Redman to start for Falcons against Saints

Updated: December 6, 2007, 3:11 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- For the fifth time in seven games, Atlanta Falcons coach Bobby Petrino is making a quarterback switch in an effort to jump-start his sagging offense, with little-used Chris Redman taking over as the starter for Monday night's game against New Orleans.

Chris Redman

Redman

The start will be Redman's first in a regular-season game since Oct. 20, 2002, when he was playing with the Baltimore Ravens. Since that game, he has thrown only 24 passes.

"It's unbelievable," Redman said. "I have a chance to be on a pedestal that I never thought I would be on again, to be honest. I want to take advantage of this opportunity."

On the Atlanta quarterback carousel, Joey Harrington has started 10 games and Byron Leftwich two contests for the 3-9 Falcons, and both have lost and regained the No. 1 job at various junctures over the past month. But Leftwich has been unable to stay healthy, and Harrington has been ineffective lately, so Petrino is making another change.

The Falcons will become the fourth franchise in the league in 2007 to use three different starting quarterbacks. Redman will become the league's 55th different starter this year.

Redman, 29, played well in relief of Harrington last Sunday, completing 16 of 24 passes for 172 yards, with one touchdown pass and one interception against St. Louis. He rallied the Falcons back to within one score, but then the Rams pulled away for a 28-16 victory.

"I did it for one quarter," he said. "Now I've got to show I can do it for four quarters."

Of all the Atlanta quarterbacks, Redman is arguably the best versed in the Petrino offense, since he played in it while in college. Petrino was the offensive coordinator at Louisville for part of Redman's career there, and that is one of the reasons the Falcons signed him as a free agent in the offseason.

Originally a third-round choice of the Ravens in the 2000 draft, Redman won the starting job in 2002, and was generally viewed as Baltimore's long-term solution at the critical position. He started the first six games that year, then was sidelined by a season-ending back injury.

Redman returned to play in two games in 2003 but, because of back and shoulder injuries, had not been on an NFL regular-season roster again until this year.

For his career, he has appeared in 13 games, with six starts, and has completed 123 of 223 passes for 1,292 yards, with nine touchdown passes and six interceptions, for an efficiency rating of 74.4.

Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.