Falcons continue slow approach with QB Ryan

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Atlanta coach Mike Smith has announced Joey Harrington will be the starting quarterback Saturday night when the Falcons host the Colts.

That's a mild surprise because I thought Smith might go with rookie Matt Ryan to start off a new era in the refurbished Georgia Dome. But Smith has said all along he would give each of the four quarterbacks some time with the first team. Smith also has been firm in saying he'll go through at least most of the preseason before making a decision on a starter for the regular season. Ryan, who had a strong showing in the preseason opener, remains a big part of the mix.

Although Smith wouldn't announce the rest of the rotation, don't be surprised if Ryan follows Harrington and gets into the game while the rest of the first-team offense is on the field. The Falcons used Ryan in a similar way in the preseason opener.