For the first time since 2007, the Falcons’ QB1 isn’t named Matt Ryan. The team signed Marcus Mariota and drafted Desmond Ridder after trading Ryan, with Mariota the present and Ridder (hopefully) the future at the position.
But the Falcons are not having a quarterback competition this summer as quarterbacks coach Charles London declared Wednesday the job belongs to Mariota.
“Obviously, we’ve got a plan for each of them. Marcus is the starter,” London said, via Josh Kendall of TheAthletic.com. “That’s how we’re going into this thing.”
Arthur Smith said something similiar after the Falcons drafted Ridder with the 74th overall choice. Mariota has played seven NFL seasons, five of which were with Smith in Tennessee.
Mariota is taking all the first-team snaps.
“I expect those guys to compete,” London said. “Right now, Marcus is the starter, and he’s doing a great job.”
Mariota hasn’t played much the past three seasons, with his last start coming Oct. 13, 2019, with the Titans. He played only 89 snaps the past two seasons combined while backing up Derek Carr with the Raiders.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to prove to myself,” said Mariota, who was benched by Smith in Tennessee in 2019. “I feel very comfortable. Being around Art for all that time in Tennessee, I think that’s where it comes from. For the most part, I feel really comfortable and confident.”