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FentayeJones

Ryan interview from "Camp Brotherhood"

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Matt Ryan's camp marks 'the start' of Falcons' rebound

In an exclusive interview with SN, Matt Ryan opens up about Atlanta's Super Bowl loss, the future of the offense under a new coach and more.

By Alex Marvez  

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Atlanta’s quest for Super Bowl redemption has started at a fitting locale.

It was 30 years ago when the University of Miami football team rebounded by finishing the 1987 season No. 1 after it squandered chances to win national championships with bowl-game losses the previous two seasons. Images of star Hurricanes from that era are featured on banners lining the school’s practice fields, where a flock of Falcons are conducting workouts organized by quarterback Matt Ryan.

Atlanta should hope such good karma rubs off.

The Falcons went through their own heartbreak in early February when they squandered the biggest lead in Super Bowl history (25 points) en route to a 34-28 overtime loss to the Patriots. The first step toward moving past that collapse came Tuesday, when 22 players participated in an hour-long passing and conditioning session.

By week’s end, roughly 40 Falcons will have arrived not only for on-field work heading into the official start of Atlanta’s offseason program Monday, but to continue building the locker-room “Brotherhood” that sprouted during the 2016 season.

Such participation and camaraderie was Ryan’s ultimate goal when he sponsored his first get-together last year in South Florida.

Ryan discussed the 2017 version of “Camp Brotherhood” and what makes him optimistic the Falcons can rebound from Super Bowl 51 failure during an exclusive Sporting News interview.

Q: How different is this year’s camp?

Ryan: I feel like everybody is a little more comfortable now. Obviously having done it last year the guys who were here know what to expect. It’s just a good chance to knock off some of the rust before we get started on the field, spend some time together and catch up with each other and see what everybody has been doing the past couple weeks and months since we finished up.

Q: I saw a tighter group on the field than the one at last year’s camp. Is that fair to say?

Ryan: We're a lot closer for sure. The time we put in together last year has made us closer. What we went through during the season, that bond makes everybody tighter. And we’ve got a lot of the same guys back. That's the exciting part. We've got a lot of continuity from what we had last year. We're more talkative on the field. We’re further along in terms of how we communicate with one another, where we’re at on offense and those types of things.

Q: NFL rules prohibit you from talking Xs and Os with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian until the offseason program begins, but how different do you anticipate the offense will be from the one run by Kyle Shanahan?

Ryan: I think things will stay really, really similar to what we've done the last couple of years. He’s one new guy coming in, but we have a lot of guys coming back. I think he’s going to adjust to the guys that are in the system that we’ve been running, a system that everyone is so familiar with and had a lot of success with.

Q: What are some specific areas where this offense can get better?

Ryan: One thing we did a great job of last year was creating explosive plays and limiting turnovers. That will hopefully be a staple of who we are as an offense moving forward. There are some specific things we can do better. We could have been better in some third-down situation and tight red-zone situations. We already started on that today and got a lot of red-area work. That was good.

Q: How did your personal routine change with your offseason starting later because of Atlanta’s Super Bowl run?

Ryan: It’s one of those things where we played a little longer so it took us a little more time (to recover). You probably start a little later than you would have in other years. But we also worked those six weeks that we played longer.

I don’t think I was quite as rusty when I came back to it. My body is starting to feel really good and I think all the guys are starting to feel pretty good. I was impressed by what I saw today.

Q: How cathartic is a camp like this moving ahead to 2017?

Ryan: Any time you get started on your next goal … The (Super Bowl) sting is still going to be there. That’s fine. You can use that as motivation. I think we will. But I think today and this week is a real start for us toward next season. That’s what it’s all about. Get rid of that last game, the last few minutes of that last game, and start working on this season.

Q: How many times did you end up re-watching Super Bowl 51?

Ryan: I think three times. (Laughs) That was enough. It was probably one or two (times) too many. We did some really good things in that game. We were very well prepared. Our process was really good. We came out and competed well.

I thought the players played hard. I’m proud of that and the way we played. I really am. We didn’t get the result we wanted but I feel like we can improve and get better and start to take care of the business we need to get back there.

Q: How surreal was it going through that collapse during the game and how surreal watching it later?

Ryan: When you watch the coaches tape, it’s so quiet. It kind of takes the emotion away from it. You can watch it from a standpoint of, "What were we trying to do on this play? Did I execute what I was supposed to execute?"

From that standpoint, it is what it is. We’ve all had tough losses and those types of things. We’ve got to move on.

Q: Shanahan has become the scapegoat for so much of the loss because of his fourth-quarter play-calling (Note: Ryan rolled his eyes when reminded). What can you tell people about that?

Ryan: He did a great job. He did a great job for us last year. He put us in a lot of really good positions. That’s what happens. When you don’t get the results you want people are going to point fingers. But that’s not the case in our locker room or building. We’re all in this thing together.

Q: (Falcons head coach) Dan Quinn told me he spoke to Golden State’s Steve Kerr among others looking for ways to try and help Atlanta players move on from the Super Bowl loss. Who have you spoken to about it?

Ryan: I’ve talked to Dan about it. Obviously, Dan has been reaching out to a lot of different people. I’ve talked to our guys about it. There are great examples throughout sport of teams that lost in a championship game or whatever and how they then responded. You look at Clemson in college football last year. You look at North Carolina in college basketball. You look at what the Warriors are doing this year after last year.

You move on. Such is life, right? Things happen. You move forward and try to be better than you were before.

Q: Did you stamp a date and say, "Ok, I can move on from this"?

Ryan: (Laughs) No. Not yet. I couldn't pick a date. But I'm getting there. I think once you start to work toward what’s in front of you and you start to focus on the details of getting better, you stop thinking about the other stuff.

Q: You are set to play the Patriots during the 2017 season. Would you rather play them in Week 1 to get it out of the way or later in the season?

Ryan: It’s like any schedule, right? We don’t have a choice. We'll play wherever (the NFL wants) us to go. It doesn’t matter. I think whenever we get to that week we’ll do the same thing we’ve done the past couple of years. That’s try to make it as normal as possible week to week. That (Super Bowl video) will be part of our breakdown for sure, but it’s only one part. We’re going to have a few different guys, too, and so will they.

I think the more you dwell on it and you think about it too much, the more it lingers. It is what it is. We’ll move forward and learn from it.

Q: You’re coming off an MVP season. How can Matt Ryan of 2017 be better than Matt Ryan of 2016?

Ryan: I thought I did some really good things. But like every week, you look at the film and say, "Alright, I could have done two or three things better." It’s trying to improve one percent every time you put your cleats on the field.

There are tons of things I can get better at. I feel I can get more accurate in certain situations. I can make better decisions. That’s stuff I’m going to work hard on whether it’s in the meeting room or practice field — specific little areas where I can get my footwork just a touch better in position to throw the ball or have better mechanics. Those are all things work on this time of year and I think they pay off during the season.

Q: Your personal quarterbacks coach Adam Dedeaux is here with you in South Florida for the second straight year. How is that helping you?

Ryan: I get a chance to work with him a number of times throughout the offseason. We talk all the time about finding specific little things each day to focus in on. Don’t worry about everything else — just try to get a little better at this thing this day. That narrow focus really helps me prepare and work on things that are actually going to help me improve.

Q: How confident are you in the “Brotherhood” and 2017 Falcons coming back?

Ryan: Very confident. I think this is the start of it. The more time we can spend together, the tighter we can get and the better we’ll be.

That showed how he played last year, how guys worked hard and played hard for each other. I think that will show again this year.

http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/matt-ryan-camp-falcons-2017-offseason-schedule-workouts-otas-training-minicamp/uqcdx5sl7un819gycvhzbhhbz

 

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Q: Shanahan has become the scapegoat for so much of the loss because of his fourth-quarter play-calling (Note: Ryan rolled his eyes when reminded). What can you tell people about that?

Ryan: He did a great job. He did a great job for us last year. He put us in a lot of really good positions. That’s what happens. When you don’t get the results you want people are going to point fingers. But that’s not the case in our locker room or building. We’re all in this thing together.

He is such a class act, I love this man so much!  This man needs a ring before he retires and I think we are building the complete team to do so.

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22 minutes ago, athell said:

He is such a class act, I love this man so much!  This man needs a ring before he retires and I think we are building the complete team to do so.

I've GOT to find a way to let go of the fact that we basically already had that ring in hand and do what the team is doing, focus on what's ahead.

Because I agree with you. This is a team that can win it all.

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10 minutes ago, BCEagleATLFalcon said:

I've GOT to find a way to let go of the fact that we basically already had that ring in hand and do what the team is doing, focus on what's ahead.

Because I agree with you. This is a team that can win it all.

It's a tough one to let go...if you figure out how please let me know.  Part of me feels it won't go until we actually win one.

Plus, I think he will need at least one to get into the hall.

Anyway, excellent article Fantaye, it helps to know that football business is back in order and the boys are putting in work.

ratesforless and Vandy like this

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Q: (Falcons head coach) Dan Quinn told me he spoke to Golden State’s Steve Kerr among others looking for ways to try and help Atlanta players move on from the Super Bowl loss. Who have you spoken to about it?

Ryan: I’ve talked to Dan about it. Obviously, Dan has been reaching out to a lot of different people. I’ve talked to our guys about it. There are great examples throughout sport of teams that lost in a championship game or whatever and how they then responded. You look at Clemson in college football last year. You look at North Carolina in college basketball. You look at what the Warriors are doing this year after last year.

You move on. Such is life, right? Things happen. You move forward and try to be better than you were before.

 

Where all these people who said the North Carolina example was dumb? 

0 for 51 and Dukeduke211 like this

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Ryan is taking some heat from sports radio out here in Phoenix over an interview he did with 680 where he said there were plays he wasn't allowed to audible out of.  He qualified that by saying it was 'partly' due to personnel groupings, but what's left unsaid is that it was also partly due to some boneheaded OC work.  The radio guys lighting Ryan up are all former players who consider it an 'under the bus' move by Ryan, made tawdry by the fact that Shanahan is now gone.  I don't agree that Ryan took the low road - he would never do that deliberately.  But I definitely think we got a little insight into his true frame of mind.

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1 hour ago, athell said:

Q: Shanahan has become the scapegoat for so much of the loss because of his fourth-quarter play-calling (Note: Ryan rolled his eyes when reminded). What can you tell people about that?

Ryan: He did a great job. He did a great job for us last year. He put us in a lot of really good positions. That’s what happens. When you don’t get the results you want people are going to point fingers. But that’s not the case in our locker room or building. We’re all in this thing together.

He is such a class act, I love this man so much!  This man needs a ring before he retires and I think we are building the complete team to do so.

I think that he will retire with three rings.  

athell likes this

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7 minutes ago, etherdome said:

I think that he will retire with three rings.  

That may be a bit ambitious, but I am on board :)  That would vault him to elite status in history of NFL QBs

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43 minutes ago, JOEinPHX said:

Ryan is taking some heat from sports radio out here in Phoenix over an interview he did with 680 where he said there were plays he wasn't allowed to audible out of.  He qualified that by saying it was 'partly' due to personnel groupings, but what's left unsaid is that it was also partly due to some boneheaded OC work.  The radio guys lighting Ryan up are all former players who consider it an 'under the bus' move by Ryan, made tawdry by the fact that Shanahan is now gone.  I don't agree that Ryan took the low road - he would never do that deliberately.  But I definitely think we got a little insight into his true frame of mind.

If not allowed to audible, even more reason he should have called a time out to talk it through.

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2 hours ago, athell said:

He is such a class act, I love this man so much!  This man needs a ring before he retires and I think we are building the complete team to do so.

agreed that Matt needs a ring. it just pains me that he gets the blame for our play-off woes when I think the only bad play-off game he's had was against the Giants. even in the Super Bowl the only thing he did wrong was get sacked a few times. a Super Bowl puts Ryan in the HOF and he should retire in the top 10 statistically.

athell likes this

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2 hours ago, FentayeJones said:

NFL rules prohibit you from talking Xs and Os with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian until the offseason program begins...

Dem' smart NFL rules.  Makes complete sense [/purple]

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1 hour ago, athell said:

That may be a bit ambitious, but I am on board :)  That would vault him to elite status in history of NFL QBs

Three

athell likes this

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

If not allowed to audible, even more reason he should have called a time out to talk it through.

Calling a timeout is a true hindsight thought process to the situation. You and your OC just finushed as the #7 best scoring offense in the history of the NFL. It's so easy to say call a timeout after the result ended bad. 

Also keep in mind a timeout had to be used for a helmet technogy issue as well. 

gazoo likes this

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21 minutes ago, Monolith2001 said:

Dem' smart NFL rules.  Makes complete sense [/purple]

It's so teams cannot compel players to work during the off periods. The CBA doesn't allow teams to pressure them into extra work or discipline players who don't participate. That being said, it would be an unfair advantage if some OCs and players willingly collaborated.

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29 minutes ago, ATLFalcons11 said:

Calling a timeout is a true hindsight thought process to the situation. You and your OC just finushed as the #7 best scoring offense in the history of the NFL. It's so easy to say call a timeout after the result ended bad. 

Also keep in mind a timeout had to be used for a helmet technogy issue as well. 

Hindsite my azzz. I don't give a crapola about "historic" offense, it's just a sidebar now. Only hindsite is who would have thought they were going to be so stupid to ******* pass the ball with < 5 minutes in game and an 8 PT lead inside opponents 30 yard line. 

All you needed to do was run the ball and kick the FG. Who does that? You call a timeout and restore sanity. 

hindsite my azz...they lost their composure 

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15 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Hindsite my azzz. I don't give a crapola about "historic" offense, it's just a sidebar now. Only hindsite is who would have thought they were going to be so stupid to ******* pass the ball with < 5 minutes in game and an 8 PT lead inside opponents 30 yard line. 

All you needed to do was run the ball and kick the FG. Who does that? You call a timeout and restore sanity. 

hindsite my azz...they lost their composure 

I'm not saying running the ball doesn't make sense but it is hindsight to just say "Matt Ryan should've called a timeout." 

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29 minutes ago, ATLFalcons11 said:

I'm not saying running the ball doesn't make sense but it is hindsight to just say "Matt Ryan should've called a timeout." 

You don't think a Montana or Brady calls a timeout in that obvious run the ball and then kick a FG situation? You don't think MVP Matt had earned that same cred to do that too?

Look, I blame Quinn 10x more than Ryan and even more than Shanny.......but truth is we lost our composure out there, you could see it in so many other things as well. Bottom line....Somebody should have called a timeout and talked it over. 

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I'm just looking forward to the team as a whole (coaching, offense, defense & special teams) improving this year.

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3 hours ago, ATLFalcon36 said:

Love this team. It's unlike any team we've ever had. Please football god's keep the injury bug away.

We don't deserve this team, that's for sure. I love my team though. I have never felt this good about a Falcons team. 

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