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Falcons waiting to pick this week's QB

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas.

Rookie quarterback Matt Ryan had a strong debut against Jacksonville, but the Falcons aren't ready to anoint him the starter just yet. In fact, they're not even ready to name a starter for Saturday's preseason game with Indianapolis.

"We have a set rotation,'' coach Mike Smith said after practice today. "We are going to do the same thing we did last Thursday. We will announce who is going to start, then we will work through the rotation. As we said from the beginning, we are going to give everyone a chance to play with the first team. We will set all of that up on Thursday.''

Veteran Chris Redman got the start against Jacksonville, but Ryan entered while the first team still was in the game. It wouldn't be a big surprise if the Falcons give Ryan the start against Indianapolis. The game will be the opening of the refurbished Georgia Dome and starting Ryan would play into the theme of the new era.

Joey Harrington and D.J. Shockley also are in the quarterback mix, but the decision on a starter for the opening of the regular season likely will come down to Redman and Ryan. Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff have said all along they'll probably wait until late in the preseason to decide on a starter.

The Falcons are well aware that history hasn't always been good to quarterbacks who get thrown into the lineup immediately (see Carr, David), but they've been keeping an open mind on Ryan. There's been a belief all along that Ryan is more mature than most rookie quarterbacks and that would allow him to handle the mental aspect of playing immediately. With a couple of more sharp preseason performances, Ryan might be able to convince the organization he's physically ready to be the starter on opening day.