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Bair Mail: On Tyler Allgeier, Troy Andersen, Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder and rolling (essentially) with two QBs

Your questions get answers in this Monday mailbag

We're a week into Falcons training camp and already have plenty of new storylines to discuss. Even more will develop as we progress through the preseason, especially after pads come on for the first time Monday. We'll see them several times leading up to the preseason opener in Detroit.


Let's get to those before us right now, which deal with some rookies and, as always, the quarterbacks:

Marlin Adams from Atlanta

What do you think about Tyler Allgeier. He looks good on tape from college do you think he can help get the running game over the hump?

Bair: If Tyler Allgeier isn't the player I'm most intrigued to see once the pads come on Monday, he's in the top three. This is a dude who dominated in college using a physical, tenacious brand of football based on eluding and, more often, running through contact. Will his skill set play in the NFL? Can he bowl over NFL linebackers?

Allgeier is a perfect fit for this Falcons scheme, a one-cut-and-go runner who slams through opposition at the next level. The Falcons would benefit greatly if he can make an instant impact on first and second downs and in short-yardage situations. That means Cordarrelle Patterson is free to move around a bit more, and that Damien Williams could use his versatility on third-downs and as a change of pace. An unknown, however, is how many traditional carries Patterson will take. He had 153 of 393 total carries last year. Will he maintain that percentage??

That might depend on Allgeier.

It's tough, and a bit unfair, to expect much from a rookie fifth-round pick. Allgeier is the type of player, at the right position, who could show well right away and find a niche for himself. Even if he's a bit behind on pass protection, as many rookie running backs are, he could a role on obvious rushing downs.

Back Together Saturday at Flowery Branch was a blast!

Billy Kealoha from Honolulu, Hi.

I was just wondering, since edge rusher position is filled with young guys who need to learn the position, has there been any consideration of trying Troy Anderson there? He is taller and faster than Ebiketie. I hear ultra-athletic, smart, instinctual, and has already learned and played multiple positions especially since looks like he will be further down depth chart at ILB compared to Edge where it's still wide open beside Carter probably being one starter. Dallas used Micah Parsons both inside and out so wondering if this has even been considered.

Bair: Tory Andersen is a versatile talent. The inside linebacker has college experience played on the outside, in addition to offensive play at quarterback and running back. He has experience as a blitzer and is good going forward.

There is nothing, however, to indicate the Falcons are branching Andersen out. He has focused on inside linebacker, with plenty to learn at that position. The Falcons have said they'll focus him on one position, but they could change their minds. That hasn't happened yet. Arthur Smith prizes versatility, however, and Andersen has that in spades.

Roderick Jackson from Riverdale, Ga.

As of right now the Falcons only have 3 quarterbacks listed on the roster including Feleipe Franks, who has played mostly at TE. Does this mean that we will get to see Mariota and Ridder for an extended amount of time during the preseason or will we probably sign some QBs to avoid getting players injured during preseason?

Bair: It is interesting that the Falcons are rolling with two quarterbacks. They have a third option in Feleipe Franks, but he's focus on tight end at the moment. He could well play quarterback in the preseason, but it's certainly setting up like both Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder will see time in those exhibition games. I'd bet Ridder sees a ton.

I'm not someone who prefers starters play much, if at all, in the preseason. The injury risk is too high. That's why, even if they stick with Mariota and Ridder – you'd think they'd have signed a quarterback already if they were going to do so – I would limit Mariota to traditional exhibition cameos. Maybe just a series or two here and there, especially with two joint-practice sessions to work out the kinks.

Ted Vytiska from Prague, Czech Republic

I really enjoy reading your articles, Bair. You're a good duo with Tori giving the fans from across the ocean all the necessary info, thank you for that! To my question...In the latest Bair mail you mentioned the fact, Ridder will have a chance to compete for a starting job through the camp. I would actually expect the same approach, but Marcus has already been named the starting QB. Could you give us some insight on that decision and why it's been made so early? Thanks!

Bair: I would caution against taking Charles London’s comments to mean Marcus Mariota is 1,000-percent locked in as this season's starting quarterback. I think he meant that Mariota would be the starter right now. That's definitely accurate. In my opinion, at this early stage, Mariota's the clear-cut QB1.

That doesn't mean Ridder can't go earn the job this summer. There's plenty of time to shine, with three preseason games and two joint-practice sessions. If he earns the job out of camp, Arthur Smith will give it to him.

Call for questions

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