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Falcons Qb Matt Ryan: 'no Reason We Can't' Make Playoffs This Season


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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Matt Ryan believes the Atlanta Falcons can make the postseason in 2015.

Ryan's confidence is symbolic of the team's renewed sense of optimism under new coach Dan Quinn despite missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The Falcons went 4-12 in 2013 then followed with a 6-10 record last season, which led to the firing of Mike Smith and hiring of Quinn.

Ryan was asked Tuesday if there is reason to be hopeful about a return to the playoffs this season.

"Absolutely," Ryan said following Day 1 of mandatory minicamp. "There's absolutely no reason we can't get it done. We feel like that in the locker room, that we've just got to get better every day just on daily improvement and then go cut in loose when the season rolls around. But there's absolutely no reason."

Ryan and his teammates are more motivated than they are brash. The Falcons, three seasons removed from the NFC Championship Game, realize there is plenty of work ahead. However, a change of philosophy on defense, along with improved personnel on both sides of the ball -- not to mention the league's easiest schedule, statistically -- could result in an immediate turnaround.

Ryan's thoughts about the postseason came shortly after he reflected on top receiver Julio Jones expressing how dissatisfied he was with his individual performance during a record-setting '14 campaign. Jones amassed a franchise-best 1,593 receiving yards yet admitted he could have performed even better to help his team.

"I think it shows what kind of competitor Julio is," Ryan said. "He wants to win games. And I think it shows what he's about. Obviously, he can put up all the numbers in the world. And he's going to because he's an elite player and one of the very best in the world. But it's about more than that. It's about winning games."

Quinn knows all about winning. He was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks the past two seasons during consecutive Super Bowl appearances, including one title. But Quinn, while not discouraging Ryan's optimism, cautioned not to look too far ahead.

"I really do [try to temper it] only because there's so much to be done," Quinn said. "Really, the way we're going to approach it for our team is every game's a championship game opportunity. ... And that way, those times when you don't have to get tight to over-try, when the playoff games come and the championship games come and the Super Bowls come, we do what we do. We play in that style and that fashion. So let's go and attack it. Let's have the best camp we can have, because all the stuff out there, it's a little far out for us. Let's put the work in right now. Let's pay the dues on how hard we've got to work to go have success.

"I like the confidence part knowing that if we play really well, all those other things are going to take place. And that should be the expectations: When we play like we're capable of, all those things will certainly be there and past the playoffs."

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13092810/qb-matt-ryan-believes-atlanta-falcons-make-playoffs-2015

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The NFCS is winnable...so it is possible.

One of the cool things about the NFC South is that it's a toss up almost every year as to who will win it. Most divisions you can predict three years ahead who will make the playoffs.

Edited by likeriver
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Honestly, our biggest issue has been healthy lately, not talent. We have a good bit more talent now. But if we have the same injury problems we've had, we're not seeing the playoffs.

Despite our record the last two years we still could have made it with all the close games due to injury and coaching blunders. If they get that part covered, which I assume they will then it is definitely fiesable. Then you add in the new talent and hopefully a competant defense and I would even say probable.

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Great.

First he tips his cap to the Patriots over and over after losing to them in the Super Bowl. Then he says "affecting" the QB, not sacking him, is the most important thing. Now Quinn is telling Ryan to cool it with the playoff expectations.

Timid doesn't win in the NFL. Not a good start for our new head coach so far. Not a good start at all.

Edited by cooperbh
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Great.

First he tips his cap to the Patriots over and over after losing to them in the Super Bowl. Then he says "affecting" the QB, not sacking him, is the most important thing. Now Quinn is telling Ryan to cool it with the playoff expectations.

Timid doesn't win in the NFL. Not a good start for our new head coach so far. Not a good start at all.

I interpreted it more as "actions over words" and "focus on the now" ". Q is simply saying take the action today, do what is in front of you now because we have a lot to do and the positive results of that will show up later.

I detected no timidity whatsoever in his statement.

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I interpreted it more as "actions over words" and "focus on the now" ". Q is simply saying take the action today, do what is in front of you now because we have a lot to do and the positive results of that will show up later.

I detected no timidity whatsoever in his statement.

He needs to be more careful with his words and not leave ANYTHING open to interpretation. It is a proven fact that what a coach says at a press conference has a HUGE impact on whether a team wins or loses.

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He needs to be more careful with his words and not leave ANYTHING open to interpretation. It is a proven fact that what a coach says at a press conference has a HUGE impact on whether a team wins or loses.

In training camp?

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Offseason, preseason, regular season, postseason... it doesn't matter. You never criticize your players for showing fire. Fire is the single most important ingredient for success in the NFL.

I agree with you on the importance of 'fire', just think you're reading that wrong to be construed as criticism.

The message I think he's sending is don't get ahead of yourselves,focus on putting in the work first, the rest will take care of itself.

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I agree with you on the importance of 'fire', just think you're reading that wrong to be construed as criticism.

The message I think he's sending is don't get ahead of yourselves,focus on putting in the work first, the rest will take care of itself.

Fire >>>>>>> work

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The NFCS is winnable...so it is possible.

This Division is crazy. They can be bottom dwellers one year and the next everybody in the division finishes with double digit wins. You just never know one year from the next.

We won't know really until about game 6 how it's going to play out this year.

I'm hopeful though. The players seem re-energized and the coaching staff is about making it fun while getting the job done. That's a winning recipe if it cooks up right!

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Great.

First he tips his cap to the Patriots over and over after losing to them in the Super Bowl. Then he says "affecting" the QB, not sacking him, is the most important thing. Now Quinn is telling Ryan to cool it with the playoff expectations.

Timid doesn't win in the NFL. Not a good start for our new head coach so far. Not a good start at all.

You'll note he did say WHEN the playoffs, the championship games, the Super Bowls come.

Offseason, preseason, regular season, postseason... it doesn't matter. You never criticize your players for showing fire. Fire is the single most important ingredient for success in the NFL.

Where did he criticize him?

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