In Week 8, the Atlanta Falcons lost to the Tennessee Titans and benched starting quarterback Desmond Ridder in the process. After the game, head coach Arthur Smith was unclear about whether Ridder was injured or benched for poor play.
On Wednesday, Smith named Taylor Heinicke the starting quarterback going into Week 9. The lack of clarity drew criticism from NFL fans, who just wanted a straight answer.
Hall of Fame QB and current NFL analyst Kurt Warner focused his criticism on Smith’s play design. Warner broke down a few Falcons plays from Sunday’s loss to the Titans on Twitter.
Kurt Warner criticizes Falcons' play-calling
You guys know I don’t like saying anything without having evidence to back it up, so here’s a quick video in #Falcons stuff I was seeing that was hard for me to put on the QB… team sport, lots going on, but easy to see & blame QB (but I’m trying to see it all & be objective)! pic.twitter.com/CQswgGjQ8K
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) November 2, 2023
Arthur Smith Smith responds: "I don't care. I really don't."
Arthur Smith, the son of a billionaire, criticizing a former quarterback who actually earned his money in the sport he’s giving feedback on. pic.twitter.com/2t68XBOuEW
— Bre (@Bre_NFL) November 4, 2023
Arthur Smith: "I’m sure he gets paid a lot of money. I could give a rat’s… whatever."https://t.co/PtVel7lpxP
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) November 4, 2023
Kurt Warner responds
Funny how so many tell ME to reach out to NFL players & coaches with my info… when I am really easy to find & willing to help if someone wants that… no calls, means I have to assume no one is interested, but I’ll keep doing what I’m doing in hopes it gets to right ppl!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) November 3, 2023
I hope the 1 thing everyone sees in my videos is I never make it personal “I always attack the problem, never attack the person”… I get that there is always a person at the heart of each problem, but it’s never this guy is terrible, it’s they have to do something better here!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) November 4, 2023
Twitter reacts to exchange
When you see stuff like this, it typically means the wheels are coming off that old wagon and that is never a positive sign. https://t.co/UzmW7cgZFN
— Nique (@therealpattman) November 4, 2023
This is absolutely insane bruh 🤦🏾♂️……if you can’t take construction criticism then how can you lead? https://t.co/HsxFARDoEM
— ♊️🔥Retro Boomin 🔥♊ (@MasonDaGemini93) November 4, 2023
Moving from ripping fantasy football to universally liked Kurt Warner should do wonders for Art’s popularity https://t.co/SWeOm91qbn
— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) November 4, 2023
Arthur has done a lot of stupid things but dismissing a hall of fame, mvp, super bowl winning qbs criticism as "I could give a rats whatever" takes the cake https://t.co/fwPePgq3HM
— Carlton (@CrispyCarlton) November 4, 2023
Arthur Smith’s first job in the NFL was with the Washington Commanders.
His only past experience was a UNC grad assistant.
— Connor Allen (@ConnorAllenNFL) November 4, 2023
A literal billionaire being extremely unlikable? Who could have thought! https://t.co/6NTMmJKVjA
— Michael F. Florio (@MichaelFFlorio) November 4, 2023
Does Arthur Smith know who Kurt Warner is? And does he think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to QB play? Uhm.. https://t.co/7GDMwqQQfL
— Cam Marino (@MarinoNFL) November 4, 2023
Always a sure sign of a very stable and confident head coach https://t.co/9TuLna4nTx
— Matthew Coller (@MatthewColler) November 4, 2023
really enjoying the entire football consuming public turning as one against old arthur https://t.co/j35qKqWe9p
— Denny Carter (@CDCarter13) November 4, 2023
Never been a fan of Arthur Smith. But him using "I could give" instead of "I couldn't give" is where I draw the line. Fire his ass! https://t.co/1yLqB6UJqH
— Jamie Steed (@Baseball_Jimbo) November 4, 2023
— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) November 4, 2023
I’m a Falcons fan Kurt and I’m there with ya. Play calling has to be better. That redzone TE pass last week was the nail in the coffin for me.
— Cory (@_bigtime25) November 4, 2023
— G (@54YoThoughts) November 4, 2023
Bruh you don’t have the right to have this attitude 🙄 https://t.co/CgbStST65I
— A M B E Z Y (@bezy_bby) November 4, 2023
— Kai Ching (@FalconInHawaii) November 4, 2023
As a fan of Art's, he's headed for Josh McDaniels status quickly. https://t.co/PKrhbDHGQY
— King's Landing (@___theKing___) November 4, 2023
Arthur Smith is THE WORST!!!! Dude thinks he’s something special. All he is ever talked about for is him blaming Fantasy football for his decisions. https://t.co/F1dzrtsxFB
— Tommy Marini ⛳️ (@dj_strip) November 4, 2023