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Ryan works on deep passing attack


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Atlanta Falcons 4:18 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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Matt Ryan works on the deep passing attack

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By D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FLOWERY BRANCH -- During organized team activities, the Falcons can target certain areas for improvement.

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One of those areas for Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and the rest of the offense is the deep passing attack.

Last season, Ryan had 31 completions of 20 yards or more, which was 23rd in the NFL. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers led the league with 64 completions of 20 yards or more.

The other top quarterbacks in that category were Houston's Matt Schaub (62), Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (61), Dallas' Tony Romo (61), New York's Eli Manning (60), Indianapolis' Peyton Manning (59) and New Orleans' Drew Brees (58).

Baltimore's Joe Flacco, whom Ryan is linked to because they came out in the same draft, had 44 completions of 20 yards or more.

"It's an area where we definitely want to get better and we will," Ryan said Wednesday. "We've been working on that."

The OTAs are the perfect opportunity to go into a breakout session on the deep passing game.

"You have more time in the OTAs to really concentrate on the little details, and you can talk about those things prior to practice," Ryan said. "Then you can come out here and teach it a little bit more. During the minicamp you're really just getting back into the swing of football."

In the seven-on-seven drill, the quarterbacks were rather sharp, connecting on 14 of 15 pass attempts. The only incomplete pass was a drop by fullback Ovie Mughelli.

"At this point we feel like we have that timing established a little bit, now it's about trying to fine tune it and work on some things," Ryan said. "We are trying to push ourselves into areas where we are a little bit uncomfortable so that we can get better."

Moore returns

Safety William Moore, the second-round pick in 2008, had his first open practice with the team (second overall) since October because of injuries. He practiced Tuesday in a closed practice.

"We were very interested to see how William Moore came out and practiced," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "He's practiced very well for the first two days."

Abraham absent

Defensive end John Abraham was not on hand for the voluntary practice. Also, cornerback Dominique Daniels was excused because of a death in the family.

"We spoke with John and we know where John is," Smith said. "Those are the only two players who did not participate."

Injury update

Defensive end Chauncey Davis (knee), defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder), defensive tackle Peria Jerry (knee), wide receivers Harry Douglas (knee) and Kerry Meier (hamstring) and cornerback Brian Williams (knee) did not practice.

Smith expects Davis, Meier and Babineaux back in seven to 10 days. Jerry, Douglas and Williams are expected back during training camp, which starts July 29.

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I've been saying this for the past 2 years. Ryan doesn't throw the ball deep, I wasn't sure if he couldn't make the throw or it wasn't in the game plan. Ryan 1st year Roddy had 1000 yards by week 14, his second year Roddy had 1000 by week 16. Ryan has to get the ball pass 20 yards, this opens Tony and Turner.

Hope they fix this.

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I've been saying this for the past 2 years. Ryan doesn't throw the ball deep, I wasn't sure if he couldn't make the throw or it wasn't in the game plan. Ryan 1st year Roddy had 1000 yards by week 14, his second year Roddy had 1000 by week 16. Ryan has to get the ball pass 20 yards, this opens Tony and Turner.

Hope they fix this.

Ryan can make deep throws. Saw it countless times at BC and a fair number of times in Atlanta as well. The capability is there.

And Roddy's stats cannot be neatly attributed to lack of a deep ball. Considering that he had a rough start to 2009 (there was a nice article on how Smitty talked to him about just getting back to "being Roddy" and then he had that breakout San Fran performance), that there were growing pains incorporating Tony G into the offense, and that there was no possibility of a Ryan-Roddy connection for three weeks near the end of the year, it's not too suprising that it took until Week 16 for it to happen.

All that being said, I 100% agree that the threat of a deep passing attack will open up our offense in some tremendous ways, and I'm very pleased that it's a stated area of focus for OTA's and beyond.

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Personally I think it has as much to do w/ the O line as Ryan. It seemed when Redman came in last year he was willing to go deep more often than Ryan, but he also took some shots b/c of it.

I have seen plenty of times when Ryan had time to throw the ball and just waited for the receiver to be "completely" open downfield to throw. Matty needs to realize in the NFL being open is a matter of inches, and has to have faith that Roddy or whoever will come down with the ball. Those INT's that he threw probably caused him to hold the ball longer than he'd like to.

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