Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has already shown his grumpy side during training camp this summer, and he let it out again on Tuesday.
Long-time sportswriter Josh Kendall of the Athletic was fishing for a story on Marcus Mariota’s leadership style. It started innocuously enough as Smith acknowledged the difference between Mariota and former quarterback Matt Ryan.
“Yeah, that is very accurate,” Smith said to Kendall’s question. “There is nothing more fraudulent than having a quarterback that comes in and acts like somebody he’s not. There’s a reason why everybody who plays with Marcus loves him.”
“You’ve got these quarterback guru’s out there, and they may try to tell the quarterbacks to act a certain way, and they tell them as a little kid to do this and do that, but guys that try to act like something they are not, are frauds.”
“Let them lead in their own way. He’s got real good leadership. Matt had his own style, Ryan Tannehill had his own style, Ryan Fitzpatrick, the list goes on; Matt Hasselbeck, Jason Campbell, Mark Brunell, Todd Collins, they’re all different.”
The conversation started turning south when Smith was pressed on Mariota being fiery enough… showing enough of an edge.
“That is such a ridiculous personality thing,” said Smith. “That’s just ridiculous Josh, like an edge? What kind of edge do you think Matt [Ryan] has that Marcus [Mariota] doesn’t or Desmond [Ridder] doesn’t? Matt is his own guy and Marcus is his own guy. Like I said, [Ryan] Tannehill is his own guy.”
“I don’t know what that fake edge is, is there like some kind of bravado you want us to tell him to do.”
“Ask his teammates.”