Arthur Smith Shares Honest Assessment of Desmond Ridder's NFL Debut

Adam Taylor McKillop
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith shared an honest assessment of Desmond Ridder's NFL debut.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith shared an honest assessment of Desmond Ridder's NFL debut. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Atlanta Falcons made a long-awaited quarterback change in Week 15, unofficially giving the keys to the franchise to rookie Desmond Ridder. Although they couldn't capture a win over the New Orleans Saints, Ridder looked fairly comfortable and competitive in this big moment.

Head coach Arthur Smith didn't task the rookie with a heavy lift as he passed just 26 times for 97 yards. He shared a very honest assessment of the new gunslinger after the loss.

Smith said of Ridder, "I learned that [he's] not scared of the moment."

That assessment is a totally fair way of summing up Ridder's day. He had the type of day many would expect from a rookie in his debut. The completion percentage and total yard mark left a lot to be desired, but he hung tough and showed off his dual-threat capabilities with 38 rushing yards.

Ridder also had the team driving in a potential comeback effort. Down three points with just around two minutes to play, Ridder led the offense to the 50-yard line. He even completed that fourth-and-five play before Drake London coughed up the football and allowed New Orleans to ice the game.

It's a small step in Ridder's development, but he maintains a strong offensive core around himself with the likes of London and Tyler Allgeier. The rookies will make mistakes, but sometimes letting them learn by fire is the only way to grow.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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