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Desmond Ridder: Falcons Didn't 'Baby Me'; Prepared to Be QB1 After Marcus Mariota

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 15, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 20: Desmond Ridder #4 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

It's Desmond Ridder's time. And the Atlanta Falcons have approached his rookie season as though that time would come this year.

"I'm prepared for this," Ridder told reporters on Wednesday. "This is what they've been preparing me for. They didn't want to baby me."

Marcus Mariota has been the starting quarterback up until this point, but head coach Arthur Smith chose to make the switch to Ridder during the bye, giving him an extra week to prepare as the starter for Sunday's matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

Ridder, 23, has yet to play at all in the regular season after being Atlanta's Round 3 pick in the 2022 NFL draft. But he's felt as though the team has been preparing him for the possibility of seeing the field at any moment.

"It means going about the game plan how a 12-year vet, an eight-year vet, whatever it may be," Ridder told reporters. "Not putting on a wristband, (but) making me memorize every single play call, all the ins and outs, all the checks, all the cadence, just taking it like I've been in the league for eight years (even though) I've been in the league for six months."