Former Cincinnati OC, current Bengals HC Zac Taylor praises Desmond Ridder

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The Falcons are turning to Desmond Ridder, despite there being a 26-year-old MVP available to potentially acquire in Lamar Jackson.

The former third-round pick only has four games under his belt, but that hasn’t stopped the Falcons organization from praising him. Arthur Blank, Terry Fontenot, Arthur Smith, assistant coaches, front office personnel, everyone has showered Ridder with compliments.

However, interestingly, it’s never complimenting his physical ability and is always in regard to his intangibles. Current Bengals head coach and former Cincinnati offensive coordinator Zac Taylor is the latest and had plenty to say about Ridder.

“I’ve always really liked Des,” Taylor said via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The traits you saw in a high school senior were competitive, leadership.”

Taylor spent the 2016 season with the Bearcats before moving on to the NFL in 2017 but knew Ridder through his high school recruitment.

“When I showed at 6 in the morning to work out Des, he had about 8 to 10 receivers there that he got to show up at 6 in the morning the day before the Kentucky Derby, which is a big deal in Louisville,” Taylor said via Atlanta Journal-Constitution “He ran all of the drills. He told them what routes. The coach didn’t have to say a word. I was just really impressed by his leadership skills.”

According to everyone, Desmond Ridder’s intangibles are through the roof.

“So, the intangible stuff is off the charts with Des,” Taylor said via Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “How it all translates to the NFL, that’s not my problem. I will always be following Des career in the NFL to see how it goes.”

Desmond Ridder totaled 10,239 passing yards and 87 touchdowns to only 28 interceptions throughout his four-year career with the Bearcats. He added another 29 touchdowns and 2,188 yards on the ground as well. Ridder also won the AAC Rookie of the Year, the AAC Offensive Player of the Year twice, and never lost a game at home. Moreover, he led Cincy as the first non-Power 5 program to the College Football Playoffs.

It isn’t difficult to see what the Falcons’ front office and coaching staff saw in him. He has plus athleticism and a good enough arm to make most throws on the field, but nobody is saying he’s got a cannon or has elite mobility. Everyone points to the things that don’t show up at the NFL Combine. I don’t know if Desmond Ridder will work out, but he won’t fail because of a lack of desire.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire


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