With rookie Desmond Ridder and veteran Marcus Mariota both on the roster, the Atlanta Falcons seemingly have one of the most unsure quarterback situations in the NFL. But on the first day of training camp, the Falcons made it known who the starting quarterback is expected to be.
Quarterbacks coach Charles London made it clear that Mariota is the man under center for the Falcons.
“Obviously, we’ve got a plan for each of them. Marcus is the starter,” London said after Wednesday’s practice, per Josh Kendall of The Athletic. “I expect those guys to compete. Right now, Marcus is the starter, and he’s doing a great job.”
This isn’t surprising.
Ridder seems to be picking up Atlanta’s playbook well and is confident that team success will follow once he becomes the starter. That all may end up being true but there’s no big hurry. The Falcons don’t figure to be a contending team in 2022 and there’s no need to rush a second-round draft pick into action. As long as Mariota remains healthy, there’s every reason to expect that he’ll be the starting quarterback once the season gets going — with one possible exception.
Short of that, though, expect London’s notion of Mariota remaining the starter to hold until the beginning of the regular season.