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‘I feel ready to go’: Marcus Mariota’s strong message to his true believers amid Falcons QB competition

Marcus Mariota, Falcons

After being the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, things haven’t exactly gone to plan for Marcus Mariota. He’s served mostly as a backup quarterback for the last several years, but once the opportunity to go to the Atlanta Falcons and compete for the starting job presented itself, he pounced. Better yet, he’s making a very good impression early on in training camp.

Mariota signed with the Falcons in March after they traded long-time franchise QB, Matt Ryan, to the Indianapolis Colts. Yes, Mariota has big shoes to fill, but the former Oregon star is feeling very confident he can step in and be a hit from day 1 for Atlanta after learning a lot in Vegas from Derek Carr.

Via ESPN:

“It’s a great opportunity for me to prove, not only to myself but to those who have believed in me,” Marcus Mariota said. “So, I’m excited. The last couple of years was a great reset. I learned a lot from Derek. I learned a lot from being there. I feel ready to go.”

Right now, Mariota is battling it out with rookie Desmond Ridder for QB1, although it’s likely he is the main man come Week 1. This isn’t a new situation for Mariota either, having served as the starter for the Tennessee Titans for several years.

To be frank, he hasn’t played much across the last two seasons with Carr in front of him. That being said, the experience Mariota has under his belt from the Tennessee days is already coming in handy with the Falcons. He’s looked comfortable and sharp in camp, already forming solid chemistry with his receivers.

Mariota is also opening the eyes of head coach Arthur Smith:

“Certainly his experiences brought him to this place,” Smith said. “And he’s in a good rhythm. He’s in a good flow out there.”

Will Marcus Mariota be a top-5 QB in the NFL in 2022? It’s unlikely. But, he’s certainly got the talent to make an impact for Atlanta. It’s just a matter of staying laser-focused and healthy.