Arthur Smith decided he had finally seen enough from Atlanta Falcons starter Desmond Ridder after this week's first half. Despite Desmond Ridder being pulled to be evaluated for a concussion the quarterback was cleared and remained on the bench. The message from Arthur Smith was clear he was frustrated with his quarterback and ready to make a change.
This was a frustrating decision even if it was the right choice. Arthur Smith has been condescending and defensive of Ridder talking just last week about the quarterback being an established winner. So established in fact that the Atlanta head coach was willing to turn to Heinicke after one bad half.
Heinicke clearly lit a fire under the Atlanta offense and made plays that Ridder simply wasn't making. This is in no way to suggest that it wasn't a needed change but rather pointing out how wildly far this decision was from everything Arthur has said to the Atlanta media.
It speaks to the level of frustration that some fans seem to have with a head coach that doesn't entertain any questions that would make headlines meeting them with snark and strong defenses of his starters. In truth, this is in some ways exactly what you want from your head coach but in this case, it does make the comments seem disingenuous.
If your quarterback is a proven winner and you believed that a week ago after three fumbles you pulled the quarterback for a career backup after one fumble? It just speaks to the problem that many have had with Smith's strong defense of Ridder.
Either you believe in Desmond and let the quarterback develop for the season or you're trying to win games and going with who you believe gives you the best chance which in this case was clearly Taylor. It is an odd situation that Atlanta fans will be keeping a close eye on this week.