Falcons Backup QB Concerned With NFLPA’s Final Preseason Decision

Kurt Benkert

Getty Kurt Benkert #6 of the Atlanta Falcons.

On Tuesday, the NFL Players Association told its players there will be zero preseason games in 2020, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Tom Pelissero, and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

On top of the bad news, the NFL has even discussed an 80-man roster for training camp, per Pelissero, or giving teams an option to divide the roster (i.e., 80 active and 10 on standby).

Some players, including Atlanta Falcons’ backup quarterback Kurt Benkert, already saw this coming and expressed his concern with the NFLPA’s decision earlier this week.

“When you get into the NFL, they tell you preseason is an interview to show 31 other teams what you can do, Benkert tweeted. Hopefully there will be something in the media for camp coverage to give guys a chance to be seen since now it’ll be easier than ever to stash guys away on p squad, etc.”

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A Season Without A Preseason

A season without preseason games actually comes down to a bigger problem than you might think.

Rookies, with an emphasis on undrafted free agents, won’t be able to show off their talent in order to land a spot on the roster. Coaches and players will have to rely on what they see in training camp. Coaches find this to be a huge problem, but a majority of the players would rather not risk their health.

Preseason is a time to get the sloppy football out of the way. Missed tackles are somewhat acceptable and quarterbacks get a feel for what it’s like to get hit again.

Players will be expected to be on top of their ‘A’ game come the first game of the regular season. Sloppy football now spills into games that matter the most. But hey, it’s better than no football at all.

Benkert Will Have to Battle Matt Schaub

Preseason battles are obviously also canceled this season and it’s not in Kurt Benkert‘s favor.

Benkert who is coming off a foot injury isn’t just concern about others, he’s concerned about himself and of course, wants to see more playing time on the field.

The former UVA quarterback looked very promising in the 2019 preseason matchup against the Broncos where he outplayed Broncos QB Drew Lock before landing on the IR list.

He is well aware that he will have some competition for the backup position during the offseason against Schaub, but without a preseason he might not get the chance to show off his arm to the team. Unless of course, Dirk Koetter throws him in during a game that counts, but if he messes up during that chance, it’s not going to be a pretty rest of the year.

Thankfully, he’s confident in what he can do and what he will bring to Atlanta this year.

“I just want to have a high completion percentage throughout all of offseason and just take care of the football,” Benkert told Heavy.com. “I know that I can make big plays. I can make big plays with my feet, throwing it out of the pocket, but I just want to show consistency through everything and just that I can take care of the ball. I think that’ll do enough on its own.”

Benkert also added that he’s “just really excited to get back out there and play football.”

We’re excited to watch!

Notable Undrafted Free Agents to Support

As Benkert said, it will be up to the media to keep these rookies that deserved a shot in the NFL despite these trying times, in the spotlight.

Some UDFAs to pay attention to an root for include: Mikey Daniel (RB/FB), Jared Pinkney (TE), and Hinwa Allieu (DE). All have the necessary talent to make the active roster and without a preseason, the Falcons will have what they see in practices to rely on and see if these guys have what it takes.

I will do my best to keep Benkert in the spotlight as well as he makes his comeback.

READ NEXT: Grady Jarrett Considered ‘More Irreplaceable’ Than Julio Jones for Falcons?

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