Steve Smith has never been one to sugarcoat his opinion. It’s been the exact opposite. Nobody speaks their mind quite like the Panthers legend, and he had some harsh words for Falcons‘ quarterback Desmond Ridder.
On his podcast Cut to It with Packers rookie Jayden Reed, Smith let the youngster know his situation with Jordan Love — who is essentially a rookie — could’ve been worse because Atlanta doesn’t have a quarterback, telling Reed he dodged a bullet not being drafted by the Falcons.
I don’t know how warranted the hate for Desmond Ridder is, considering he’s only made four professional starts. Sure, he wasn’t brilliant in those four outings, but he improved each week and showed enough to give the Falcons belief he could one day be the answer at signal caller.
Ridder has all of the intangibles that organizations want in their franchise quarterback; however, there are still things that need to be worked on. His anticipation and accuracy are two of the most glaring weaknesses.
The former will be developed through experience, learning the nuances of Arthur Smith’s offense and how defenses are trying to attack him. The latter can be improved with consistent footwork and other mechanics; a lot of accuracy issues stem from the lower half.
I’m not trying to polish a turd. There are legitimate tools for the Falcons to be excited about, but fans need to have realistic expectations for 2023. Ridder will experience lows along with highs. The offense shouldn’t require too much of him, but there will come a time when the Falcons will have to rely on their quarterback to lead a fourth-quarter drive and make a big-time throw.
Only time will tell if the Falcons found their franchise quarterback. I’m not going to bet on it, but it seems Steve Smith already has his mind made up.