Nowhere to throw? It’s OK for Falcons quarterbacks to run

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota (1) takes part in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Credit: AP

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota (1) takes part in drills at the NFL football team's practice facility on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Credit: AP

FLOWERY BRANCH – A couple of times over the past few Falcons practices, quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder have pulled the ball down and run.

That used to be a no-no, especially in 7-on-7 passing drills, as teams wanted to work on the timing in their passing attacks. But with more running quarterbacks in the NFL, running is more acceptable in practice.

“That is something that we didn’t do a good job of with some of the running quarterbacks when they broke contain or we lost contain on the rush and they got out and it hurt us,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said. “It hurt us in key moments with some very winnable games for us.”

Smith would rather the quarterback make the proper read and pass the ball. However, he sees the value and allows them to run.

“I’ll allow it because it’s work that we need,” Smith said. “I get it because when you are in a 7-on-7, there’s no rush, but every once in a while, when you cover well enough, you’re going to have to transition when you are playing certain quarterbacks that can scramble. You’re certainly facing more of those it seems like every year.”

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