Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett didn’t flat out predict the Atlanta Falcons will win the NFC South. But during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio on July 11, Jarrett also didn’t back down on the possibility.
During the interview, he received the question of whether the Falcons are the team to beat in the NFC South.
Jarrett avoided providing an answer that would put a target on his team’s back. But he did express a quiet confidence about Atlanta’s chances in the division.
“We ain’t going out there just to lay down to nobody,” Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “In my eyes, if we handle our business we’re going to be where we want to be in the end.
“You want to win the division, you want to get to the postseason, you want to compete for championships and that’s what we focus on, is being the best us we can be.”
Jarrett continued, saying it didn’t really matter who else is in the NFC South. That’s because his focus is performing his best. He added the team has the same goal.
That kind of approach is typically a winning formula in the NFL. But in the NFC South, Jarrett can be more confident than the typical veteran on a team who hasn’t been to the playoffs in six years.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the division with an 8-9 record last season. The Falcons finished a game back, and Tampa Bay lost quarterback Tom Brady to retirement this offseason.
The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints were also 7-10 a year ago. But like Tampa Bay, both franchises are undergoing changes behind center.
NFL pundits have expressed their concerns about Atlanta quarterback Desmond Ridder this offseason. But his four starts last season actually make him the longest-tenured signal caller in the division.
Jarrett expressed a confidence in Ridder based on his comments by default because he’s the team’s quarterback. But he also specifically addressed Ridder during his Sirius XM NFL Radio interview.
“He’s just so confident in the things that he’s going to be able to do,” Jarrett said. “And we’re confident in him, the things we know he can achieve because he’s shown the work day in and day out. That’s how you want your quarterback, your leader to be — unscathed, a guy that’s just locked in.
“So, I mean, confidence is a great word because he’s going to have the swagger, the talent, and everything to match. So I’d definitely say he’s confident.”