Even in agonizing defeat, Arthur Smith is going to bat for his quarterback. The Falcons head coach praised Desmond Ridder, despite the third-round pick tossing three interceptions, including one in the endzone and a game-sealing turnover, telling reporters that he’s one of the most accountable players he’s ever coached.
"One of the more accountable people I've coached." – Arthur Smith on Desmond Ridder. Added that he's one of the most honest players in his critique of himself.
— Tori McElhaney (@tori_mcelhaney) October 16, 2023
For all their faults, Ridder and Smith have been consummate professionals in the face of adversity. That’s a special quality because it’s not a guarantee in this league. There are countless examples of coaches, quarterbacks, etc. buckling under pressure.
At the very least, the Falcons have that in spades. Taking responsibility is the first step in overcoming any obstacle, so I guess that can be seen as a positive. Arthur Smith and Desmond Ridder have a lot to correct after an inexcusable loss to the Commanders.
Smith’s operational shortcomings have to be the priority. Delay of game penalties, especially in the redzone, are indefensible. Ridder’s panicked interception in the endzone is another one that has to be fixed immediately.
Fans can complain all they want about how the Falcons lost this game; your feelings are valid. However, at least we have a coach and quarterback who aren’t going to shy away from the challenge of looking in the mirror and addressing what needs to be fixed.
There are some out there that are so stubborn that they won’t even admit their own wrongdoing. We’ll see if those things are corrected this week in Tampa Bay, in what is a must-win divisional game.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire