The Falcons made the decision to switch from Desmond Ridder to Taylor Heinicke for at least the club’s Week 9 contest against the Vikings.
I can’t even fathom the type of performance Heinicke would have to put up for Arthur Smith to go back to Ridder. For all intents and purposes, the Falcons have waved the white flag on the third-round pick, even if Smith eluded to this quarterback change being a short-term fix.
Ridder’s improvements are undeniable, and maybe his head coach and offensive line did him no favors, but he didn’t take the necessary strides quickly enough in his development. The primary factor in the offensive shortcomings stems from Ridder’s turnovers.
For all the questions about the kind of player Ridder is, there’s never been any concerns regarding the person or teammate, and a demotion hasn’t changed that professionalism.
“There are things that I can control; that’s my effort, my attitude,” Ridder said. “I’m still coming in every day working the exact same. Nothing has changed (preparation-wise) for me. Now it’s flipping that switch to help Taylor go perform on Sunday and give him the same attention that he gave me.”
There are very few instances where a quarterback is benched and comes back to become the franchise guy. There’s even fewer when it’s a third-round pick. The odds were stacked against Desmond Ridder initially, and now they might be insurmountable but don’t tell him that. He’s taking this as an opportunity.
“I put a lot of good stuff on film,” Ridder said. “I have been able to move the ball. I’ve been able to get in the end zone. Now it’s about eliminating those negative plays. Like I’ve said, when the time comes, I’ll be ready.”
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire