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Thats My Quarterback Man (ESPN Article)


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Thinking about the future, as far as Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is concerned, is a waste of time.

Unless it's the next practice or the next game. A day ahead, a week ahead, he'll go there. But whether Ryan thinks he'll be back next season? Speculating is useless and does nothing but clutter his mind, so why bother?

"There will be time for that at some point, but we've got [nine] games to go," Ryan said. "We've got some good football teams that we've got to play, some really good defenses in front of me. I think that if I worry about what's going to happen in four months, five months from now as opposed to getting ready for the [opponent] this week, I'm not giving our team the best chance to win, and so I don't go there.

"I focus on what's in front of me, and I think that's one of the perks of being a veteran is that you've gone through a lot of different things in your career, and it hardens you and made you better for it. You've learned what works for you, and worrying about that kind of stuff doesn't work for me. Focusing on this week does, and that's what I'm going to continue to try and do."

"I love Atlanta. I want to be here," Matt Ryan said. "I want to be a part of this organization, but I don't worry about noise outside our building." Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

He might not spend time thinking about it, but Ryan's future is one of the biggest -- if not the biggest -- issues for the Falcons in the next six months. Once a new general manager and head coach are in place, their first decision will be whether to stick with the 35-year-old Ryan to try to squeeze a few more productive years out of the franchise's all-time leading passer -- or to move on.

It's not an easy decision, and for more reasons than Ryan's contract, which includes salary-cap figures of $40 million-plus and significant dead-money figures the next two seasons.

First, let's get this out of the way: Ryan might not be playing at the level he did in 2016 when he was the league's MVP, but he's pretty darn close. He leads the NFL in passing yards (2,181) and has thrown 12 touchdown passes to only three interceptions, and he's actually averaging more passing yards per game (311.6) than he did in 2016 (309).

Ryan has thrown for 709 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in the Falcons' past two games, including a season-high 371 yards and four TDs in their victory over Minnesota two weeks ago. That was Atlanta's only win this season, which is why the Falcons are searching for a new GM and head coach.

Despite that, Ryan is playing well enough to win games. The defense, however, isn't. The Falcons rank 31st in total defense and pass defense and have given up a league-high 19 touchdown passes, which is one of the main reasons the team is 1-6 heading into Thursday's game against the Carolina Panthers (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox).

"You could still win a bunch of games with Matt. He's not the problem in Atlanta," ESPN NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky said. "But you could also justify -- I think this is the case for a couple veteran quarterbacks -- you could justify them deciding, 'You know what? It’s time for us to move on and start anew,' and it has more to do with everyone else but the quarterback."

That's the case now, but it might be irrelevant to a new regime, and owner Arthur Blank said earlier this month that he was going to let the next GM and head coach decide whether Ryan stays. They may be leery about relying on a quarterback who will turn 36 in May, especially if things continue in the direction they're headed and the Falcons own a top-five draft pick. Per ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Falcons are currently fourth in the draft order.

That would put them in position to draft a quarterback. They wouldn’t be able to get Georgia native and Clemson star Trevor Lawrence unless they either traded up or somehow ended up with the No. 1 pick; there's significant competition, because there are 12 other teams with two or fewer victories, including the entire NFC East. But Ohio State's Justin Fields (another Georgia native) and North Dakota State's Trey Lance, among others, are certainly in play.

It's not out of the question Ryan could end up in a Brett Favre-Aaron Rodgers or Rodgers-Jordan Love situation. Or maybe even doing what Ryan Fitzpatrick did in Miami, holding on to the spot until a rookie is ready.

"It’s very simple for me: If they've got a top-five pick, they're more than likely moving on from Matt," Orlovsky said. "I would imagine the new head coach that they hire is going to want their quarterback, and there's going to be three coming out this year that are going to be really, really, really intriguing guys. If they have the seventh, eighth, ninth pick of the draft, I can see them going, 'OK, we’re going to keep Matt' and try to make a little bit more of a build-around-him, so to speak."

That could be a smart approach because Ryan shows no signs age is catching up to him. He's on pace for a career-high 4,985 yards, and he could tie Peyton Manning's NFL record for 10 consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons. That kind of consistency is remarkable, but also unsurprising if you've been around Ryan for a while.

"That's a given," teammate Julio Jones said. "As long as you're where you need to be for Matt, he's going to deliver the ball. That's our job, just to be open in the time of the play, and Matt delivers us the ball anywhere."

Here's the thing about moving on from Ryan and starting anew, if that's what the new regime were to decide: It's going to be very, very costly. Ryan and the Falcons agreed to a five-year, $150 million contract extension that included $100 million guaranteed. The contract runs through the 2023 season and includes salary-cap figures of $40.9 million and $41.7 million over the next two seasons. Those are the second-highest cap figures for quarterbacks in 2021 and 2022.

The dead money hits in 2021 are astronomical: $49.9 million if he's cut before June 1 and $23.4 million if he's cut after June 1; $44.4 million if he's traded before June 1 and $17.9 million if he's traded after June 1 (which would save the Falcons $23 million).

A trade this season, by the way, would be a little more economical, but ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last Saturday per sources that the Falcons will not trade Ryan or Jones before the Nov. 3 deadline.

So, essentially, Ryan is in limbo. He's playing well, but the team isn't winning and he has no idea who's going to be in charge next year -- or where he'll be taking snaps. That is why he's not spending any time thinking about 2021.

It would be, he said again, a waste of time.

"You know, I don't worry about that stuff," he said. "I don’t think about it. My job is to get dialed in for Thursday night. I've said it all along: I love Atlanta. I want to be here. I want to be a part of this organization, but I don’t worry about noise outside our building.

"I try and focus on week to week getting myself ready to go. I've said it. I want to be here, and hopefully that'll be the case."

 

https://www.espn.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/35787/matt-ryan-stays-in-present-as-change-swirls-around-falcons

 

Regardless of what the future brings, there is no doubt in my mind MR is the best QB this franchise has ever had. Its just a shame all 3 phases couldnt work together to bring home a championship...

Edited by DirtyBird2
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  • DirtyBird2 changed the title to Thats My Quarterback Man (ESPN Article)

I think Ryan is on the way out. He isn't the type that can take over a game. But, he's also one of the least of our problems in the short term.

We have so many other holes to work on first, IMO. If something like the #1 or #2 pick lands in our lap, then sure, but otherwise we can get bigger bang for our buck with more pressing needs.

Speaking of needs, we seem to have regressed to the Smith era, when we had such glaring holes that we had to go for need based picks and hope what we had could fill the short term gaps.

It will be an interesting ride. I just hope we get a front office that can turn things around quicker than 3-6 years. You see it happening all around the league (i.e. TB, SF). Why can't we do the quick turn around?

 

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At this point, I think it's more likely that we move on from Julio than Matt. The finances don't really work for Matt for a few years and, if we end up drafting a quarterback, we could do a LOT worse than having a still-productive upper-echelon passer taking the snaps and teaching the rookie. People talk about Ryan not being able to take over a game. My thought is, we shouldn't NEED him to do that. If we could play even competent defense, the production he's giving the team would be more than enough. 

Meanwhile, Ridley is showing he's got the chops, Russell Gage is showing promise as a solid slot man, Ryan and Hurst are building chemistry, and there are always receivers available in the draft. We'll never replace Julio Jones - you don't replace a player like that. But we'd be okay if we can elevate the defense to where we don't need to score 40 to win a game against a sub-.500 team.

All that aside, if the finances could somehow work out to where it wouldn't cripple us and we could get good draft capital, I'd certainly listen to offers for Ryan. He could do well in San Fran, New England, or Indy for sure.

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6 minutes ago, celtiksage said:

I think Ryan is on the way out. He isn't the type that can take over a game. But, he's also one of the least of our problems in the short term.

We have so many other holes to work on first, IMO. If something like the #1 or #2 pick lands in our lap, then sure, but otherwise we can get bigger bang for our buck with more pressing needs.

Speaking of needs, we seem to have regressed to the Smith era, when we had such glaring holes that we had to go for need based picks and hope what we had could fill the short term gaps.

It will be an interesting ride. I just hope we get a front office that can turn things around quicker than 3-6 years. You see it happening all around the league (i.e. TB, SF). Why can't we do the quick turn around?

 

All comes down to $$$, there isnt enough money to fill the gaps with vets or experienced players. This team certainly has the talent to win which is why im against blowing it up. I think Ryan is here for at least another 2 years while  the new HC/GM will get lengthy deals to give them time to rebuild. 

This gives the franchise a chance at winning while still rebuilding. Ryan has proven he can still win games, and while he may not be a game changer he can make the right plays to put the team in position to win. Get some coaches in here that can get the best out of what we have and start drafting for the future. 

 

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7 minutes ago, DirtyBird2 said:

All comes down to $$$, there isnt enough money to fill the gaps with vets or experienced players. This team certainly has the talent to win which is why im against blowing it up. I think Ryan is here for at least another 2 years while  the new HC/GM will get lengthy deals to give them time to rebuild. 

This gives the franchise a chance at winning while still rebuilding. Ryan has proven he can still win games, and while he may not be a game changer he can make the right plays to put the team in position to win. Get some coaches in here that can get the best out of what we have and start drafting for the future. 

 

This for sure... 

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9 minutes ago, DirtyBird2 said:

All comes down to $$$, there isnt enough money to fill the gaps with vets or experienced players. This team certainly has the talent to win which is why im against blowing it up. I think Ryan is here for at least another 2 years while  the new HC/GM will get lengthy deals to give them time to rebuild. 

This gives the franchise a chance at winning while still rebuilding. Ryan has proven he can still win games, and while he may not be a game changer he can make the right plays to put the team in position to win. Get some coaches in here that can get the best out of what we have and start drafting for the future. 

 

Totally agree with this.

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36 minutes ago, direwolf said:

At this point, I think it's more likely that we move on from Julio than Matt. The finances don't really work for Matt for a few years and, if we end up drafting a quarterback, we could do a LOT worse than having a still-productive upper-echelon passer taking the snaps and teaching the rookie. People talk about Ryan not being able to take over a game. My thought is, we shouldn't NEED him to do that. If we could play even competent defense, the production he's giving the team would be more than enough. 

Meanwhile, Ridley is showing he's got the chops, Russell Gage is showing promise as a solid slot man, Ryan and Hurst are building chemistry, and there are always receivers available in the draft. We'll never replace Julio Jones - you don't replace a player like that. But we'd be okay if we can elevate the defense to where we don't need to score 40 to win a game against a sub-.500 team.

All that aside, if the finances could somehow work out to where it wouldn't cripple us and we could get good draft capital, I'd certainly listen to offers for Ryan. He could do well in San Fran, New England, or Indy for sure.

I have followed the Falcons for decades.... Ryan is indeed a great QB.   No one can say Ryan is the reason this team is losing.   In fact Ryan is so good, he extended Dimitroff and Quinn's careers.  Especially Dimitroff's.

Like me, you appear to be a bit torn as to the best course of action concerning Ryan.  We all want Ryan, and Julio and Mack and Gurley, to win a Super Bowl, here.   If that doesn't appear to be possible....then sure these guys need to be able to move on.    They deserve to win -somewhere-.

Something to think about.... Dan Reeves and Dan Quinn took the Falcons the the Super Bowl in thier second years as HC (does that mean we need to hire an HC with the first name, 'Dan'...?).    With the way the NFL is right now, with the cap changing so much so fast...... throw in the pizz-poor coaching we have as opposed to what we -should- have... I think the Falcons still have a chance.  (Not this year, no...)

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1 hour ago, celtiksage said:

I think Ryan is on the way out. He isn't the type that can take over a game. But, he's also one of the least of our problems in the short term.

We have so many other holes to work on first, IMO. If something like the #1 or #2 pick lands in our lap, then sure, but otherwise we can get bigger bang for our buck with more pressing needs.

Speaking of needs, we seem to have regressed to the Smith era, when we had such glaring holes that we had to go for need based picks and hope what we had could fill the short term gaps.

It will be an interesting ride. I just hope we get a front office that can turn things around quicker than 3-6 years. You see it happening all around the league (i.e. TB, SF). Why can't we do the quick turn around?

 

Actually Mike Smith coaching this team, with Mike Mularkey as OC, would look -very- good right now......

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I agree that we could do a lot worse than Ryan at this moment.  Although I am not in love with his decision making and he can't take control of a deficit.  He can still drop a dot at will.  It's 2020 and we're going nowhere until the one day...

 

But if you're Matt Ryan, what do you think is in his head for the future?  He's not a rookie, he's not a fool, right?  So do you think Ryan sees riding out his career in ATL declining steadily from 7-9 until he injured or cut or his contract ends?  Or is he thinking there might be a shot at a ring somewhere else?  The delta between teams isn't really that big in the league.  Not expecting anything this week but would not be stunned if there was a deal off season.

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We will most likely move on from Ryan 2021. If we take a QB high, expect them to possibly sit behind Ryan a year unless he absolutely craps the bed in 2021. New FO will want to build around “their guys.” Expect players like Neal, Takk (if not traded), Allen, Mack, possibly Ryan and even Julio to not be a part of the picture moving forward. 

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I wonder if a new GM comes in has a look at our offense and thinks hey I think we are actually quite good here maybe a RB shy.

Then goes hmmmmm let’s see edge and pass coverage hmmmm let’s load up the whole draft trying to fix this area by using all our draft capital fixing that.Wheather it’s moving up in multiple rounds dependent on where we finish or up down or stick if our guy falls to us.

GM 100 % needs to find a seasoned DC and thee best one we can find.

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3 hours ago, egoprime II said:

I have followed the Falcons for decades.... Ryan is indeed a great QB.   No one can say Ryan is the reason this team is losing.   In fact Ryan is so good, he extended Dimitroff and Quinn's careers.  Especially Dimitroff's.

Like me, you appear to be a bit torn as to the best course of action concerning Ryan.  We all want Ryan, and Julio and Mack and Gurley, to win a Super Bowl, here.   If that doesn't appear to be possible....then sure these guys need to be able to move on.    They deserve to win -somewhere-.

Something to think about.... Dan Reeves and Dan Quinn took the Falcons the the Super Bowl in thier second years as HC (does that mean we need to hire an HC with the first name, 'Dan'...?).    With the way the NFL is right now, with the cap changing so much so fast...... throw in the pizz-poor coaching we have as opposed to what we -should- have... I think the Falcons still have a chance.  (Not this year, no...)

Dan Orlovsky for HC 2021? And I agree that really just need a good HC rather than a full on tear-down. A good HC would be the difference with us being 1-6 right now and being what we really should be at 5-2. 

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5 hours ago, celtiksage said:

I think Ryan is on the way out. He isn't the type that can take over a game. But, he's also one of the least of our problems in the short term.

We have so many other holes to work on first, IMO. If something like the #1 or #2 pick lands in our lap, then sure, but otherwise we can get bigger bang for our buck with more pressing needs.

Speaking of needs, we seem to have regressed to the Smith era, when we had such glaring holes that we had to go for need based picks and hope what we had could fill the short term gaps.

It will be an interesting ride. I just hope we get a front office that can turn things around quicker than 3-6 years. You see it happening all around the league (i.e. TB, SF). Why can't we do the quick turn around?

 

giphy.gif

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6 hours ago, egoprime II said:

I have followed the Falcons for decades.... Ryan is indeed a great QB.   No one can say Ryan is the reason this team is losing.   In fact Ryan is so good, he extended Dimitroff and Quinn's careers.  Especially Dimitroff's.

Like me, you appear to be a bit torn as to the best course of action concerning Ryan.  We all want Ryan, and Julio and Mack and Gurley, to win a Super Bowl, here.   If that doesn't appear to be possible....then sure these guys need to be able to move on.    They deserve to win -somewhere-.

Something to think about.... Dan Reeves and Dan Quinn took the Falcons the the Super Bowl in thier second years as HC (does that mean we need to hire an HC with the first name, 'Dan'...?).    With the way the NFL is right now, with the cap changing so much so fast...... throw in the pizz-poor coaching we have as opposed to what we -should- have... I think the Falcons still have a chance.  (Not this year, no...)

He’s not why we’re losing but he’s not elevating us to wins and that’s the problem

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3 hours ago, Atlantafan21 said:

Dan Orlovsky for HC 2021? And I agree that really just need a good HC rather than a full on tear-down. A good HC would be the difference with us being 1-6 right now and being what we really should be at 5-2. 

The truth of this statement cannot be denied.   Some would say, "If this is true then why was Dimitroff fired?"   I say:  TD was fired not because of the team he built, but because of the team he -didn't- build.   His drafting and FA signings the last four years has failed to build a good defense.   

In DQ's first season, coaching cost us at least three wins.  Then the Super Bowl.   Then the Philly playoff loss.   It just goes on and on.   Hanging over it all: no defense, no pass rush, no run game and horrible in-game coaching decisions.

Any coach or GM Blank brings in should be able to see this   The goal should be to win, not win-with-my-guy.

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25 minutes ago, JetJones11 said:

He’s not why we’re losing but he’s not elevating us to wins and that’s the problem

Its hard for your QB to elevate your team to wins when he is constantly being smacked around all the time.  Plus the total lack of defense and a subpar run game forces the Falcons to be one-dimensional.

Bottom line:  the passing game is the one part of this team that actually -works-.   This team needs more effective run plays and better D especially in the pass rush department.  Not to mention competent coaching.

Fortunately, improving the coaching should not be hard to do.........

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5 hours ago, D.B.N. said:

We will most likely move on from Ryan 2021. If we take a QB high, expect them to possibly sit behind Ryan a year unless he absolutely craps the bed in 2021. New FO will want to build around “their guys.” Expect players like Neal, Takk (if not traded), Allen, Mack, possibly Ryan and even Julio to not be a part of the picture moving forward. 

This is exactly the type of mentality that has gotten this team to where it currently is.   TD and DQ stubbornly stuck with 'thier guys' and thier ways even when it was obvious 'thier guys' and ways were not getting it done. 

I know what you are saying.   I have seen tons of coaching changes.  By the time a new HC or GM gets a team full of 'thier' players?  They've lost so many games in the meantime that they get fired.

Number one priority should be to:  -win- .  Period.  Any new GM or HC who feels like they cannot do that with Ryan should be immediately disqualified.  

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43 minutes ago, egoprime II said:

Its hard for your QB to elevate your team to wins when he is constantly being smacked around all the time.  Plus the total lack of defense and a subpar run game forces the Falcons to be one-dimensional.

Bottom line:  the passing game is the one part of this team that actually -works-.   This team needs more effective run plays and better D especially in the pass rush department.  Not to mention competent coaching.

Fortunately, improving the coaching should not be hard to do.........

Russell Wilson’s defense is just as bad as ours and they still win Russ elevates them to wins over and over with his playmaking also they barely have a run game too

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5 hours ago, JetJones11 said:

Russell Wilson’s defense is just as bad as ours and they still win Russ elevates them to wins over and over with his playmaking also they barely have a run game too

I haven't looked at the Seahawks.... but there is one thing I do know about them.  They have better coaching.   Much....much....much better coaching.  That makes a huge difference.

When the Falcons had better coaching in the form of Mike Smith?  The Falcons won.  Ryan was almost unbeatable in home games.  Our record against the AFC was in the 700 percentile.   And Ryan led the Falcons to several come-from-behind wins in the 4th quarter.

The wheels came off in 2013 when the Falcons became almost entirely 'the team Dimitroff built'.   But Ryan hasn't changed, in fact.... he's gotten better.

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32 minutes ago, egoprime II said:

I haven't looked at the Seahawks.... but there is one thing I do know about them.  They have better coaching.   Much....much....much better coaching.  That makes a huge difference.

When the Falcons had better coaching in the form of Mike Smith?  The Falcons won.  Ryan was almost unbeatable in home games.  Our record against the AFC was in the 700 percentile.   And Ryan led the Falcons to several come-from-behind wins in the 4th quarter.

The wheels came off in 2013 when the Falcons became almost entirely 'the team Dimitroff built'.   But Ryan hasn't changed, in fact.... he's gotten better.

Oh god we’re THAT team

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5 hours ago, JetJones11 said:

Russell Wilson’s defense is just as bad as ours and they still win Russ elevates them to wins over and over with his playmaking also they barely have a run game too

He also has what we all want. A half-decent coaching staff. This staff has lost 3 games this season at minimum.

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