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The "idiot Kicker" Effect


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Where is Mike Vanderjagt when you need him? (actually in the headlines for assaulting a student)

Just prior to the 2003 Pro Bowl, Indianapolis Colts PK MIke Vanderjagt made a memorable appearance on a Canadian sports talk show, where he called out then team mate Peyton Manning for a perceived lack of intensity. Manning's memorable response went as follows "I'm out at my third Pro Bowl, I'm about to go in and throw a touchdown to Jerry Rice, we're honoring the Hall of Fame, and we're talking about our idiot kicker who got liquored up and ran his mouth off."

While largely laughed off at the time, the incident preceded a significant jump in performance by Peyton, both in the regular season and the playoffs. Could that exchange have been a seminal moment in the career of QB Peyton Manning? The impetus that convinced Manning to take more control of the Indy offense, resulting in a big boost for the Colts fortunes?

A lot of comparisons have been made between the first four years of Peyton Manning's career and those of Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Could Ryan's apparent snub and exclusion by his peers in the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2012 list have a similar inspiring effect? Despite having his best season, it appears as though Matt has fallen from #52 in 2011, to right off the list in 2012. That much debated list includes the polarizing Tim Tebow, a player traded earlier in the off season for a 4th and 6th round picks, a far cry from Matt Ryan's value. Even little-used Packer FB John Kuhn was recognized.

Could this spurning by his peers be used as a form of inspiration that could motivate Matt Ryan to raise the level of his game?

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Guest Gritz

IMO this will be his "make or break" year as far as determining what his ceiling might be.

I'm obviously hoping that he rises to the challenge. I'll be pulling hard for him to do so.

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You win and lose as a team. Ryan's position(or lack thereof) on the list is a personal slight and might cause a different or increased reaction.

I don't think anything will overshadow the Giants game, as far as fuel for the fire is concerned. Not making the Top 100 list doesn't really mean much, by comparison.

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IMO this will be his "make or break" year as far as determining what his ceiling might be.

I'm obviously hoping that he rises to the challenge. I'll be pulling hard for him to do so.

I agree. It's his fifth year. I'm assuming the line will be "good enough". He certainly has talent around him. It's time for him to take it to the next level. I think he will.

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Guest Gritz

I agree. It's his fifth year. I'm assuming the line will be "good enough". He certainly has talent around him. It's time for him to take it to the next level. I think he will.

I think he will too.

I'm hoping that many on here, myself included, have underestimated who and what Ryan can be.

It's never been about "being right" for me.

It's all about the Falcons winning it all.

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IMO this will be his "make or break" year as far as determining what his ceiling might be. I'm obviously hoping that he rises to the challenge. I'll be pulling hard for him to do so.

I agree Gritz. Time for Ryan to piss or get off the pot.The training wheels are now off. This year should give us some info where he is truly at. We should have a much improved line and MM is gone and he has an abundance of weapons at his disposal. No excuses for him not to take the next step. I truly hope he takes it to the next level.

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IMO this will be his "make or break" year as far as determining what his ceiling might be.

I'm obviously hoping that he rises to the challenge. I'll be pulling hard for him to do so.

I dont agree here, Gritz. IMO it's all about age and maturity.

Ryan is a young 27, and imho still has some growing to do physically and mentally before he reaches his "ceiling".

He's grown alot since becoming a Falcon. Still got a ways to go.

I think he will face a great deal of adversity this season, and it could go either way. With the schedule we're facing, there is going to be immense pressure. But imo it's not a make or break year for him, regardless of the outcome.

I mean....unless we go like 3-13 or something. ph34r.png

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I'm more concerned with Roddy's hands, and Michael Turner fighting for extra yardage than I am Matt Ryan being motivated. To insinuate he isn't is silly. If there are players on this team I had questions about their motivation, you can take Matt, Tony, Sean, and Julio off the list.

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It's never been about "being right" for me.

It's all about the Falcons winning it all.

+1. When it comes to personnel, I am wrong all of the time. I didn't want Ryan. I didn't like giving up 2 seconds for an aged tight end. The list goes on. If I ran this team, the dome would be empty.

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Guest Gritz

I dont agree here, Gritz. IMO it's all about age and maturity.

Ryan is a young 27, and imho still has some growing to do physically and mentally before he reaches his "ceiling".

He's grown alot since becoming a Falcon. Still got a ways to go.

I think he will face a great deal of adversity this season, and it could go either way. With the schedule we're facing, there is going to be immense pressure. But imo it's not a make or break year for him, regardless of the outcome.

I mean....unless we go like 3-13 or something. ph34r.png

I hear ya House.....I just believe going into his 5th year with a (likely) more quarterback-friendly OC, it's all there for Ryan to kick it up a notch.

I'm not insinuating in any way that Ryan is going to be booted if he doesn't become "elite" in 2012.

I'm just thinking with Mularkey gone, Gonzo and (probably) Turner's last year on the table....4 years of valuable experience under Ryan's belt.

If he's going to go to that next level now's the time.

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I'm more concerned with Roddy's hands, and Michael Turner fighting for extra yardage than I am Matt Ryan being motivated. To insinuate he isn't is silly. If there are players on this team I had questions about their motivation, you can take Matt, Tony, Sean, and Julio off the list.

I don't know that I've ever seen Turner not fight for extra yards. That man has taken an absolute beating for this team.

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IMO this will be his "make or break" year as far as determining what his ceiling might be.

I'm obviously hoping that he rises to the challenge. I'll be pulling hard for him to do so.

You have to give him until at least 30. Unless we start having losing seasons and he's throwing picks like crazy, even if he has a so-so year this year, he's keeping his job.

I think the media and the negative posters have poisoned the well in terms of expectations. He's coming off a 4K yard, 30 TD season and we are talking "make or break". We need to remember where we came from, and remember that getting rid of Matt Ryan doesn't solve any problem. With our luck giving up on Matt gives another team a great QB that might get them over the hump, while we watch another former player shine in a new environment.

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I'm more concerned with Roddy's hands, and Michael Turner fighting for extra yardage than I am Matt Ryan being motivated. To insinuate he isn't is silly. If there are players on this team I had questions about their motivation, you can take Matt, Tony, Sean, and Julio off the list.

I am not all that worried about Roddy's hands. Hopefully it was just a fluke thing last season. Roddy has been one of our most consistent players over the last few years. Of the 4 players that you named Tony, Sean, Julio and Ryan, Ryan is the only one that I wouldn't have on the list. I don't think it is silly to insinuate that he is lacking a little in the motivation department. Don't get me wrong at times Ryan is a deadly QB at times, but just isn't consistent enough to do it on the regular. During the regular season he is full of fire and motivation here and there, but come playoff time not so much.

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Ryan is the only one that I wouldn't have on the list. I don't think it is silly to insinuate that he is lacking a little in the motivation department.

I think it is incredibly silly to suggest such a thing.

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Hahaha Matt Ryan comparable to Peyton???

Strong delusional fans

HAHA someone actually spends their free time trying to antagonize strangers on the internet, on a football message board?!?!

Strong delusional fans? Wanna try that one again?

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I am not all that worried about Roddy's hands. Hopefully it was just a fluke thing last season. Roddy has been one of our most consistent players over the last few years. Of the 4 players that you named Tony, Sean, Julio and Ryan, Ryan is the only one that I wouldn't have on the list. I don't think it is silly to insinuate that he is lacking a little in the motivation department. Don't get me wrong at times Ryan is a deadly QB at times, but just isn't consistent enough to do it on the regular. During the regular season he is full of fire and motivation here and there, but come playoff time not so much.

I think it's absurd to insinuate he isn't motivated. How many articles have we seen about his exhaustive film study, always being the first in, last to leave? Our playoff losses are on the coaches and preparation. There is only so much any one player can do, even a franchise QB. Every time Tony Gonzales is interviewed and asked about Matt, he is effusive with praise, he goes out of his way to mention he will be a top 5 QB in this league. If it weren't true, he wouldn't say it. He goes out of his way to compliment Matt in a way that's beyond anything he's ever said about any of the coaches. I trust Tony's word. If Matt wasn't giving his all, we'd know it.

I've never said Matt was elite, and I've never said he didn't need to improve. But there is a level of criticism that starts to hit his character, and that's foolish. Maybe he's too much of a good soldier and needs to question his coaching, but I would never question his motivation.

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