It looked like the Atlanta Falcons had finally decided to address their lack of experience at the quarterback position behind starter Matt Ryan this past June when they acquired T.J. Yates via trade from the Houston Texans.
However that decision has yet to pay dividends.
Yates is coming off a very poor performance in the team’s second preseason action against his former team, where he threw two interceptions and had a couple more passes that could have easily been turnovers.
In June, I outlined reasons why the team’s acquisition of Yates was a good move. Those reasons were centered on the fact that Yates had experience as a starter, something the team lacked at the time in reserves Dominique Davis, Sean Renfree and Jeff Mathews, all of whom hardly had any NFL experience.
While by no means did I want to suggest that Yates was a particularly good backup option, he certainly was better than what the team had. And for a Falcons organization that has a tendency to twiddle its thumbs even when there are fairly obvious roster issues, striving for better was at least a step in the right direction if not ultimately the solution.
However, 2014 is a critical year for this team and its coaching staff. At this point for Falcons head coach Mike Smith, who faces scrutiny coming off a 4-12 season, every win that he can get in 2014 matters.
And thus, if having a competent backup quarterback can mean the difference of winning one more game if the team finds itself in the absence of Ryan, then that one decision could ultimately decide Smith’s fate.