Jessie Bates III has perfect reaction to Falcons taking Michael Penix

NFL: NOV 26 Saints at Falcons

Raheem Morris and the rest of the Falcons coaching staff are going to do the best job they possibly can at keeping the team focused on winning football games with Kirk Cousins under center. However, it’s impossible to ignore the elephant in the room.

By taking Michael Penix Jr. with the 8th overall pick, the Falcons created their own quarterback controversy, which is ironic because they signed Cousins to end all of the controversy surrounding the position. It’s an intriguing course of action that has never been done before. No team has ever handed a free agent quarterback $180 million and then turned around to draft his successor before he’s even taken a snap.

The decision was the story of the entire NFL Draft. Some pundits see the vision, while others believe it is a colossal waste of resources that proves once again that the Falcons are among the most dysfunctional organizations in the National Football League.

Regardless of where you stand, the Falcons won’t be able to escape the situation they’ve brought upon themselves. This is now a national storyline, and questions will be asked about the two quarterbacks for years to come. Those aren’t easy waters for a new head coach to navigate, and they will become impossible if the leaders of the team lose sight of the vision Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris have for the Falcons.

Perhaps that happens down the road, but right now, the vibes around Flowery Branch don’t appear to be affected. At a press conference on Tuesday, All-Pro safety Jessie Bates was asked about the decision to draft Michael Penix, and the veteran had a perfect response.

Falcons fans have come to expect nothing less from Jessie Bates, who was the most valuable player on the entire team in his first season with Atlanta. He’s a pro’s pro that knows all of the different sides of this business, even the ones that can be difficult to come to grips with.

Bates is smack-dab in the middle of his prime and is hungry to compete for Super Bowls. I’m sure he would have loved for the team to go in a different direction, focusing solely on winning now rather than the future. By the time Penix is making an impact with the Falcons, Bates’ career in Atlanta might be coming to a close.

That’s not an easy pill to swallow, but Bates is handling everything like a true leader, a player that Raheem Morris can lean on while navigating a potentially difficult road ahead.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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