Is Arthur Smith loyal, stubborn or right for not benching Mariota for Ridder?

The Arthur Smith agenda is confusing; he says he is trying to win now, however its clear that winning now is a zero-sum proposition. Win a bad division to say that you won it and made the playoffs, only to get decimated is counter-productive to gaining talent through the draft via drafting high. In other words in a sense with this team where it stands, winning is losing ground to rebuilding.

Say the record to win it was 8-9 and the Falcons somehow achieve this feat, then the resulting pick is likely 17th-19th. At that point you have access to neither the top quarterback if that is the direction, nor a top-flight defender. So if its winning now and building simultaneously, then how is playing Mariota to the detriment of the development of Desmond Ridder make sense? Also, if your mission statement is winning now and in the future then how is it prudent not to at least explore playing Ridder in the oft chance that just MAYBE Ridder producing more than 129 yards per game sparks the team to a winning streak?

Obviously it could go in the other direction but what is with the seeming stubborness to stick with Mariota come hell or high water? If the argument is that he doesn't want to "ruin" Ridder by putting him out there too soon, then his mental toughness does not say starter but career backup. Starting as a rookie didn't spoil the likes of Matt Ryan or Ben Rothlisberger but still that narrative/excuse pervades.

Or is Smith being loyal to Mariota to the point that knowing if he is benched as a starter then he will never get another chance? Well, the apparent reality is that Mariota is in all probabilty a career backup, so not playing him doesn't alter that perception. This team is a decent passing game away from being a decent playoff contender and despite the fact that Mariota is one hell of a nice guy, he needs to be relegated to a support postion on the bench; from a production standpoint as well as that we need to find out about the unkown quantity that is Desmond Ridder.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>