Falcons’ Rookie QB Has ‘Full Confidence’ in Being Matt Ryan’s Backup

Matt Ryan's backup Feleipe Franks

Getty Feleipe Franks #15 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up prior to the preseason game vs. Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Atlanta Falcons’ backup quarterback AJ McCarron exited Saturday’s loss to Miami early with a right knee injury. Now, the Falcons await an MRI update.

Head coach Arthur Smith didn’t seem too confident after the game when asked about McCarron’s injury, leaving a big question as to who will be Matt Ryan’s backup quarterback.

The only other quarterback Atlanta has on their roster is undrafted rookie Feleipe Franks, who was forced to handle the rest of the game with Matt Ryan out.

“With what happened with AJ, it’s very unfortunate but that’s the life of the backup quarterback,” Smith said, via AtlantaFalcons.com. “That’s the situation that happens a lot of times. He has to be ready to go, to be prepared.”

Franks ended the night completing four of nine passes for 46 yards with no touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing three times for 32 yards.

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Franks on Being Matt Ryan’s Backup: ‘I Have Full Confidence in Myself’

While Franks is in his first season and clearly no Matt Schaub (yet), he has been improving week by week, according to Smith.

“Feleipe, to me, has had the biggest growth,” Smith said. “For him to come into these last two games and play, you can’t replicate that in practice. To develop quarterbacks, you’ve got to play them. There’s no way around it. That was our philosophy going into these two games.”

Depending on the severity of McCarron’s injury, the Falcons will have to either have to sign another quarterback or trust Franks. But if McCarron happens to be out for the season or even a few weeks, they will likely turn to another veteran.

Nonetheless, Franks believes he’s the man for the backup job.

“I have full confidence in myself,” Franks said. “I feel like I’m starting to gain confidence in the group around me. I’m just going to put my head down and go to work. That’s all it’s about, learning from your mistakes. That’s mindset with just about anything. I do feel like I have the capability to do that job.”

But he knows there is still a lot of work to be done and he has been doing all that he can to correct those mistakes.

“I’m overcritical. I’m hard on myself and I try to be perfect in everything that I do in a practice or game,” Franks said. “When I throw a pick, I’m pissed. At the same time, I’m always continuing to learn and continuing to work hard. … I feel like I’m coming along. I’m getting more and more comfortable in the offense. I have a long way to go, and they’re doing a great job of coaching me. I’m trying to listen, be a sponge and soak it all up and perform when I’m called upon.”

One Veteran QB the Falcons Could Turn To

While there are a handful of veteran free-agent quarterbacks that the Falcons could turn to, Josh Rosen seems to be a favorite on Twitter.

The former Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2018 was waived by the San Francisco 49ers last week.

In three NFL seasons, Rosen has started 16 games (including 13 during his rookie year in Arizona), throwing for 2,845 yards, 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions for a 63.5 passer rating.

Other QBs the Falcons could look into are, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Finley, or Blake Bortles.



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