Miami Dolphins Cornerback Xavien Howard Has No Idea Who the Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Is

Xavien Howard didn't realize that Desmond Ridder is the Atlanta Falcons' starting quarterback.

The Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons will face off on Friday to kick off the preseason. All the Falcons players likely know Tua Tagovailoa is the starting quarterback for the Dolphins. But it doesn't seem all the Dolphins players know that Desmond Ridder is the starting QB for the Falcons. Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard spoke to reporters after practice on Wednesday and was asked about his thoughts on Ridder. 

"Ridder?" the cornerback responded, per Sports Illustrated. "I'm sorry?"  The reporter, who is from Pro Football Network, then informed Howard that Ridder is the Falcons quarterback. "Oh, I don't know who that is," Howard responded. "I'm sorry. What number?" The reporter told Howard that Ridder wears No. 9, and that's when Howard remembered. 

"Oh, it was cool," Howard continued. "I don't know their names. I wasn't looking at film. It wasn't like I was studying them. Happy to go against them, but they did, O.K. They did a good job." It might seem a little odd that Howard doesn't know much about Ridder since the Falcons and Dolphins were practicing together in Miami this week ahead of their preseason game, but Ridder is entering his second NFL season and has only played four games. He's taking over for Marcus Mariota who was brought in last season to replace longtime Falcons QB Matt Ryan, who was traded to the Indianapolis Colts. Ridder was selected by the Falcons in the third round of last year's draft.   

Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has been impressed with what he has seen from Ridder during training camp."That was pretty solid," Smith said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constritution. "There are a lot of things to coach off, but Des has done a good job. There's a lot of camp, unless they are throwing five picks a day, a lot of it is subjective. The obvious, the completed ball. There are a lot things, I think that he ... some of the techniques and things that we ask him to do ... there is so much that goes into it ... just with the (drop backs) that we ask him to do."

Ridder, 23, played college football at the University of Cincinnati. He was named American Athletic Conference (AAC) Rookie of the Year, AAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021 and led his team to the College Football Playoff in his final season.