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QB Carousel: Brian Finneran, Former Falcons Wide Receiver

Zach Gleb Show / Zach Gleb
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2023 8:14 pm

QB Carousel: Brian Finneran, Former Falcons Wide Receiver

Zach Gleb Show / Zach Gleb

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March 21, 2023 8:14 pm

Brian Finneran joined Zach to discuss his expectations for Desmond Ridder and if the Falcons should pursue Lamar Jackson. 

Zach Gleb Show
Zach Gleb

Step right up here!

Don't be shy! The Super Bowl is over, but the NFL quarterback carousel is just beginning. You could ask yourself a question.

Do I feel lucky? What does the future hold for all 32 NFL teams at the QB position? Now I'm going to give you an opportunity to spin this wheel right here. Let's spin the wheel and find out which teams we hit today. The Atlanta Falcons. We're about to start four games at the end of the season with some mixed reviews. I think Taylor Heinicke understands his role on the football team right now. Unless he does something spectacular in training camp and preseason, which is very hard to do at the quarterback position, I think you can push all your chips in on Desmond Ritter. What are your expectations if they do give Desmond Ritter this entire season as a starting quarterback? That's a great question.

They are measured, I can promise you that. I'm not sure exactly what we have. We have a guy who started three or four years straight in college. He had some experience. He got four starts last year. He threw them into the fire in New Orleans on the road. He was sacked four times and completed 50% of his passes. A little rough there. He welcomed that with a trip to Baltimore, another top-five defense. It was an early wake-up call and a tough go for the first couple weeks. He settled in a little bit and got a couple home games against an Arizona team that was struggling in Tampa Bay. That sat Tom Brady a quarter and a half into the game. He got a couple wins and a couple touchdown passes. Expectations are measured. He's cautiously optimistic.

I'd like to see him put on a little bit of weight and do some of the things he did in college. Soft touch passes across the middle, good go routes, uses athleticism a little more. It was such a small sample size, Zach. It was hard to tell exactly what we got. He got a guy that looked like he belonged, which I think is first and foremost. When you get in a huddle with a rookie quarterback, I did it with Michael Vick and I did it with Matt Ryan. You just see something in their eyes when you get in that huddle. If it's the right thing that you see, it feels good. He looks like he is comfortable there. That's first and foremost.

Then it's a matter of learning your system, learning your guys, and getting comfortable in there. What about the talent around him? I do enjoy what I saw from Tyler Algier this year. Drake Lundin, I think, is going to be a good player. There's high expectations for Kyle Pitts. Do you think they have enough to really get a full evaluation on Desmond Ritter this year with the roster around him?

No doubt. He added tight end Johnny Smith the last time he was with our head coach. Arthur Smith was up in Tennessee. That joker got eight touchdowns up there for the squad when the offensive coordinator was calling plays. He just added Matt Collins from the Raiders who had a breakout year himself.

He has enough weapons. The run game is what this team is backed by. Tyler Algier did a really nice job last year.

Tough to bring down. You just solidified your offensive line with the right tackle. Caleb McGarry with the new contract. Chris Lindstrom broke the bank with a huge deal at the right guard position. The only question mark left is left guard.

Fill that void. I think he got good protection. He got some nice weapons. He didn't have the pleasure of working with Kyle Pitts last year. He was banged up and missed the last part of the season. Throw him in the mix with Drake Lundin. He had a really nice rookie season with 70 catches and did some nice things.

I think he got enough weapons to do something. Then you still have the draft where you're going to have some pieces as well. What ended up happening with Calver Ridley? I know he's now with the Jaguars even before the gambling suspension in that news came out. There was a big belief that he was going to get traded last offseason. He gets dealt at the deadline. What is the truth there between Ridley and the Falcons and why that relationship didn't work out? I don't know. Did you end up reading the article he put out in the Players Tribune?

Not yet. It's really good. It's all written by him. It goes through some of the things he was dealing with. Football was tough. He got family and kids. He had a few off-field situations he had to deal with. He was robbed at gunpoint at one point.

I think his house got robbed. He had a lot of stuff go on where his mind was not in the right place. He was banged up as well apparently. He let us know he had a foot injury that was misdiagnosed as he wrote in the article. Apparently at the end of that deal he was playing with a broken foot. He just couldn't do it mentally and physically towards the end of the season. Then he got himself in a world of hurt. One of the top rules in the NFL is do not gamble on football, especially on your own team for God's sake. He did that when he was off away from the Falcons and put himself on the suspended list. It was unfortunate. It was somewhat nasty social media-wise for a while because a lot of people didn't understand what was going on and what he was going through. I think as a Falcons fan you're hoping he does well in Jacksonville because if he re-ups for a deal there you get a second round pick from Jacksonville.

You can get that coming back. Unbelievable football player. Really good wide receiver. Just had a really tough couple years personally and physically on the football field.

I'll definitely check out the article talking to Brian Finneran right now. I know there's going to be some rust to knock off when you haven't played football in two years. I can see him having a monster season in Jacksonville. Right now talking about a good destination to land in with Trevor Lawrence and some of the roster and the talent they have on the roster. I think he's going to have a big year.

I would agree with you. He's a special receiver. Even towards the end of his tenure in Atlanta in the middle of the season, he was doing some strange things. He was avoiding contact, running backwards after he caught the ball. It was super frustrating as a San Watson and a former receiver.

I was very critical of him. But he has all the skill set. Batch him up with Trevor Lawrence who is really coming into his own. And then a head coach like Doug Peterson who was my quarterback in Philadelphia back in 99. Running that West Coast offense with creativity and being a quarterback himself.

Wanting to see receivers succeed. I think Kellen is really in a great spot in Jacksonville. Should the Atlanta Falcons pursue Lamar Jackson in your opinion? No.

No, no, no. I think this team has been so bad defensively for so long. Especially at trying to kill the quarterback. That you have to find either, you have to spend two or three draft picks in the second and third round on guys that can go get the quarterback. Or at the number eight pick, you can go get Miles Murphy or Tyree Harris or whoever these guys are. Big, long, strong, six foot four, six foot five, 270 pound defensive ends that want to get after quarterbacks.

It just, it doesn't make sense in my opinion. You have to rebuild this team defensively before you start worrying about Lamar Jackson. And it's been interesting Zach. And I don't know what the national take is. But the fact that nobody, it was, for a while there all the fans and pundits around Atlanta were like, go get Lamar, he's our guy, two first round picks, who cares, 50 million guaranteed a year, whatever, we can do it. And then the whole time I was like, we're trying to build a football team here. Lamar Jackson is a phenomenal football player. But this is an ultimate team sport where you have to be protected, you have to make plays for it, you have to have a run game, you have to have a defensive sacks of quarterback. And the Falcons had too many holes in that regard to be spending that kind of money and throwing away that kind of draft capital to go get a guy like Lamar Jackson.

But I just think that's risky. I get what you're saying, you want to build the rest of the roster, but if you go get a quarterback like Lamar, I kind of think it would be a little foolish by the Falcons to try to wait. Because who knows when you're going to get someone like a talent like that again.

Very true. We had a guy like Michael Vick for a while who was pretty special. Got us an NFC title game when I was playing. We had a guy like Matt Ryan got us a Super Bowl. Listen, Lamar is a generational type player. With that said, I didn't even mention the injury history he's had the last two years scares the hell out of me.

I've played with a couple running, in quotations, quarterbacks, athletic quarterbacks. And there's just so many more opportunities for those guys to get banged up. Sitting here and watching Matt Ryan play for 15 years and miss two games, I mean, that was pretty fun to be a part of. So I get it.

It's just for me, it was too much to give up. And I guess I'd ask you, where is every other team in the NFL looking for a guy like Lamar? We're not the only team that needs a quarterback. I think it's probably going to happen after the draft. I think they're waiting to try to get that money to go down and all it takes is one team to really show that interest. And I saw there was a Florida report out there today that his rep who's not certified by the NFL Players Association has at least talked to one team or more than one team. So I would think after the draft, maybe it starts to pick up, but who knows? The whole thing has been really bizarre. The one thing that's just bizarre to me with the Falcons is they were ready to do whatever it took for Deshaun Watson, it felt like last year, just from covering from afar. And then a year later to not at least make an offer for Lamar Jackson.

Maybe it happens in a month or two now. That's what's always been weird to me. Yeah, no, it's a good point.

It's a great point. The whole Deshaun Watson thing blew my mind and hasn't worked out yet. And it's still early in Cleveland. Another guy that's a special football player.

But, I mean, again, I'm not... There's a very few guys in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, obviously Tom Brady when he was playing, that can lead a team to victory. And Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, that can lead their team to victory really based off of themselves with their athleticism, their arm strength, their know-how, how smart they are on the football field. I think it's more risky to spend all that money, give up draft picks, and go after this guy and hope the guy doesn't get hurt, hope he doesn't struggle.

I mean, his MVP here was, what, four years ago. I mean, he's a really good football player, but it's not... And I'm in the minority here, I can promise you that. I'm not all in on that one. Do you get a lot of blowback in Atlanta when you're doing your daily radio show? On that topic or in general? That topic. Trust me, I know the pushback comes all the time. It's the nature of the business. That's right.

No, definitely. We have a five-man showdown here, which is hard to believe, at the locker room. It's called I'm 680 the Fan. You're the lone wolf in that locker room, it seems like. I was pretty much the lone wolf in that group of people inside the locker room. So I'm standing pat and fighting my way out. I bet you this. You're going to catch a lot of heat in December when Taylor Heinecky is starting games for the Falcons. Because that seems inevitable to me that eventually Heinecky will start this year.

Oh God, I hope you're wrong. Let the young kids learn and come into... Our schedule is not that tough, man. We have an opportunity to take advantage of a suspect NFC South, although they've made some nice moves.

This pre-agency and the Carolina moving up in the number one spot is intriguing. But I think we have a chance to improve our defense, which we've done already through pre-agency. Get after the quarterback. We've been the worst in the league and sagging the quarterback the last few years.

I'm worried about that, man. It's been tough to watch teams go up and down the field and not be affected by our defense very much. Baker and Carr, what's kind of your reaction to them joining the NFC South party with Baker going to Tampa and then Derek Carr going to New Orleans? Yeah, I like Derek Carr's game. Does he scare me?

No. I think he'll throw you the football every once in a while. Baker Mayfield is... I don't know what he is. He just keeps bouncing around different teams.

I think he's 14 in three years and trying to find his way. So it doesn't scare me. I think they improve their rosters with those guys for sure. But those guys don't scare me as far as the NFC South is concerned. But I do like Derek Carr a lot. I think he's a good football player. Another guy just playing the last couple years with one of the worst defenses in the league really hurt his cause. I'd like to see him succeed, but not in New Orleans.

He's in big trouble now. Brian Finneran, before we let you run, you talked about those Panthers moving up to the number one overall pick. I know you watch a ton of college football. Do you think it's Shroud or Young as the number one pick?

I am another one I get blowback on. His quarterback, I had a chance to play with Chris Chandler and Michael Vick and Matt Ryan. There is something to be in a 6'3", 6'4", 6'5", 220, 230 pound quarterback in this league. It gives you an advantage over the line of scrimmage.

It gives you an advantage to take a beating when your offensive line breaks down. So 5'11", quarterbacks, 190 pounds scare me to death. I will take the 6'3", 225 pound CJ Stroud who's done everything that they've asked him to do in Ohio State. I know the Ohio State quarterback run in the NFL has not been impressive, but I'll take my chances with that one. Although Bryce Young has a special talent as well, but if I'm picking, I'm taking CJ Stroud. Since you're in Georgia country, Stetson Bennett, what do you think a team's getting if they take a late round pick on Stetson Bennett? Stetson Bennett proved me wrong time and time again. What a competitor and a football player.

Again, the size scares me, but I could see him. If he does the right things and keeps his stuff together and stays clean, I think he can have a nice career as a backup in the NFL. Have an opportunity to start and do some different things here and there when guys get banged up. I think he's a 5th, 6th, 7th round free agent type guy that can have some success.

He can throw the ball, he can spin it, he's sneaky athletic and I think he can do a good job in the NFL. Brian Finner, always good to catch up with you. Appreciate the time. Thank you. Alright, have a good one.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 22:12:38 / 2023-03-21 22:19:32 / 7

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