A big thank you to Tori for helping out with the last few Bair Mails. I dig formally changing the name to Tori's Takeover when she steps in, but that's still a work in progress.
I read them both and they were awesome, as you'd expect with her, but took note of his preamble about not liking preambles.
I, too, think they can be a bit odd. I used to pour tons of effort into them, typically with tangential discussions about why Kanye was hiding out at Mercedes-Benz Stadium or why I generally don't like sweet tea or my newfound love for fried chicken biscuits. Other times I talk about a timely aspect of the football calendar or what the first question is about. And, when I'm particularly lazy, it's like two sentences before getting to the questions.
Do you all care? Is entertainment factor important or would you rather I just cut to the chase? Let me know right here when you submit your questions for Wednesday's edition.
But enough of this preamble about preambles. Let's get to your questions in this Monday Bair Mail.
Isaac Abraham from Savannah, Ga.
Hi Scott/Tori whoever's doing it, but do you Desmond will be stronger with his legs or arm? I know it's a short simple question, but I was just wondering.
Bair: Under normal circumstances I would say legs, as an athletic backup can offer a change of pact in a tailored package of plays. That doesn't necessarily work in this instance because, you know, Marcus Mariota is athletic as heck.
I guess it would be the arm, because he'd probably come in as relief or a sign that the Falcons are headed in a different direction or if Ridder outright won the starting job this summer. I'm not much into bold predictions, but odds seem strong, at this stage, that Mariota will start this season as the starter. If he's impactful, he should play every snap. Unless, of course, the Falcons record gets to a point where they just want to see what they have in Ridder.
Whew. I know that was a lot of variables in a complex answer to a simple question, but hopefully it spells out way where Ridder could get involved in this campaign. And, in terms of how he's doing, I don't think it's fair to even say at this stage. It's a rookie quarterback in the offseason program, working while trying to figure out a new scheme. It takes time for everything to come together. We'll get a better gauge of his progress this summer.
Jarvis B from Macon, Ga.
I read an article that talked about the Falcons looking to add playmakers to the trenches. Also, Terry Fontenot stating that the 53 roster was not yet in the building. What free agents would you like to see the Falcons add to bolster our line?
Bair: I think Tori wrote the article you're referring to, which everyone can find right here. It spells out well a sound Falcons strategy of looking at tons of pass catchers when contact/pads aren't allowed, then getting a closer look at linemen when the pads come on.
I also don't think it was a major statement for Terry Fontenot to say the full 53-man roster isn't here yet. There's plenty of time for shuffling and making strategic adds.
I'm never a fan of wildly guessing at who might come in – we don't know who's going to get cut, either – by guard Ereck Flowers is a name we all know. Michael Schofield is another prospect who is on the street. They could add a veteran center, but I think they'll let the Matt Hennessy/Drew Dalman battle play out. Maybe Danny Shelton or former Bear (just following trends here) Eddie Goldman could help the defensive interior.
Randy Sheppard from Franklin, Ga.
When is Falcons going to address the running back? You have to go back several years since the Falcons had an RB who rushed for 1,000 yards.
Bair: You're right, Randy. No Falcon has gone over a thousand since Devonta Freeman did it in 2016. That's well, a long time ago. That's even surprising despite a trend going to rushing by committee. I would foresee that tact taken by the Falcons as well, especially with Cordarrelle Patterson moving all over the place.
The Falcons have addressed the running back position with Tyler Allgeier, a bruising, one-cut-and-go rusher who seems to fit the Falcons scheme well. I'm optimistic he'll be a solid NFL producer in this season and beyond. I'd keep an eye on him as we look to see who the Falcons will use as a long-term solution.
Craig Wadell from Gainesville, Ga.
Any chance the Falcons go back to the red helmets, red uniforms and gray pants on a permanent basis?
Bair: The red helmets are sweet, aren't they? I dig 'em for sure, and I like the retro Falcons uniforms as much as anyone. I would say that anything's possible and they certainly could. Then I'll follow up by saying that changing uniforms takes a long time. And not days or months.
Who knows what the Falcons will do with permanent uniforms, but I do think it's cool to see retro helmets and jerseys on this year's schedule. Hopefully we'll see more of them in the future.
Winston Ralston from Blue Ridge, Ga.
Hi, Longtime Falcons fan since 1966. I enjoy reading about our hometown team even in the off season. I have not read anything though about the UDFAs so far since their signings. Of all the ones our Falcons signed which one(s) do you think has a shot at making the opening day roster. My pick would be OL Tyler Vrabel and frankly I was surprised no team drafted him.
Bair: Interesting question that's probably better answered during camp, when we've had a chance to see these guys work in pads. The Tyler Vrabel pick to click – my term for an undrafted guy who has an awesome preseason and shocks many by making the roster – but I'd keep an eye on receiver Jared Bernhardt. He's new to receiver – he's also one of the best lacrosse players on this planet – but has great athleticism (obviously) and seems like a natural at the position. I'm also interested to see defensive lineman Timmy Horne get to work with pads on. He's a big body who could be helpful on the interior defensive front.
Call for questions
Submit your questions right here for inclusion in Wednesday's Bair Mail.