Veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota is expected to start the 2022 season as QB1 for the Atlanta Falcons. But with the 74th overall pick in this year's draft, the organization also brought in a promising young QB option.
Mariota was recently asked if he plans on mentoring incoming rookie Desmond Ridder as he embarks on his NFL career.
His answer was a resounding "yes."
“Absolutely,” Mariota said on Thursday, per AP News. “I kind of always view that relationship in the quarterback room as important and special. I always felt that a good quarterback room can allow everybody to be better and allow everybody to grow. ... At the end of the day if they’ve got questions or I’ve got questions, they’re a great set of eyes for me as well.”
While Mariota is looking forward to helping Ridder reach his full potential, he's also looking forward to taking the field as a starter this coming season.
“For me personally the last couple of years was a learning opportunity,” he added. “Previously when I was at Tennessee I had an opportunity to play. I was a starter. Being around that and then going and learning for a couple of years, I’m kind of hungry to get back on the field again.”
Earlier this offseason, Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill faced heavy criticism after he said it wasn't his job to mentor his incoming rookie QB Malik Willis. Perhaps Mariota had that in the back of his mind when he answered this question.
For the first time since 2008, the Falcons will kickoff their season with a starting quarterback not named Matt Ryan.