Atlanta Falcons: Backup QB Race Still Undecided


The Atlanta Falcons have a strong starting quarterback in 3x Pro Bowler Matt Ryan.  Even during the last two down seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, Matty Ice has still performed like a Top 10 passer in the NFL.  But should anything happen to Ryan, who do the Dirty Birds turn to lead them under center?

-= Atlanta Falcons: Pass Rush Beginning To Thrive Under Dan Quinn =-

Our Atlanta Falcons are in the midst of a pretty tight backup QB race between T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree.  Yates has won playoff games for the Houston Texans and is playing for his hometown team as a Marietta native.  Renfree was a 7th Round Selection by the Atlanta Falcons in 2013 after a strong collegiate career playing for David Cutcliffe at Duke University.

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Falcons vs. Panthers prediction, odds, spread, injuries, trends for NFL Week 15
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  • Last year, Yates came to Atlanta in a trade that sent for UGA LB Akeem Dent to Houston as the Falcons were in dire need for a suitable backup quarterback.  Renfree spent 2014 on the practice squad as the 3rd stringer behind Ryan and Yates on the Atlanta Falcons depth chart.

    While it could happen, I don’t see new Atlanta Falcons Head Coach keeping three quarterbacks on the active roster, given that Matt Ryan has only missed two starts in first seven seasons in the NFL.  Yates is too seasoned to play on a practice squad.  I mean the guy won the Houston Texans their first playoff game as the starter over the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011.

    Perhaps it’s because I’m a big fan of Coach Cut up there in Durham, but I can’t see Sean Renfree spending his third NFL season on the practice squad again.  So this may sound a little harsh, but I think that Coach Quinn will end up cutting either Yates or Renfree after the 4th preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.

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    Renfree closed the gap on Yates with an efficient game against the Tennessee Titans, while Yates struggled to move the ball at home in Preseason Week 1.  To me it felt like had both QBs had repeat performances against the New York Jets then Yates might have not survived this weeks cuts.  However, both backup passers struggled against the Jets in MetLife Stadium last Friday with only Yates orchestrating a touchdown drive.

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    The separation between Yates and Renfree is as close as it has ever been.  It wouldn’t shock me to see Quinn go with either passer at this point in the race.  However, I still can’t envision Renfree getting cut prior to his 3rd NFL Season.  He might have to stick on the practice squad at least one more year should TJ Yates win the backup gig with the Atlanta Falcons.  How both passers perform in Preseason Week 3 might stand as the deciding factor in this increasingly tight race.

    Next: Atlanta Falcons: New Favorites To Win NFC South?

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