Atlanta Falcons continue to handle the quarterback situation perfectly
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons haven’t been shy about letting the fanbase and league know that despite drafting Desmond Ridder this is Marcus Mariota’s team heading into the first game of the pre-season. While fans will be understandably anxious to get their first regular season look at Ridder naming Mariota the starter for the first half of the season is the right move for the Falcons.
Atlanta is headed into the season with a bad combination of a rebuilding roster and a tough schedule. In the first five weeks of the season, the Falcons will face the Saints, Rams, and Bucs three teams that would be very hard on any rookie quarterback.
Allowing Mariota to start the season and ease Ridder into the offense is the perfect move for the Falcons. They can give Mariota his second chance and avoid throwing their rookie quarterback into the fire right away.
Mariota is the perfect bridge quarterback allowing Atlanta to start him until they believe Ridder is ready. Even in the worst-case scenario if Ridder struggles and doesn’t start at all this season Atlanta will have their answer without going through the season without another answer.
While starting Mariota in week one is the right decision the Falcons will need to evaluate Ridder this season allowing the front office to search for another answer if they don’t believe in the rookie after his first year.
Next year’s quarterback draft class appears to be far deeper than last season and in an increasingly mobile league, the Falcons could have an opportunity to acquire a veteran as well.
Handing Mariota the job to start the season is the right call and takes away any controversy to begin the season. This is Mariota’s team but the Falcons must remember they have a small window to evaluate Ridder and decide whether or not he is the future.