Desmond Ridder certainly has the intangibles to be Falcons franchise QB

NFL: JAN 01 Cardinals at Falcons

Being an NFL quarterback is the hardest job to have in team sports. Leading a team of 53 alphas is not an easy task, nor is the poise it takes to lead when things aren’t going your way. It demands as much mentally as it does physically, and it seems Desmond Ridder has that part of it down to be the Falcons‘ franchise quarterback.

Regardless of whose saying it, everyone around the Cincinnati product has praised his intangibles. Arthur Blank, Arthur Smith, Terry Fontenot, his former and current teammates, and mentors complement the same things — Ridder’s leadership, poise, dedication, mental processing, professionalism, competitiveness, consistency, etc.

The Falcons’ hopes of returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 rest on Desmond Ridder’s shoulders because the roster is in a position to compete right now.

The offense was one of the better units in football last year and returned most of its starters. Four of five linemen are back, and the skill group only got better with the additions of Bijan Robinson and Jonnu Smith.

The defense is where the significant changes came. It’s a group that could feature as many as nine new starters and likely at least eight. The defensive front was overhauled entirely, giving Atlanta the deepest rotation it has had in years. Jessie Bates III solidifies the backend, while Kaden Elliss is the Swiss Army knife of the second level. It should be a dramatically improved defense.

There’s absolutely no reason this team shouldn’t challenge for a spot in the postseason, especially with how weak the NFC South currently stands. I know it’s a team game, but a lot of it rides on Desmond Ridder.┬áHe’s displayed the elite intangibles he’s heralded for, but at some point, Ridder will have to throw a football; poise, leadership, and ra ra talk will only get you so far.

Ridder is a plus athlete and has enough arm strength to make most throws, but it takes more than that. Accuracy and anticipation are key components of consistently good quarterback play, and so is stuff not a lot of people think about, like having a sixth sense toward your teammates and opponents. It’s the most complex position to play in all of sports, demanding as much physical as mental acumen.

Desmond Ridder has all the right stuff; we’ll see if he’s the Falcons’ long-term answer.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

 

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