Falcons’ Desmond Ridder motivated to prove doubters wrong

164220302 217 nfl at combine

The Falcons are giving Desmond Ridder the reins, and he’s got the supporting cast to take the team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

The offensive line features four returning starters to go with one of the best skill groups in the league, led by three top ten picks — Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson.

The defense is where the major changes came, though. The front welcomes David Onyemata, Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree to a group that already featured Grady Jarrett, Ta’Quon Graham, Arnold Ebiketie, and Lorenzo Carter. Kaden Elliss bolsters the second level, and Jessie Bates solidifies the backend.

It’s by far the best roster of Arthur Smith’s tenure, and the club’s playoff hopes rest on Ridder’s shoulders, but it seems he relishes the challenge. In an interivew with Rich Eisen, the Cincinnati product told the host he’s eager to prove his doubters wrong.

The Falcons had a few options this offseason to upgrade the quarterback position. Derek Carr and Jimmy Garappolo were the most readily available, but it was Lamar Jackson that drove everyone on the national level crazy.

An MVP winner that was a seamless fit for Arthur Smith’s offense would be a delight; however, he was never really available. The Ravens could’ve matched whatever contract offer the Falcons put together. Moreover, Atlanta would’ve been doing Baltimore’s bidding for them. The only way they could’ve acquired Jackson was by offering an outrageously lucrative deal that the Ravens wouldn’t match. It was a lose-lose.

Ridder told Eisen he saw the noise about the other quarterbacks, but he didn’t let it bother him or his daily routine, focusing on controlling what he can control. It does help when the Falcons brass reassured Ridder he was their guy, which the third round pick confirmed to Eisen.

Ridder has a chip on his shoulder, and for a lot of the greats, it’s those extra motivators that separate the great from the good.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: