On this, the rarest of all days, we celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of Chris Redman’s re-signing with the Atlanta Falcons…4 years ago. While erstwhile back-up Redman is lucky enough to not have to wait 4 years to celebrate a birthday, he did re-up with the team that pulled him off the scrap heap on Leap Day.
Redman remains one of the few feel good stories from the forgettable Petrino era (the others being Tyson Clabo and Ovie Mughelli). Infamously part of “The Brady 6” – the sextet of QBs taken before Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft – the Louisville product had spent 3 seasons out of the NFL, and was selling insurance when the call came from the Falcons before the 2007 season.
Thankfully, for Chris, being out of the league for 3 seasons was less of a hindrance than possessing the DNA of Joey Harrington or Byron Leftwich. Despite only starting 7 games, he led the team in touchdown passes, and QB rating. The new administration, seeing the value in a smart, mature, happy-to-be-a-backup, moved to keep him on board. Redman formed a quick friendship with rookie/Franchise savior Matt Ryan the next season, and has been his understudy ever since. He even tossed a very memorable game-winning touchdown pass in 2009 that helped contribute to the franchise finally getting over the “consecutive winning seasons” hump.
There is no telling what the future holds for Chris Redman in Atlanta. There is talk of bringing in a younger, more capable back-up, as the pressure to continue winning mounts. Regardless, there seems to be a future in football for someone like Chris Redman. His role and experiences make him well suited to coach, or identify talent – as no one could no better the pitfalls and misfires of the draft board than a guy taken 4 rounds before Tom Brady.
So – as you don your Blue and Yellow today, and dream visions of Leap Day William tonight – give a thought to Chris Redman, a player who helped the Falcons survive one of their worst seasons ever, and gave himself a second chance on the career he always wanted.