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Dan Quinn admires how MVP candidate Matt Ryan has not backed off

Goober Pyle

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is far from satisfied, and coach Dan Quinn knows it.

Ryan certainly has silenced a lot of doubters by posting an MVP season while guiding his team to Sunday's NFC Championship Game against Green Bay. From the start of the season, Ryan vowed to block out any negative chatter and just worry about what he could control regarding his own play.

Quinn, the second-year Falcons coach, was asked Monday how rewarding it's been to see Ryan shut up the doubters.

"You know what I'm always happy about? When you see somebody really apply themselves and really go for it to get to a new level when you're already at a really high level," Quinn said. "To take another step to break through a new ceiling, it's really difficult. And he totally owned that challenge to do that.

"That's from on-field performance. That's from a leadership on and off the field; the connection he has with his teammates, the things he wanted to improve in his game. It's kind of like a New Year's resolution: Do you stay with it or do you not back off? And he's had the grit to not back off and to keep striving to get to a new spot, to keep working on the same things. Those are some things that maybe everybody else wouldn't know about that makes me most proud of him, because he has not stopped backing off."

Ryan enters Sunday's matchup against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers with 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions over his past five games -- all wins. Ryan has completed 73.2 percent of his passes during the streak while averaging 293.8 passing yards per game. His 9.26 yards per attempt this season is highest for a quarterback with 500-plus attempts in NFL history, according to ESPN Statistics and Information.

During the playoff bye week, Ryan talked about refining aspects of the offense. Then he came out and completed 26-of-37 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns (125.7 passer rating) in a 36-20 win against a Seattle team that was supposed to have a formidable, even without free safety Earl Thomas. Ryan credited his offensive line for keeping the pressure off, but he made the throws, ducked blitzes, and showed great poise.

"He's finding things to improve upon in his game," Quinn said of Ryan. "That was the case during the bye. You felt it in his intent. And it will be the same thing this week. He's very locked into the process of getting ready. So, yeah, I am pumped up for him in a big way."

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29 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

His 9.26 yards per attempt this season is highest for a quarterback with 500-plus attempts in NFL history, according to ESPN Statistics and Information.


ESPN always reports it like this.  It's actually the highest for any QB with 350-plus attempts, which is way more impressive.

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I can't believe how thru it all the Iceman stayed true to himself. Never complained, never made excuses, and never threw anyone under the bus. Kept plugging, kept "trusting the process", and kept working. After last season I can't lie even as a MR2 supporter all these yrs I was worried too, but NOW wow we should all be proud to have this guy as our QB and team leader. Smiler11 is correct:

He is the one...

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