Marcus Mariota says Falcons coaches ‘challenge’ the quarterbacks mentally, says they ‘stimulate your mind’

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Quarterback Marcus Mariota signed with the Atlanta Falcons in March after long-time quarterback Matt Ryan was traded to the Indianapolis Colts, and since heading to the ATL, Mariota says he has learned a lot from the coaches. The 28-year-old had high praise for the leaders of his new team, saying they challenge those in the quarterback room.

Talking about the impact head coach Arthur Smith and his coaching staff, offensive coordinator Dave Ragone and quarterbacks coach Charles London, Mariota said, “I think they challenge us.”

“They want us to understand why we run certain concepts, what coverages we’re running against. For us, it’s mentally stimulating because it’s challenging to look at it from different perspective,” he said, via the team’s website. “I think what’s really cool about Art and this staff is that they try to stimulate your mind constantly. There’s always brand new ideas. There’s always something that we always talk about. So, for me, I enjoy that part of it.”

Smith discussed his approach with the quarterbacks, putting an emphasis on ensuring his players know everything they need to in order to succeed. 

“Our job as a coach, you’re really a teacher. Ultimately, they’re the ones that are out there on the field so we are trying to educate them and understand so we’re in sync,” Smith said. 

The team is going through a shift they have not seen since 2008: Having a new quarterback. The Falcons stuck with Ryan since they drafted him in 2008, but have now said goodbye to the 37-year-old in order to go in a new direction. 

Mariota played for the Tennessee Titans and Las Vegas Raiders before joining the Falcons. He was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.



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