Feleipe Franks is getting his chance to prove that he can be Matt Ryan’s primary backup quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons. AJ McCarron unfortunately went down with a non-contact knee injury in Saturday’s preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Franks was thrusted into action earlier than expected, and he showed improvement from his first preseason appearance.
Franks is now the most likely candidate to back up Matt Ryan
Before his injury, McCarron was expected to win the job as the primary backup quarterback for the Falcons. With him now expected to miss significant time with injury, Franks has a big opportunity in from of him. Now, Franks must quickly learn Atlanta’s offense ahead of the regular season. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has been impressed by the growth he has seen out of Franks over recent weeks.
“Feleipe, to me, has had the biggest growth,” Smith said via Falcons digital managing editor Scott Bair. “For him to come into these last two games and play, you can’t replicate that in practice. To develop quarterbacks, you’ve got to play them. There’s no way around it. That was our philosophy going into these two games.”
With McCarron now sidelined, the Falcons could opt to add another quarterback to the roster. If Franks wants to hold onto the backup job, he will need to continue developing and showing the improvement that the team is looking for.
Franks is confident in his ability be Matt Ryan’s backup
In college, Franks played three seasons at Florida before finishing his career at Arkansas. Over his four years, he completed 61.6 percent of his passes with 6,700 yards, 55 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He also had 642 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground.
In Atlanta’s first preseason game, Franks completed two of his nine passes for 16 yards, adding 76 yards rushing. On Saturday, Franks completed four-of-nine passes for 46 yards and an interception. He also had 32 yards rushing.
Despite limited experience, Franks believes that he is capable of being Ryan’s primary backup for the Falcons. The more he plays in the preseason, the more comfortable he grows.
“I’m overcritical. I’m hard on myself and I try to be perfect in everything that I do in a practice or game,” Franks said. “When I throw a pick, I’m pissed. At the same time, I’m always continuing to learn and continuing to work hard. I feel like I’m coming along. I’m getting more and more comfortable in the offense. I have a long way to go, and they’re doing a great job of coaching me. I’m trying to listen, be a sponge and soak it all up and perform when I’m called upon.
“I have full confidence in myself. I feel like I’m starting to gain confidence in the group around me. I’m just going to put my head down and go to work. That’s all it’s about, learning from your mistakes. That’s my mindset with just about anything. I do feel like I have the capability to do that job.”