Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder: ‘All my talents are going to be on display’
Desmond Ridder is seen as a winner. How teams will dictate that statement will play a part in how high he is selected in April’s draft.
But if there is one thing you cannot say about Ridder, it’s that he is short on confidence.
Speaking to the media Wednesday at the Scouting Combine, Ridder discussed his thoughts on the process and his ability this week. He told reporters he was taking part in every drill this week except for the bench press. “This is where I shine,” he said.
When asked why he felt it was important to take part in all the drills, he gave a very confident answer.
“Because I’m going to be great at them.”
He also added: “Just to show teams my competitive nature. I’m not running, I’m not hiding from anything, I have nothing to hide here.”
“All my talents are going to be on display for anyone to see here.”
Those talents have lately been aided by the brother of a former Cincinnati Bengals star. Jordan Palmer, younger brother of former Bengals’ quarterback Carson Palmer, has been working with Ridder during this draft process.
“It’s been great,” Ridder said about working with Palmer. “He’s taught me a lot of things. I worked with him before my last season in Cincinnati. Being out there with the other guys, it’s a great atmosphere, great place to be. He makes it easy.”
Ridder said the main thing Palmer has been teaching him is footwork.
“That’s where a quarterback starts, especially with their throwing motion. Making sure I’m staying balanced, staying level and that my weight transfer isn’t too far back or too far forward and then stride length, as well.”
Ridder said it’s helped with his accuracy, as well as watching back his film from the past two years and getting his feet and hips into the right place.
Ridder said his best attributes are his ability to extend plays, his leadership and his ability to deliver balls on time.
He also can be humble when needs to. He’s certainly not cocky by any means. He’ll tell you straight out, as he did as his press conference, that he did not play well in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Alabama. Ridder went 17/32 for 144 yards in Cincinnati’s 27-6 Cotton Bowl loss to the eventual runner-up to Georgia.
“Can’t say I played well. If I did, we would have won. But as a team, there were a lot of things in which I thought we could have done better. We killed ourselves a lot with momentum, had a lot of three-and-outs, not being able to move the ball other than one of the first drives. But that was a great learning experience for not only myself but for the program as a whole to go out there and reach that next level. For myself, I just felt the competition I was going to be facing at this level and I just felt I can play with any of them.
When asked about players he compares his game to, he came up with a very interesting combination: Texans QB Deshaun Watson and Titans QB Ryan Tannehill.
“If you put those two guys together, you kind of get a little bit of me.”
He mentioned Tannehill’s great game-management skills, his passion and energy he brings, his leadership and his ability to extend plays as similarities to himself as a quarterback. But he still referred to himself and Tannehill as winners. He, himself, is especially a winner. He leaves Cincinnati with the third-most wins by a quarterback in college football history with 44.
But at least for now, that doesn’t mean much. He’s QB13, he said, referencing his number at the Combine (players are simply numbered in alphabetical order). He knows he still has to compete and he is ready to do that this week in Indianapolis. He’ll be a fascinating story to watch on draft day.
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