Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith gave a pretty simple answer to explain the team’s recent quarterback change.
He said it’s “performance-based” as to why the team is now choosing to roll with rookie Desmond Ridder over the veteran Marcus Mariota.
After guiding the team to a 5-8 record, Mariota fell out of favor in the lineup.
Now, the Falcons will be Ridder’s team, at least through the end of the season.
Smith spoke to the big hurdle that Ridder will now face as the team’s starting quarterback.
Ridder’s first NFL test will be a big one. Atlanta heads to New Orleans on Sunday for a key division contest. The Falcons are still in the thick of the struggling NFC South.
However, the Falcons have confidence in the team’s new starting quarterback.
As for Mariota, he’ll likely head to injured reserve for a knee issue. The team signed quarterback Logan Woodside on Saturday from the Titans’ practice squad to replace Mariota as the primary reserve.