Falcons: Hall of Fame QB defends Desmond Ridder, bashes Arthur Smith

NFL: OCT 22 Falcons at Buccaneers

Most Falcons fans are blaming Desmond Ridder for being benched, and how could you not?

Ridder has constantly looked underprepared and overwhelmed. Worst of all, he’s put the ball in harm’s way far too often for the Falcons to consistently win football games. He’s held the offense back, and in turn, the entire team back.

There were moments in which Ridder showed flashes of development, but the cat was out of the bag when Taylor Heinicke came in for Ridder in the second half against the Titans. The Falcons offense looked like an entirely different unit with the veteran under center.

It’s why Arthur Smith is rolling with Heinicke this week against the Vikings. However, Kurt Warner isn’t letting the Falcons head coach off the hook. Ridder’s shortcomings are obvious, and Heinicke is the better option at this point, but the Hall of Fame quarterback won’t let it go unnoticed that the circumstances were insurmountable for Ridder.

A lot of the Falcons’ offensive struggles can be attributed to Ridder, but the offensive line and Smith are certainly to blame as well, as Warner points out. This isn’t the first time that someone has addressed Arthur Smith’s inability to accentuate his offense’s strengths.

With three top 10 picks, the Falcons feature one of the most predictable offenses in football. There’s no rhyme or reason to many of the passing concepts, and it’s clear that Arthur Smith’s strengths lie in and around the run game.

Kurt Warner is correct. Taylor Heinicke is the better option at quarterback right now, but Desmond Ridder’s circumstances contributed to his poor play.

Photographer: Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire


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