The Falcons are giving Desmond Ridder the reins, and it seems like it will be for the entire season unless something catastrophic happens.
There are certain aspects of his game that can improve. His anticipation and decision-making should be a priority, but that will come with experience as he begins to learn the nuances of Arthur Smith’s offense as well as NFL defenses. His accuracy is next, which can be improved through footwork and other mechanics.
However, what doesn’t need refining are his intangibles. Arthur Blank, Arthur Smith, Terry Fontenot, his former and current teammates, and mentors complement the same things — Ridder’s leadership, poise, dedication, mental processing, professionalism, competitiveness, consistency, etc.
I bring this all up because of a quote from the third-round pick following Tuesday’s practice — “Nerves are for the unprepared.”
Desmond Ridder said one of his HS coaches used to say “Nerves are for the unprepared,” and he still lives by that.
— Kelly Price (@thekellyprice) August 15, 2023
That sounds a lot like Tom Brady, but at some point, Desmond Ridder will have to throw a football; poise, leadership, and ra-ra talk will only get you so far.
He is a plus athlete and has enough arm strength to make most throws, but it takes more than that. It’s the most complex position to play in all of sports, demanding as much physical as mental acumen.
A lot of people believe in Desmond Ridder, and we will get our first look at the next potential franchise quarterback in Atlanta on Friday against the Bengals, which will be in front of a home crowd at Mercedes Benz Stadium. The Falcons starters are expected to play, and though we won’t see much of the playbook, it’ll be exciting to see Ridder, Bijan Robinson, and this new-look team.
Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire