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Scouts Inc.: Ryan is a difference-maker in Atlanta

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As we inch toward the midway point of the 2008 season, the clear-cut front-runner for the NFL's rookie of the year award is Atlanta's Matt Ryan. The Falcons raised eyebrows when they selected the Boston College product with the third overall pick of April's draft, choosing a quarterback of the future over defensive help that appeared to be a more pressing need. Now first-year general manager Thomas Dimitroff looks like a genius for jumping on Ryan.

Ryan reminds many of another quarterback Dimitroff, previously New England's director of college scouting, knows well: Tom Brady. Ryan shows a lot of poise and a calm demeanor in the pocket, and he makes quick decisions after he sets up. Like Brady, Ryan lacks the cannon of a Brett Favre, but he has enough arm strength to make all the throws required in the Falcons' passing tree. He can power the ball on an intermediate out route or fit throws into small windows on quick slants and quick outs. He appears balanced and in control throughout his delivery, and he rarely makes that "What was he thinking?" throw. It doesn't hurt that favorite target Roddy White -- who possesses outstanding speed and excellent hand/eye coordination -- is having a great year.

One of the first things that stand out about Ryan on film is how quickly the ball jumps out of his hand. From the time he ***** his arm to the moment the ball is on its way, defenders have very little time to get a jump on his throw. In addition to accuracy, making quick decisions and getting the ball out quickly are huge factors in avoiding interceptions.

Another advantage: Offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is putting his rookie quarterback in favorable situations. Ryan hasn't been asked to do things that don't come naturally. Recently, Mularkey scripted a package of no-huddle plays that Ryan will run in one series each game, and he has shown a great knack for them. Some have wondered whether Mularkey is actually holding Ryan back too much. I don't think so. It's always better to bring along a rookie quarterback slowly, simplify the decision-making process and avoid overloading him. More than just about anything else, indecision and confusion can ruin the development of a young quarterback.

When scouts evaluate quarterbacks, they ask themselves a question: Is he a game manager or a difference-maker? In other words, does the quarterback avoid mistakes and allow his teammates to make plays or can he carry an offense and raise his teammates' level of play? After six regular-season NFL games, Ryan looks like a difference-maker. He exudes confidence, and his teammates clearly believe in him. And after Sunday's last-second win over Chicago, why wouldn't they? How far Ryan actually takes this club will depend on how hard he's willing to work and whether Dimitroff can continue to upgrade the Falcons' supporting cast. At this point, the odds look good.

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Good post. So now the writers are on the falcons d*** that is some BS. I just hope that the players just keep working hard and win some more games. I dont think mularky is going anywhere and still dont mind if he does. I think if the team stays tight they can handle it. Go Falcons!

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Dear Scouts Inc.

Do ya reckon? DUHHH.

About Smith being staunch on Running the ball:

2 seasons back the Colts Run game was just shut down in the first half.

Peyton went straight to the passing game. The RB was just furrious, and rightly

so what RB does not want a ton of touches in any game.

Point being is the passing game re opened the running game.

The RB got a lot of touches in the second game and racked up his yardage.

You just take what they give you and use one to open the other.

Our Coaches know this, but have kept it somewhat conservative.

Ryan has the makings of a Great QB and our Coaches will not ruin this.

Too many choices early on can and will serve to break concentration.

Stay the High Road.

Great Post everybody


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