Falcons owner Arthur Blank has high praise for Desmond Ridder

DKB220911081 no vs atl

The Falcons might have a franchise quarterback in Desmond Ridder, but his four-game stretch doesn’t warrant that kind of praise. Don’t tell Arthur Blank that, though. Atlanta’s owner showered the former third-round pick with praise Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re very excited about Desmond Ridder,” Blank said. “I think from the time he came into training camp, he showed great capabilities as a leader amongst the rookies and then amongst the vets.”

Succeeding Matt Ryan will never be easy in this town. Regardless of how you feel about how his career ended, he’s the greatest quarterback in franchise history. He regularly displayed textbook leadership for the position, and Ridder showed similar poise in his mini-audition to end the season, progressively improving each outing. And his production may even be better than Ryan’s first four games.

The 23-year-old Desmond Ridder threw for 708 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions on 73-of-115 passing (63.5%), good for a 6.2 A/Y and 6.5 AY/Y. Ridder did fumble it three times but also finished with an even 2-2 record.

In his first four games, 23-year-old Matty Ice threw for 669 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions on 55-of-105 passing (52.4%). He fumbled the ball once while posting a 6.4 Y/A and 5.9 AY/A, coming out of those contests with a .500 record.

There were plenty of bright moments, but there were an equal amount of discouraging ones too. However, that’s what you’d expect from a third-round rookie making his first few starts. The physical ability seems to be there, and the intangibles are all anyone in the Falcons organization can talk about.

For many young quarterbacks, the mental side of the game is the most difficult learning curve in the NFL. It’s why Zach Wilson, who has been labeled immature and created rifts in the locker room, could very well be on his way out of New York after the Jets made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Fortunately, it seems Desmond Ridder has that side of the job down. Regardless of who it is — Arthur Smith, Arthur Blank, or Terry Fontenot — all anyone can compliment him on is his intangibles.

“We’re committed to the position obviously, and we know we need a good leader there, and I think we have it in Ridder,” Blank stated.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: