Coming into the season, all anyone around the Falcons organization could do is praise Desmond Ridder’s leadership and other intangible attributes. There was never a mention of his physical ability.
Through four games, that’s exactly what we’ve seen. Despite the back-to-back stinkers from Ridder, he continues to act the part of a franchise quarterback. It’s commendable. Time and time again we see young signal callers buckle under the pressure.
They make up excuses and blame their coaches, teammates, referees, and anyone other than themselves. Even if it isn’t the quarterback’s fault, it’s their job to shoulder the blame because they’re held accountable for the success and failure of the team, regardless of the situation. It’s just the reality of playing the position in the NFL.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Desmond Ridder has that in spades. However, when he’s taking the blame, generally it is his fault because his play has fallen short of expectations and held this team back. He looks uncomfortable in the pocket, isn’t seeing the field well at all, and misses targets even when he makes the right read. Whether it’s pre-/post-snap, going through his progressions, or the actual decision-making, Ridder has struggled.
It’s hard to compliment any area of his game, but that’s exactly what Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans did when asked, per Aaron Wilson.
“Yeah, with Ridder, I think just how he’s operating the offense, still a young player who is getting comfortable. I think he just still needs time to grow and improve, but he’s doing a really good job of putting the ball where it needs to be and getting it into his playmakers hands. What they’ve done there in Atlanta is they’ve surrounded him with a ton of playmakers, so it’s not just on the quarterback, there’s a lot of playmakers he [Ridder] can get the ball to. Tight ends, wide receivers, the backs – a lot of dynamic playmakers that surround Ridder, and they’ve done a really good job.”
#Texans coach DeMeco Ryans on #Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder 'Yeah, with Ridder, I think just how he’s operating the offense, still a young player who is getting comfortable. I think he just still needs time to grow and improve, but he’s doing a really good job of putting…
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 4, 2023
That’s coach speak for he’s struggled mightily, but the talent around him is incredibly rich. What I find most interesting is Ryans saying he needs time to grow and improve.
The troll in me thinks: “Well, yeah you would like that, so you could beat us every time the Falcons and Texans play.”
In reality, he’s right. Ridder would likely improve if given the opportunity. He seems focused on getting better, but is Arthur Smith really going to possibly throw away a season with a playoff-caliber roster in the name of developing Desmond Ridder?
Seems like a death wish if you ask me.
Photographer: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire