The Atlanta Falcons are coming off their first win, but Calvin Ridley is not overflowing with joy or confidence. In fact, the new number one receiver was downtrodden when talking about the offense. Despite three weeks of preseason games and three weeks of the regular season games, plus all the practices, Ridley doesn’t think the offense gets it – yet.
"Be more consistent. If it’s route running, do it better. If it’s blocking, do it better. If it’s running, do it better. – Calvin Ridley"
“We are still figuring it out,” said Ridley, “We are trying to figure out how we are going to move the ball. How teams are going to play us, so we are still in that phase of getting better right now.”
The Falcons are ranked 27th in total offense. Ridley, who stepped into Julio Jones’s big shoes, has put up the 44th best-receiving numbers in the league with 20 catches and one touchdown. “Once we get a grip on the offense better. And we are doing the right things, the way the coach wants it done. Obviously, there are going to be some mess-ups. We can make it work better,” said Ridley.
Rookie head coach Arthur Smith is calling the offense. So far, that has translated into the 15th ranked passing and rushing numbers. However, the team has only managed five touchdowns, which is 28th. Ridley is not blaming the coach, “I’m just going with the game plan, the coach is a great offensive coach, he is calling plays, he is scheming up stuff so whatever he does is best for the team.” Perhaps stepping into a more leadership role, Ridley blames the slow start on his play and teammates. “Be more consistent. If it’s route running, do it better. If it’s blocking, do it better. If it’s running, do it better.”
Ridley is playing his fourth year in the NFL and coming off a 90-catch season. He is playing with a new playbook, a new coach, and a new role as the team’s number one receiver. He knows the first three games were not offensive masterpieces by any means, but he sees some positive progression. “We are close. We are just up and down, we will have a good play, then we have a bad play, we have a good play, we have a bad play,” said Ridley, who complimented the defense for keeping the team in games. “We got to be better on offense. Score more points and make the game not even close.”
Last week the emphasis was on the defensive woes after the Falcons gave up a league-worst 80 points in two games. However, the defense looked much better in Week 3. Now it’s the offense’s turn to show improvements.