Desmond Ridder will define the Atlanta Falcons pre-season
By Nick Halden
For better or worse the Atlanta Falcons’ pre-season will be defined by Desmond Ridder’s performance. While the quarterback obviously won’t be deemed a success or a bust in three meaningless pre-season games it will be Atlanta fans’ first look at the quarterback they hope is the future of their franchise.
Overreaction to how Ridder calls an often vanilla pre-season offense will be in full force. While there will be a lot to be learned from Ridder’s pre-season it obviously will be meaningless simply a small indication of how ready Desmond is and whether or not he will challenge Mariota for the starting role this season.
No matter how Desmond Ridder performs the Atlanta Falcons have given every indication the team will start the season with Marcus Mariota under center. Mariota and Arthur Smith have history both spending time with the Falcons and Smith will likely give Mariota his second chance regardless of how Ridder looks.
The pre-season will indicate whether or not Ridder is ready to start if Mariota suffers an injury and whether he gives Atlanta a reason to insert him late in the season to evaluate as a long-term answer.
Despite Mariota seemingly having the starting job locked up there is still pressure on Ridder to prove he can play at the next level and handle backing up Mariota early this season.
The biggest concerns for Ridder will be his accuracy and ability to get to his second and third reads before the play ends. These are the main two traits fans should be focused on when you consider that he will likely be calling a very basic version of the offense keeping the game plan for when the season opens against the Saints.
A good pre-season from Ridder puts pressure on Mariota and gives Atlanta fans a reason to have faith in a front office that has already had their share of misses.