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Joey Harrington knows what Matt Ryan faces


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Joey Harrington knows what Matt Ryan faces

Falcons trying to limit expectations, pressure on rookie QB

By STEVE WYCHE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flowery Branch — There may not be anyone who knows more about what Matt Ryan is about to endure as a highly drafted, well-compensated, starting rookie quarterback than Joey Harrington.

Like Ryan, he was the third overall pick, albeit in the 2002 NFL draft by Detroit. He was the tall, savvy quarterback from Oregon, who had “it.” The can’t-miss prospect tabbed as the starter from season’s outset.

“It’s like looking in the mirror seven years ago,” Harrington said.

Harrington gives his perspective as someone whose star faded after early promise turned into unfulfilled expectations. They were expectations that might have been too high. Now, seven years into his career, he is fighting for a roster spot with the Falcons, his third team.

“My first start was against Green Bay, at home, our home opener,” Harrington said. “I threw four picks, maybe two, three touchdowns and we almost came back. The next week we played New Orleans and I had a good game. The headline on one of the papers the next day was, ‘Joey to the World For He Has Come.’

“It was immediate and unrealistic when those expectations were put on me. Being naïve and not knowing, I embraced it and I took it as my job to be the one person to change a franchise. When it didn’t happen overnight, I worked harder and pressed and did it to the point where it was ultimately my demise there.”

The Falcons have tried their best to marginalize expectations of Ryan. Though they paid him $72 million and called him their franchise quarterback, he has not been tabbed as the answer or missing piece. Instead, he’s part of a process.

“This is a team game and there’s 22 guys,” head coach Mike Smith said. “The quarterback is the premier position but Matt won the starting quarterback job in training camp and OTAs. We don’t want to put any undue pressure on him. He’s one of 22 starters. He is part of the process and this is a process that we’re going through. We’re just going to continue to try and get better and improve every day.”

Said Harrington: “What they are doing with Matt, if you’re going to play a kid right away, this is the way to do it. I also think Matt is one of the more mature rookies I’ve seen come into the NFL.

“There’s no magic formula to how to bring a rookie quarterback along. Peyton Manning goes one way. Ryan Leaf goes the other. Drew Brees struggles kind of for four years then he lights the world on fire while Marques Tuiasosopo has all but disappeared. David Carr, Patrick Ramsey and I have all had interesting roads while Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers have landed on their feet.

“There are all sorts of scenarios. The one key component is you need to have some success before you lose your confidence.”

Harrington said that Ryan has approached him with questions about things to expect and situations to embrace or avoid. Harrington said he’d be a sounding board but not an overbearing lecturer.

He did volunteer this advice during a conversation a few weeks ago, though.

“I knew that people knew how much I had been paid and that it was going to be a source of resentment for some of the older guys in the locker room,” Harrington said. “I came in there trying to not make friends but came in there not trying to step on anybody’s toes.

“For as much as everybody knows every dollar that you’re getting paid, whether you try to appease the subject or not, they’re still going to expect you to play — so you have to make plays. I told him that you’re going to step on some toes but take charge. Don’t be afraid to take this as your team because no matter how much you’re getting paid, that’s what people are going to expect you to do.”

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Joey Harrington knows what Matt Ryan faces

Falcons trying to limit expectations, pressure on rookie QB

By STEVE WYCHE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flowery Branch — There may not be anyone who knows more about what Matt Ryan is about to endure as a highly drafted, well-compensated, starting rookie quarterback than Joey Harrington.

Like Ryan, he was the third overall pick, albeit in the 2002 NFL draft by Detroit. He was the tall, savvy quarterback from Oregon, who had “it.” The can’t-miss prospect tabbed as the starter from season’s outset.

“It’s like looking in the mirror seven years ago,” Harrington said.

Harrington gives his perspective as someone whose star faded after early promise turned into unfulfilled expectations. They were expectations that might have been too high. Now, seven years into his career, he is fighting for a roster spot with the Falcons, his third team.

“My first start was against Green Bay, at home, our home opener,” Harrington said. “I threw four picks, maybe two, three touchdowns and we almost came back. The next week we played New Orleans and I had a good game. The headline on one of the papers the next day was, ‘Joey to the World For He Has Come.’

“It was immediate and unrealistic when those expectations were put on me. Being naïve and not knowing, I embraced it and I took it as my job to be the one person to change a franchise. When it didn’t happen overnight, I worked harder and pressed and did it to the point where it was ultimately my demise there.”

The Falcons have tried their best to marginalize expectations of Ryan. Though they paid him $72 million and called him their franchise quarterback, he has not been tabbed as the answer or missing piece. Instead, he’s part of a process.

“This is a team game and there’s 22 guys,” head coach Mike Smith said. “The quarterback is the premier position but Matt won the starting quarterback job in training camp and OTAs. We don’t want to put any undue pressure on him. He’s one of 22 starters. He is part of the process and this is a process that we’re going through. We’re just going to continue to try and get better and improve every day.”

Said Harrington: “What they are doing with Matt, if you’re going to play a kid right away, this is the way to do it. I also think Matt is one of the more mature rookies I’ve seen come into the NFL.

“There’s no magic formula to how to bring a rookie quarterback along. Peyton Manning goes one way. Ryan Leaf goes the other. Drew Brees struggles kind of for four years then he lights the world on fire while Marques Tuiasosopo has all but disappeared. David Carr, Patrick Ramsey and I have all had interesting roads while Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers have landed on their feet.

“There are all sorts of scenarios. The one key component is you need to have some success before you lose your confidence.”

Harrington said that Ryan has approached him with questions about things to expect and situations to embrace or avoid. Harrington said he’d be a sounding board but not an overbearing lecturer.

He did volunteer this advice during a conversation a few weeks ago, though.

“I knew that people knew how much I had been paid and that it was going to be a source of resentment for some of the older guys in the locker room,” Harrington said. “I came in there trying to not make friends but came in there not trying to step on anybody’s toes.

“For as much as everybody knows every dollar that you’re getting paid, whether you try to appease the subject or not, they’re still going to expect you to play — so you have to make plays. I told him that you’re going to step on some toes but take charge. Don’t be afraid to take this as your team because no matter how much you’re getting paid, that’s what people are going to expect you to do.”

NOOOOOO!! Dont ever interview Joey!!

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Ummmm,

No he does not. I must admit. Joey and Ryan Leaf has made Matt Ryan a better player. The coaches told him th e horror stories about them.

yeah he does. Joey got thrown into the fire much as Ryan is...the difference is in the philosophy of our FO and coaches vs that of Detroits (they had a philosophy?)

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He understands where Ryan is coming from at this point in time without a single snap in the regular season. He did not say he is like Ryan. It is actually admirable that Harrington doesn't take it personally and say screw the rookie let him figure it out. Instead he gives him advice when asked probably in the sense of what went wrong for him. He is not teaching him mechanics. People need to get over that concept. I believe Ryan is intelligent and mature enough to take people's advice with a grain of salt and see what works best for him. It is actually a nice article about Harrington if people care to see it.

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He understands where Ryan is coming from at this point in time without a single snap in the regular season. He did not say he is like Ryan. It is actually admirable that Harrington doesn't take it personally and say screw the rookie let him figure it out. Instead he gives him advice when asked probably in the sense of what went wrong for him. He is not teaching him mechanics. People need to get over that concept. I believe Ryan is intelligent and mature enough to take people's advice with a grain of salt and see what works best for him. It is actually a nice article about Harrington if people care to see it.

agreed

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He understands where Ryan is coming from at this point in time without a single snap in the regular season. He did not say he is like Ryan. It is actually admirable that Harrington doesn't take it personally and say screw the rookie let him figure it out. Instead he gives him advice when asked probably in the sense of what went wrong for him. He is not teaching him mechanics. People need to get over that concept. I believe Ryan is intelligent and mature enough to take people's advice with a grain of salt and see what works best for him. It is actually a nice article about Harrington if people care to see it.

Agreed also.....Harrington gets a bad rap from alot of the fans here. I'm not opposed to paying him the small amount (relatively speaking of course) we are paying him to be a teacher and moral support to our franchise QB. No tto mention that he can come in and manage a game for us if something were to happen to Ryan or Redman....of course if we get down to him on the depth chart we are pretty much screwed anyway.

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