Calais Campbell Dec 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; General view of a Atlanta Falcons helmet during warm ups against the New Orleans Saints at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran NFL quarterback Taylor Heinicke has not been with the Atlanta Falcons for long, signing with the team as a free agent this offseason. But apparently, he’s been with the team long enough for head coach Arthur Smith to feel comfortable teasing him during a press conference.

During a press conference last week, Taylor Heinicke discussed the Atlanta Falcons’ long play calls, opening up about how challenging it was to learn them as a new quarterback with the team. And when asked about Heinicke’s comments this week, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith had a pretty brutal message for his quarterback.

“I like the fact that he’s complaining,” Smith said, according to Atlanta Falcons beat writer Josh Kendall of The Athletic. “It’s our job to push Taylor out of his comfort zone. Taylor is a very smart guy… regardless of how he looks.”

Smith was clearly joking, but it’s still a pretty brutal comment to make about his newest quarterback in a public forum.

Heinicke arrived in Atlanta with plenty of experience as a starter, but he will serve as a veteran backup to second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, who the team has named their starting quarterback this coming season.

We’ll have to see how Heinicke’s career with the Falcons plays out – and whether or not his relationship with Smith stays strong.

[Josh Kendall]