December 4, 2023

Quarterback Marcus Mariota signed with Atlanta Falcons in March after longtime quarterback Matt Ryan was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, and since heading to ATL, Mariota says he’s learned a lot from the coaches. The 28-year-old had praised his new team’s captains, saying they are challenging those in the midfield.

Mariota spoke of the impact of coach Arthur Smith and his coaching staff, offensive coordinator Dave Ragon and quarterback coach Charles London, “I think they’re challenging us.”

“They want us to understand why we run on certain concepts, and what the coverages are. For us, it’s mentally stimulating because it’s hard to look at them from a different perspective,” he said, Via the team website. “I think the really cool thing about art and these staff is that they’re constantly trying to stimulate your mind. There’s always completely new ideas. There’s always something we’re always talking about. So, for me, I enjoy that part of it.”

Smith discussed his approach with his quarterbacks, focusing on making sure his players know everything they need to in order to be successful.

“Our job as a coach is, you’re really a teacher,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, they’re the people out there in the field, so we try to educate and understand them, so we’re in sync.”

The team is going through a transformation they haven’t seen since 2008: the presence of a new quarterback. The Falcons have stuck with Ryan since they drafted him in 2008, but have now said goodbye to the 37-year-old in order to go in a new direction.

Mariota played for the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders before joining the Falcons. Drafted No. 2 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.

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