Michael Penix Jr. says all the right things at Falcons introductory presser

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 08 CFP National Championship Michigan vs Washington

On Friday, the Falcons introduced the newest member of the team, former Washington quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up, Michael Penix Jr.

The decision to draft Penix 8th overall after just paying Kirk Cousins $180 million in free agency will go down in the history books. Nobody has paid a quarterback that much money and proceeded to take a quarterback in the top 10 of the NFL Draft, and I can’t imagine it will happen again anytime soon.

The Falcons are hoping the combination of Kirk Cousins and Penix will stabilize the quarterback position for the better part of the next two decades. It won’t be an open quarterback competition heading into 2024, but down the road, Terry Fontenot and Raheem Morris are expecting a smooth transition whenever Michael Penix is ready to take the reins.

It’s not going to be an easy situation to navigate, but the Falcons new (or newest) quarterback said all the right things at his introductory press conference on Friday. He referred to himself as a team-first player whose sole focus is on winning. He also said he believes he is the best quarterback in the draft class, which featured six signal callers going in the first round, tying an NFL record.

Penix said Kirk Cousins has already reached out to him as well, and the two are excited to work together.

As far as being the most shocking selection of the first round, Michael Penix is paying that no mind, saying, “As far as what anybody else feels about the decision that was made, I have no control over that.”

Penix will unfortunately be in the crosshairs of controversy throughout the early part of his career, but it’s to no fault of his own. Had any other team taken him 8th overall, this wouldn’t even be a story. He’s a talented prospect that many teams were interested in taking in the first round. However, because the Falcons just signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract, the decision is making national headlines, with most pundits bashing the move.

For this to work out in Atlanta, it’s going to take everyone pulling on the same rope. Raheem Morris and his staff will have the difficult challenge of sending a clear message to the team of what’s to come because the outside noise will be constant.

Photo: Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire

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