Michael Pittman helped lead Jon Gruden’s Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win in 2003 with a 29-carry, 124-yard performance. Fast forward 17 years and the Raiders staff is scouting Pittman’s son, a wide receiver from USC, at the Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Alabama.
Pittman Jr.’s stock shot up over the course of the 2019 season, and he capitalized on that momentum with some promising moments during practice this week.
Midway through the final day of Senior Bowl practice, I had the chance to grab Pittman for a one-on-one Q&A. Here’s what he had to say:
Cyril: You’re obviously familiar with Jon Gruden because of your father. What do you know about him?
Pittman: I mean, personally I have a relationship with him through my dad, but I was so young man that I don’t really remember much from it. My dad always talks very highly of coach Gruden and just says all of the good things about him. And he says that that was probably his favorite coach that he ever played for.
Cyril: A lot of people think the Raiders might need an X receiver, and that takes a lot of the qualities that you could bring in. Could you see yourself fitting in there?
Pittman: Absolutely. I mean, I feel like I’m a smashmouth player, and I feel like that’s just the Raider way. I feel like that would be a nice fit.
Cyril: What would you say being a smashmouth player means? You run every route with a certain attitude?
Pittman: It means that I’m not afraid to get dirty. Whether it’s blocking, whether it’s running a route, or whether it’s getting physical, that’s all things that are in my toolbox.
Cyril: Have you talked with anyone in the organization since you’ve been in Mobile?
Pittman: Yeah, I’ve pretty much met with every team here. So I’m just looking forward to move forward in the draft process and just ending up wherever I end up I guess.
Cyril: So you’re not suited up today, but you don’t seem like you have any visible injuries. Are you just calling it good for the week?
Pittman: Yeah, so I strained my foot on Tuesday and then I played through it Wednesday and it just wouldn’t be smart to keep playing through it.
Cyril: Who’s the best corner that you’ve seen that you’ve gone up against out here?
Pittman: Out here? I think that Troy Pride does a good job of leveraging his speed. I think that he’s smart and that he clearly knows what he’s doing.
Cyril: What about your favorite quarterback out here?
Pittman: Well, Jordan Love is actually with A1, so we’ve been working together before. And Jordan has just been doing a great job. We’re both from Bakersfield. So it’s like team Bakersfield.
Cyril: Well, you might be able to have team Bakersfield anyway if Derek Carr is throwing you the ball next year.
Pittman: Oh yeah that’s right. Derek actually went to BCHS and I actually watched his last game there. My uncle played on his team. I was probably like seven years old. Like, young young. They won the CIF championship and everything.
Cyril: Being the son of a player, does that help with your transition to the league?
Pittman: Yeah because he just gives me a lot of insight on the business of football and everything that goes into it that’s like off the field. I kind of get a pre-look at it before everyone else does
Cyril: What do you know about the guys on the Raiders offense?
Pittman: I’m not very familiar with them personally, but they were all on Hard Knocks. I watched that whole series and like, knock on wood and what not. So yeah, they have a really young team that’s really growing. And I feel like they’ve done a really good job for coach Gruden and he has kind of pieced them together. He’s riding guys from undrafted free agents like Keelan Doss and he doesn’t really look at status that much he just looks for guys that can play.