Arthur Smith Throws Shade at Marcus Mariota After Demotion

Isaiah De Los Santos
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith threw shade at former starter Marcus Mariota for the handling of his demotion.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith threw shade at former starter Marcus Mariota for the handling of his demotion. / (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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The Atlanta Falcons have decided to shake things up after they bye, naming rookie Desmond Ridder as starting quarterback over veteran Marcus Mariota. Following that news, it was surprisingly revealed Mariota would be headed to the injured reserve list with an issue that came out of the blue.

Head coach Arthur Smith threw some shade at Mariota for the way he's handled his demotion so far.

The Athletic's Josh Kendall published a deep dive on the Falcons' unraveling QB situation. In that story, Kendall quoted Smith as saying Mariota's knee "is nothing that has been an issue" this year but it's the quarterback's "prerogative" that he needs to step away from the team to take care of it.

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It's clear Smith is disappointed with the way Mariota has reacted to being relegated to backup. The veteran's response has caught everyone by surprise considering how he was praised for his leadership heading into the season and made it clear he'd help mentor Ridder.

No one faults Mariota for being upset, but he can only blame himself for losing the starting job. His limitations as a passer were abundantly evident throughout the season, so much so that Smith turned this into a run-heavy offense despite spending two top-eight picks on pass-catchers in back-to-back drafts.

With Mariota out of the picture for this year at the very least, Atlanta signed Logan Woodside to back up Ridder down the stretch. The Ridder-led Falcons are 4-point underdogs to the New Orleans Saints in Week 15, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds.


Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. 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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