Falcons QB Desmond Ridder Says Drake London’s Evolution Bolsters Explosive Offense

“He’s done a tremendous job just being able to… learn and understand where he’s supposed to be and how his route helps other guys.”

Matthew Fanizza
August 3, 2023

In a recent interview during SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Training Camp Tour, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder shed light on the game-time experience he gained last season and highlighted the significance of working closely with his teammates during the offseason.

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Self Improvement

Throughout the offseason, Ridder’s position as the Falcons’ starting QB faced speculations, but he remained steadfast in his focus on self-improvement and proving himself to the team. While the offseason brought its uncertainties, Ridder stated he was determined to show up every day, give his best, and cement his role as the starting quarterback.

“Just as any NFL team and any position in the NFL, nothing’s guaranteed. You have to come to work every single day and show up and prove, that you’re the best person for that job,” said Ridder. “So when I showed up here in early spring, whatever it may be, there was no second guess about it.”

Team Chemistry

Ridder’s explained he had a determination to establish a strong connection with his wide receivers, as he spent extra time working with them away from the Falcons’ team headquarters. The offseason presented an opportunity for him to build camaraderie and chemistry, which he believes will play a crucial role in their success on the field this season.

“Obviously, not even talking about physical, I mean, it is lifting but… lifting with guys like, you know, Frank Darby, Kyle Pitts, John FitzPatrick, couple linemen at the time,” said Ridder.

He continued, “Later into the spring when it’s getting closer to OTAs and bringing those guys back to throw, whether it’s Mack Hollins, [Scott Miller]… Jonnu Smith, just getting those guys reps, just feeling the ball come out of my hand [and] see how they run routes. That’s huge for any first-time guys playing together, just to grow that connection.”

Drake London

As Ridder reflected on the growth of his teammates, he couldn’t help but highlight the mental evolution of one of his key receivers, Drake London. According to Ridder, London’s increased understanding of the game has elevated his playmaking abilities and made him a formidable asset to the Falcons’ offense.

“I would say mentally he’s got all of his physical attributes and everything that he can do on the field… being able to understand and know the game playing inside and out, being able to go out there and not really second guess himself,” said Ridder. “And now you see him instead of thinking about the route, he’s thinking about how to win on the route. He’s not thinking about the play, but how to win on the play. And so he’s done a tremendous job just being able to… learn and understand where he’s supposed to be and how his route helps other guys.”

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