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Arthur Smith hasn’t considered benching Marcus Mariota, won’t say who will start next week

Arthur Smith hasn’t considered benching Marcus Mariota, won’t say who will start next week

Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

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Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota Played an ugly game Thursday night, but he was never in danger of being benched.

That’s according to Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, who said after the game that he never considered moving to a rookie quarterback. Desmond Ryder.

However, Smith would not say definitively that Mariota will be the starter for the Falcons’ next game, Nov. 20 against the Bears.

“I know those are popular narratives, they’re easy questions to ask,” Smith said. “But as a whole football team, we have to do better, starting with ourselves. So, we look every week to make sure we’ve got the right guys in the right place.”

Asked a follow-up question about whether Mariota or Rider would go, Smith declined to focus specifically on the quarterback position.

“You can make it about the quarterback, how about the team?” Smith said. “We had an opportunity at the end of the fourth quarter the last two weeks, and there’s a lot of different ways and a lot of different steps where we’ve been able to get better. And we had a chance to do that with seven games to go.”

The Falcons have a chance to make the playoffs because of the overall weakness of the AFC South. But they won’t win much if Mariota continues to play like he did Thursday night.




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