Desmond Ridder to get “lengthy run to show he’s the guy long term” for Falcons

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Just a little bit ago, I posed a question — How long is Desmond Ridder’s leash in 2023? The Falcons third round pick from a year ago takes the reins from Marcus Mariota with a playoff-caliber supporting cast.

Given the postseason expectations and offseason investment ($250 million), it’s not crazy to suggest such a thought. Moreover, the club signed one of the best backups in the league in Taylor Heinicke.

There are a couple of scenarios where I could see the Falcons going away from Ridder, and both entail him showing little to no improvement over several weeks, which is something he’s done since arriving in Atlanta. It wasn’t probable by any means, but I thought it worth exploring. However, it seems he’ll have a lengthy leash.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler¬†reported that Ridder “will get a lengthy run to show he’s the guy long term” for the Falcons.

“Smith told me that quarterback Desmond Ridder has shown ‘constant improvement’ in training camp and will ‘keep taking steps’ in his development as the starter. The Falcons got significant reps for backups Taylor Heinicke and Logan Woodside — and it’s noteworthy that Heinicke was doing his normal Heinicke thing where he finds creative ways to move the offense downfield — but the Falcons’ offense is very much Ridder’s. He’ll get a lengthy run to show he’s the guy long term.”

Fowler’s note of Arthur Smith telling him that Ridder has shown “constant improvement” in training camp is very important. I think that is the only thing that could result in the team turning to Heinicke.

Ridder incrementally improved during the four game stretch when he replaced Marcus Mariota last year. With a full training camp as the starter, there’s no reason to expect that to change now. Barring an injury, it seems Desmond Ridder will command the Falcons offense for all of 2023.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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