The Falcons Work Out Quarterbacks: A One-Act Play

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

I imagine this is how it went.

SCENE: MIKE SMITH and THOMAS DIMITROFF are evaluating three quarterbacks with DOMINIQUE DAVIS nursing an injury. MATT RYAN is hanging out, because he's got nowhere else to go.

MIKE SMITH: Alright, gentlemen. We've gathered you here today because we may need a quarterback for tomorrow's game against the Saints. I appreciate the three of you coming here today and working out for us. 

MATT RYAN: Big props, guys.

MIKE KAFKA: Just grateful for the opportunity, sirs. I'm ready for this trial.

TRENT EDWARDS: Finally, Ol' Trent has a shot! No more bags of Fritos filled with chili after today!

MYSTERIOUS QUARTERBACK WITH A SOMBRERO: Excelente.

THOMAS DIMITROFF: Now, the first thing I want to do is see how you guys handle pressure. Our offensive line is still gelling, in much the same way a puddle of water gels when left alone on a 100 degree day. These five pillows with angry faces drawn on them will serve as your line. Stansly Maponga is just going to chase you around for a while.

STANSLY MAPONGA: Playing time at last!

DIMITROFF and SMITH watch as all three quarterbacks take drop back under pressure. KAFKA evades Maponga but runs 20 yards backwards in the process, EDWARDS is drilled to the ground six straight times and MYSTERIOUS QB WITH A SOMBRERO gets off extremely wobbly passes to DREW DAVIS.

DAVIS: Man, those passes were shaking like nervous ducks.

SMITH: Well, that was just a disheartening display all the way around. Good thing I lace my McDonald's coffee with anti-depressants.

DIMITROFF: I like the quarterback with the sombrero. He's got intangibles, and seems to have character. What's your name, son?

MYSTERIOUS QB WITH A SOMBRERO: Mi nombre es Cristobal Rojohombre, senor.

RYAN: You know, I feel like I've seen this guy before. I just can't put my finger on where.

SMITH: Well, whatever. Let's see what these guys bring to the table in terms of arm strength. Drew, run like hell. Pretend there's someone covering you.

DAVIS runs a quick route, but struggles to disengage from the imaginary cornerback.

SMITH: /buries face in hands

DIMITROFF: /energetically rides bike on sideline. Okay, guys, let's throw some passes!

KAFKA's first throw travels five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. His second throw is picked up by a gust of wind and carried gently to the turf behind him. EDWARDS throws two passes right into the hands of RODDY WHITE, who is reading a novel in a cafe three miles to the west. ROJOHOMBRE's throws land several yards short of DAVIS, who is miming a knife-fight with an invisible cornerback.

RYAN: ....

SMITH: .....

DIMITROFF: This Rojohombre kid looks like he's got some promise, if you ask me. His comically oversized mustache screams "I want this job!"

KAFKA: My metamorphosis into a quality quarterback has not yet happened.

EDWARDS: Caramels!

ROJOHOMBRE: At last! No more selling insurance from the back of a Ford Focus. I will have my revenge on the muy malo league that left me out to dry. Me, Cristobal Rojohombre!

RYAN: I have definitely seen this guy before. That overwrought sense of injustice is so familiar.

SMITH: Do you guys realize we were 13-3 a season ago? Do you remember that? Remember when we weren't working out the dregs of NFL quarterbacking, back when people still liked me? I remember that. I feel like no one remembers that.

SMITH: /takes long, slow sip of coffee

DIMITROFF: Don't worry, Mike, we'll be right back there a season from now. I've got a plan to trade up and draft the missing piece to our roster.

RYAN: A tackle?

SMITH: A defensive end?

DIMITROFF: A tight end!

SMITH: Criminy.

KAFKA: Don't worry, I've got nowhere else to be.

SMITH: Right, you guys are still here. Alright, last drill. Show us how you throw on the run, and how you run with the football. If you get in the game, you're going to be doing plenty of both.

PETER KONZ: He's absolutely correct.

MIKE KAFKA scuttles like a cockroach out of the pocket, throwing in the direction of DAVIS, who is wrestling an invisible cornerback to the ground. EDWARDS leisurely strolls off in the direction of the freeway. He does not return. ROJOHOMBRE throws a ball on the run that hangs suspended in midair, like kids in a graduation scene in an 80's movie.

SMITH: I think the guy in the sombrero is the least objectionable, which frankly is all I really care about at this point.

DIMITROFF: Well, then, let's not wait. Rojohombre, why don't you come over here and sign a contract?

ROJOHOMBRE: Hora de la fiesta!

ROJOHOMBRE celebrates with a vigorous fist pump, which knocks the mustache off of his face. RYAN starts.

RYAN: I knew it! Chris Redman, what the hell are you doing here? You retired like two years ago.

DIMITROFF: You mean you're not a 26-year-old Mexican Futbol League prodigy with a horrible fake accent? I feel betrayed!

REDMAN: I have got to come up with a better costume. Oh well, while I'm here, can I interest any of you in Liberty Mutual auto insurance? It's a great deal.

SMITH: I give up. Let's just sign this Kafka guy.

KAFKA: /transforms into giant bug

SMITH: .....

RYAN: ....

KAFKA: .....

REDMAN: .....

DIMITROFF: So which leg do you use to sign?

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