Atlanta Falcons: Stop worrying about Feleipe Franks’ passing struggles
Feleipe Franks is a player that every Atlanta Falcons fan has been keeping an eye on ever since the beginning of training camp. There is a lot of intrigue around him because of his physical traits and athletic ability.
However, some people are getting stuck on the fact that he is listed as a ‘QB’ on the Falcons roster, but you shouldn’t focus in on that and we will explain why.
The Falcons listing Feleipe Franks as a quarterback is more of a placeholder than a title
The Falcons during their first preseason game focused on playing Feleipe Franks at tight end, but during the second game, they focused on playing him at quarterback. He struggled mightily as a passer which caused many fans to worry. However, there is no reason you should worry.
Let’s start by talking about how the Falcons have constructed their quarterback room. They have Marcus Mariota who is going to be the starter in week one and they also have rookie Desmond Ridder who might be the future of the team, but to start the year at least, he will be the backup.
Then you have Franks who is listed as the third quarterback, but that is a little misleading.
Yes, he played quarterback in college, and he has been listed as a quarterback during his first two years in the NFL. He replaced Desmond Ridder in the second half against the Jets. Everything would lead you to believe that the Falcons plan on using him as a quarterback, and if you watched how he performed throwing the ball, then you know he looked lost.
The Falcons see he has arm talent but he would not be on the roster right now if that was all they saw in him. They see a kid with a strong arm, who is huge, who is fast, and most importantly, can play numerous positions.
At most during the regular season, he will throw a few passes. You may see him lined up at quarterback during important games but think about him as more of a wildcat quarterback if that makes sense.
He will be used as a running quarterback first, and foremost. Maybe every once in a while Arthur Smith will give him the chance to throw a pass to try and catch the defense off guard if he trusts him enough but at no point will he be sent out there to throw multiple passes in a row.
If both Mariota and RIdder get hurt during a game, then yes, he will lead the offense due to them having no better option but Arthur Smith isn’t dumb, he would certainly call plays that would play to Franks’ strengths, like read options, bootleg plays, screens, and just short, easy passes.
The Falcons would then go out and sign a quarterback with more experience, no way, no how will he ever start a game during the season, unless he somehow turns into Tom Brady.
So, just think about Feleipe Franks as more of a player who has no defined position. He essentially will be a tight end and wildcat quarterback, even though that might not be an official term.
Not to mention, Franks played tight end for basically all of training camp, he never had the chance to settle in as a quarterback. Most of his issues as a passer were miscommunications and other things that come with reps and experience.
He went from playing tight end where you basically just have to worry about yourself, to playing quarterback where you have to worry about yourself, read the defense, make checks and signals prior to the snap, know what each player is doing, and basically worry about ten other guys around you.
You cannot blame him for struggling as a passer, sure, he has experience as a quarterback in the past, but he also has basically had to make a mental switch depending on what his coaches tell him to do.
It is the equivalent of having multiple different careers and having to switch between them on the fly while doing each one at the highest level.
There is just no need to worry about him and how he looks as a passer. His quarterback moniker is more of a placeholder than anything. Just sit back and enjoy the versatility and physicality he brings to this intriguing offense.