So far, I’ve scouted a pair of wideouts and a running back, so let’s look at one of the guys that is tasked with getting them the football, Falcons backup quarterback Chris Redman.
Pros: Has a strong arm and likes to throw down the field. Shows nice accuracy and does his best work in the vertical passing game. Comfortable filling in as a spot starter, able to competently manage a game and offense for a short period of time. Shows nice anticipation on the majority of his reads and can see the field when given time. Shows ability to anticipate blitz and make the proper reads.
Cons: Pocket presence and awareness are not great and does not have a quick trigger. Will tend to take some sacks because of this and his lack of mobility. This makes him more susceptible to see a decline in play when he’s pressured. Also has a tendency to force passes downfield looking for the big play. This can lead to turnovers. Doesn’t possess the sort of intangibles that can take the bull by the horns and be a leader on a team for an entire season.
2011 Outlook: If all things go according to plan, Redman will have no impact whatsoever on the Falcons success this year. That is because if things go well, he’ll never play a single snap this year. But if not, then the Falcons will be looking for Redman to step in for the short-term to keep the offense afloat and hopefully not get it off-track in the playoff race.
Redman is 34 and entering a contract year, so his long-term future in Atlanta might be in doubt. He has been a capable and serviceable reserve for the Falcons the past four seasons, but the likelihood that he latches on as a backup quarterback a la a Jon Kitna, Todd Collins or Mark Brunell and plays until he’s 40 doesn’t seem likely.
The Falcons may be looking to turn the keys to the No. 2 position over to John Parker Wilson after this season. But Redman still has opportunities to solidify his status with the team. If Ryan does go down with an injury, Redman can step in and be a productive game manager in this offense due to the pieces around him such as Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Michael Turner. And the introduction of Jones into the lineup likely will make Redman even better backup because now he has another receiver that can be used to exploit the deep ball, which is the strength of Redman’s game.
In Summary… Redman is your classic example of the type of No. 2 quarterback you often find in the NFL. He’s comfortable and capable filling in on the short-term, but if you were to hand the keys to a team to him, he doesn’t have what it takes to get them to the promised land. But Redman appears to be comfortable with his status as a fill-in starter, and for the most part does that job fairly well. With pieces around him, he can be a competent fill-in starter for the short-term. The introduction of Julio Jones into the offense could be just as beneficial to a guy like Redman as it could be for Ryan, if Redman ever sees the field.