Marcus Mariota a willing mentor to Desmond Ridder: 'It's ultimately going to make your team better'

Brett Favre once famously said his contract didn't require him to prepare Aaron Rodgers to play in the NFL. That's not the track Atlanta Falcons veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota is taking with rookie Desmond Ridder.

Mariota, who's slated to start the season in Atlanta, has been a willing mentor for the third-round pick.

"If you can help guys -- especially the younger guys -- out, it's ultimately going to make your team better," Mariota said this week, via ESPN. "So, I do whatever I can. I pass along as much information as I can to him, whatever he wants to absorb."

Ridder said Mariota has been like another coach for him this offseason and into preseason action.

"When something's not right and I know he's been in that situation before and I just go and ask him, 'OK, so coach said this, how do we really want it?'" Ridder said. "He comes back and gives me an answer and just makes things run more smoothly."

Both Mariota and Ridder played solid in the Falcons' preseason opener in Detroit, with the rookie playing the majority of the snaps and leading a comeback victory.

Ridder isn't a threat to take the starting job from Mariota for Week 1, which likely makes things easier for the veteran to mentor the younger player. But if Atlanta stumbles out of the gate, we could see the rookie take over the starting gig at some point in 2022, so the Falcons can test-drive Ridder in real action. If that point comes, Mariota's mentorship will be invaluable to the rookie.

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