What to make of Falcons not naming Desmond Ridder a captain

NFL: AUG 04 Atlanta Falcons Training Camp

Over the weekend and ahead of their season opener, the Falcons named their team captains for the 2023 season, and there was one notable omission — Desmond Ridder.

Grady Jarrett, Jessie Bates, Younghoe Koo, Jake Matthews, and Chris Lindstrom were given the honor. Lindstrom and Bates are first-time captains in Atlanta, while the other three are returning from 2022.

These aren’t surprising at all. This is Grady Jarrett’s team, and he sets the tone. Jake Matthews is the stalwart of the group, but Chris Lindstrom has established himself as arguably the club’s best player. Jessie Bates was a captain in Cincinnati and was brought in for his leadership among other desirable attributes.

However, the notable name here is one that isn’t included in Desmond Ridder. The third-round pick is essentially a rookie after only starting four games a year ago, but all anyone — coaches, teammates, owner, reporters, etc. — can compliment about Ridder is his leadership.

That’s a bit strange considering he wasn’t voted captain, which is generally done by peers. The Falcons certainly aren’t lacking leaders like they were over the last two seasons. Outside of those named captains, there are guys like Cordarrelle Patterson, A.J. Terrell, and Calais Campbell who are strong voices in the locker room. So, it’s not exactly shocking or a big deal that Ridder wasn’t named captain.

I do understand the sentiment among fans, though. He’s a quarterback, who has been heralded for his intangibles, particularly his leadership. That combination generally results in being named captain. It’s notable but not worth looking into too deeply.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire


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