big part of this offense,” said Pittman, who has averaged 9.3 targets per game this season. “I lead the team in targets and stuff like that. So, it was out of frustration, and I just wanted to clear up that I love playing here, that I love Indy and everything that we do here, and I’m excited for this week coming up.”
Pittman is in the final year of his four-year rookie contract and presents an interesting decision for the Colts after the season. The organization has not invested richly in a wide receiver in years, and Pittman represents the first real decision of this kind in general manager Chris Ballard’s seven-year tenure.
Pittman has endured numerous quarterback changes, playing with seven starting quarterbacks in his four seasons. This season, he has experienced the season-ending shoulder injury of Anthony Richardson, leaving Gardner Minshew to start the rest of the way.
“I think that I’m very consistent and on a team that’s [had] constant change,” Pittman said. “And obviously, the receiver-quarterback continuity is huge and we haven’t had that. [Richardson] goes down, so we’ll see what happens there.
“But right now, Gardner’s running the ship, and I think he’s doing a good job. I think we’re top 10 in almost every single category on offense, so he’s doing a great job.”