Coach Bobby Petrino announced Thursday that Chris Redman, who was out of the league the past three seasons, will start against the New Orleans Saints after a strong performance in relief of Joey Harrington.
With Byron Leftwich still hurting and Harrington clearly not the answer, the Falcons (3-9) had little choice except to go with a quarterback who was selling insurance a year ago in their Monday night game against the Saints.
"It's been different. There's no doubt about that," Petrino said. "We haven't had the continuity that you normally have."
Redman will be the third player to start at quarterback for the Falcons, who have yet to come up with a replacement for Michael Vick. This is the third time that Harrington has lost the No. 1 job, and Leftwich has yet to make it through a full game in his two starts, going down with ankle and tailbone injuries.
Redman replaced Harrington at the start of the fourth quarter last Sunday with the Falcons trailing 21-3 at St. Louis. The backup completed 16 of 24 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-16 loss.
"I did it for one quarter," he said. "Now I've got to show I can do it for four quarters."
Redman spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, playing 10 games with six starts, but his career was sidetracked by shoulder and back problems. He didn't play at all from 2004-06, getting cut by New England and Tennessee and flopping in a tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Now, he's starting again in the NFL -- in a prime-time game, no less.
"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."
MARCH 22: Atlanta trades backup quarterback Matt Schaub to Houston to squash any debate over who the starting quarterback should be, entrenching Michael Vick.
AUG. 19: After working his way into the starting quarterback discussion, D.J. Shockley suffers a season-ending knee injury in a preseason game against Buffalo, leaving recently signed Joey Harrington as the undisputed starter.
AUG. 24: Vick is indefinitely suspended after his admission of guilt in a dogfighting scheme.
SEPT. 17: After an 0-2 start and a pair of mediocre performances by Harrington, Atlanta signs Byron Leftwich, putting Harrington's status as the starter in jeopardy.
OCT. 21: After a 1-5 start, Leftwich replaces Harrington, lasting little more than a half in a loss to New Orleans before injuring his ankle, making Harrington the starter again.
NOV. 18: After leading the Falcons to back-to-back wins, Harrington is replaced by Leftwich -- again -- who performs miserably and is yanked in a loss to Tampa Bay.
DEC. 2: Harrington is pulled in the fourth quarter of a loss to St. Louis in favor of Chris Redman (above), who has been named the starter for Monday's game against the Saints.
-- From staff and wire reports