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Matt Ryan on his future with the Falcons, Julio Jones and the noise of the offseason - The Athletic


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by Tori McElhaney

 

Matt Ryan said it’s harder than ever to avoid the noise. And this offseason, there’s been a lot of noise.

From a new front office and coaching staff to an uncertain lead-up to the NFL Draft, Ryan’s future with the Falcons has been called into question time and time again. Many believed Atlanta would use its premium draft position — the No. 4 pick — to draft Ryan’s successor from a quarterback-heavy class. But Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith instead chose to add another offensive weapon for Ryan in tight end Kyle Pitts.

For the first time this offseason, Ryan spoke to local media at length about everything that has — and has not — transpired over the last few months. From a new scheme to the draft and, finally, to the future of Julio Jones, here’s what Ryan had to say about it all.

The draft

Ryan watched the draft like the rest of us: not knowing exactly what the Falcons would do with the No. 4 pick until Pitts’ name was announced.

Before the draft, Ryan said his conversations with Fontenot and Smith about the direction of the organization were limited.

“Their job as GM and head coach is to find the guys they feel are going to best help us win games. That’s exactly what they said,” Ryan said. “I had the belief that I am that person that is going to help us win a lot of games. But no, not much more than that.”

For Ryan, he was, of course, excited to see Pitts drafted, saying he saw the potential he has and the production he had and said to himself, “Man, I would love to play with a guy like that.”

Choosing Pitts at No. 4 also did something else for Ryan: it lowered the volume of the noise about his future.

He understands that discussion is a part of the business. He knows it’s magnified at the quarterback position, “because everything does.” But it’s really nothing new, and that’s how he tried to look at it over the last few months before the draft.

“This happens to guys every year, every week in our league,” Ryan said. “People are brought in to try to replace you that are cheaper, that are younger. It’s your responsibility as a player to try to not (let) that happen. I don’t know what I would have done (had the Falcons drafted a quarterback). Maybe that will happen at some point in the future, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

And Ryan still believes he has a lot to give after his 36th birthday Monday.

“In one respect, you understand that if you play well for long enough these are the conversations that are going to come up,” Ryan said. “I understand that I am not going to play forever, but I have the mindset that I am still playing really well, and have a lot of good football in front of me.”

While he still is in the process of proving himself and earning the respect of those newly in command, he believes he is fortunate that the coaches and front office decision-makers have a body of work to study with him.

“But I still have to do that every day,” he said.

The scheme

Proving it will have to involve a new scheme, formations and concepts, though. And Ryan noted while they’re still early in the process of putting everything together, he has been working hard to come to OTAs ready to lead.

“Transition requires a lot of effort, and a lot of work to learn the new system to make sure you’re as comfortable as you possibly can be with the terminology and what they expect from you,” Ryan said. “There’s always differences, nuances between different schemes and how certain coaches like certain things. I’ve been working really hard to try to get on the same page as them.”

Ryan knew of Smith through the professional grapevine, saying Smith came highly recommended to him by a lot of people he trusts. Ryan said Smith has brought the accountability that he spoke of in his introductory news conference in January.

In video meetings, Smith keeps guys on their toes, firing off questions as he goes and making sure everyone is on top of what’s being installed that day. His inherited quarterback said Smith has “certainly” made that accountability “felt from the beginning.”

These early meetings are important, too, as there’s quite a bit to go over.

For Ryan, he’s played in several systems and notes Smith’s is a combination of a couple of them. He said he goes back and sees formations that “are really similar to West Coast formations,” which he is comfortable in having played in them for many years. He said protections and concepts are similar but have different names. So, terminology, word associations and making sure “you’re speaking the right language” is what he’s been working on recently.

But there’s still much work to be done with the installation.

“We’re really at the beginning of this,” Ryan said. “We are working on making sure we are getting lined up in our formations. We are making sure that we understand what routes we have on certain concepts. … We have a long way to go.”

The future

Jones’ future in Atlanta was bound to come up, and it did. In his answers, Ryan was respectfully noncommittal.

When asked what a Falcons offense would look like with Jones, Pitts and Calvin Ridley, Ryan said they are still in the beginning stages of installing formations.

When later asked what a Falcons offensive would look like without Jones, Ryan said he didn’t know because Jones has been such a cornerstone Atlanta’s offense for so long.

“I don’t know,” Ryan said. “It’s a hypothetical and I don’t really want to go down that road because it’s not really my business. But he’s been such a great player. He’s been a **** of a teammate. I love him. We’ll see how things shake out.”

This was Ryan already doubling down, too, having said earlier in the news conference that he’s Jones’ teammate and doesn’t get involved in those decisions. He said you let “the other side” shake it out. Regardless of how it actually does shake out, though, Ryan made it clear what he thinks — and will always think — of Jones.

“He’s probably impacted my career more significantly than any other player,” Ryan said.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Goober Pyle said:

by Tori McElhaney

 

Matt Ryan said it’s harder than ever to avoid the noise. And this offseason, there’s been a lot of noise.

From a new front office and coaching staff to an uncertain lead-up to the NFL Draft, Ryan’s future with the Falcons has been called into question time and time again. Many believed Atlanta would use its premium draft position — the No. 4 pick — to draft Ryan’s successor from a quarterback-heavy class. But Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith instead chose to add another offensive weapon for Ryan in tight end Kyle Pitts.

For the first time this offseason, Ryan spoke to local media at length about everything that has — and has not — transpired over the last few months. From a new scheme to the draft and, finally, to the future of Julio Jones, here’s what Ryan had to say about it all.

The draft

Ryan watched the draft like the rest of us: not knowing exactly what the Falcons would do with the No. 4 pick until Pitts’ name was announced.

Before the draft, Ryan said his conversations with Fontenot and Smith about the direction of the organization were limited.

“Their job as GM and head coach is to find the guys they feel are going to best help us win games. That’s exactly what they said,” Ryan said. “I had the belief that I am that person that is going to help us win a lot of games. But no, not much more than that.”

For Ryan, he was, of course, excited to see Pitts drafted, saying he saw the potential he has and the production he had and said to himself, “Man, I would love to play with a guy like that.”

Choosing Pitts at No. 4 also did something else for Ryan: it lowered the volume of the noise about his future.

He understands that discussion is a part of the business. He knows it’s magnified at the quarterback position, “because everything does.” But it’s really nothing new, and that’s how he tried to look at it over the last few months before the draft.

“This happens to guys every year, every week in our league,” Ryan said. “People are brought in to try to replace you that are cheaper, that are younger. It’s your responsibility as a player to try to not (let) that happen. I don’t know what I would have done (had the Falcons drafted a quarterback). Maybe that will happen at some point in the future, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

And Ryan still believes he has a lot to give after his 36th birthday Monday.

“In one respect, you understand that if you play well for long enough these are the conversations that are going to come up,” Ryan said. “I understand that I am not going to play forever, but I have the mindset that I am still playing really well, and have a lot of good football in front of me.”

While he still is in the process of proving himself and earning the respect of those newly in command, he believes he is fortunate that the coaches and front office decision-makers have a body of work to study with him.

“But I still have to do that every day,” he said.

The scheme

Proving it will have to involve a new scheme, formations and concepts, though. And Ryan noted while they’re still early in the process of putting everything together, he has been working hard to come to OTAs ready to lead.

“Transition requires a lot of effort, and a lot of work to learn the new system to make sure you’re as comfortable as you possibly can be with the terminology and what they expect from you,” Ryan said. “There’s always differences, nuances between different schemes and how certain coaches like certain things. I’ve been working really hard to try to get on the same page as them.”

Ryan knew of Smith through the professional grapevine, saying Smith came highly recommended to him by a lot of people he trusts. Ryan said Smith has brought the accountability that he spoke of in his introductory news conference in January.

In video meetings, Smith keeps guys on their toes, firing off questions as he goes and making sure everyone is on top of what’s being installed that day. His inherited quarterback said Smith has “certainly” made that accountability “felt from the beginning.”

These early meetings are important, too, as there’s quite a bit to go over.

For Ryan, he’s played in several systems and notes Smith’s is a combination of a couple of them. He said he goes back and sees formations that “are really similar to West Coast formations,” which he is comfortable in having played in them for many years. He said protections and concepts are similar but have different names. So, terminology, word associations and making sure “you’re speaking the right language” is what he’s been working on recently.

But there’s still much work to be done with the installation.

“We’re really at the beginning of this,” Ryan said. “We are working on making sure we are getting lined up in our formations. We are making sure that we understand what routes we have on certain concepts. … We have a long way to go.”

The future

Jones’ future in Atlanta was bound to come up, and it did. In his answers, Ryan was respectfully noncommittal.

When asked what a Falcons offense would look like with Jones, Pitts and Calvin Ridley, Ryan said they are still in the beginning stages of installing formations.

When later asked what a Falcons offensive would look like without Jones, Ryan said he didn’t know because Jones has been such a cornerstone Atlanta’s offense for so long.

“I don’t know,” Ryan said. “It’s a hypothetical and I don’t really want to go down that road because it’s not really my business. But he’s been such a great player. He’s been a **** of a teammate. I love him. We’ll see how things shake out.”

This was Ryan already doubling down, too, having said earlier in the news conference that he’s Jones’ teammate and doesn’t get involved in those decisions. He said you let “the other side” shake it out. Regardless of how it actually does shake out, though, Ryan made it clear what he thinks — and will always think — of Jones.

“He’s probably impacted my career more significantly than any other player,” Ryan said.

 

 

I think best part of interview was Steve Wyche asking about QB like Rodgers and Wilson being vocal about their concerns. He said, it’s good if they want to speak up. Ryan did say the Falcons have always listened to him under different regimes.

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Posted (edited)

He is a pro.  

Whatever your thoughts on any player or team I think some of the noise is OK, it's part of their job, they're entertainers as much as they are athletes.  That may be uncool to say it, but it's true.  The NFL is an entertainment business through and through.  And I don't disagree with that because that is what attracts fans and fills seats and books ads and everything else needed to pay the athletes and staff.  You could argue that a 19 year old kid in college shouldn't be hazed in a presser every week.  But it's part of his job.  I get that on some level it's stupid and unproductive to subject team captains to a media beatdown or mind-numbing repetitive questioning.  But I also get that it's part of the broader appeal for the league.  All this turns into hype.  

And FWIW I think he does that job very well.  He is really good in front of the media.  

Edited by Killing Floor
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26 minutes ago, falconfanEST1989 said:

It is your business Matt.... take a pay cut like Brady did so he can stay!!!

Smdh I swear when will it stop...

 

Brady *did not take a pay cut* he got paid under the table via his foundations and other means. This is practically common knowledge. 

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36 minutes ago, falconfanEST1989 said:

It is your business Matt.... take a pay cut like Brady did so he can stay!!!

 

3 hours ago, Drunken Minotaur Zebra said:

It's a shame that Ryan and Julio have to put up with this BS from the national media and our own dim-witted fans.

Gottem

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Drunken Minotaur Zebra said:

Smdh I swear when will it stop...

 

Brady *did not take a pay cut* he got paid under the table via his foundations and other means. This is practically common knowledge. 

NO! You think a squeaky clean organization like the Patriots would do something like that???????

 

Lol

Edited by ATLskinjob
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3 hours ago, Drunken Minotaur Zebra said:

It's a shame that Ryan and Julio have to put up with this BS from the national media and our own dim-witted fans.

 

Hopefully once June 1st gets here we can put this to bed for at least one season. 

 

Sadly Ryan is gonna have to continously hear it unless he ends his career similar to John Elway.

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6 minutes ago, RoddyWhite84 said:

He's going to have to win one and even then he won't get the respect he deserves even though he's putting up hof numbers 

 

He'll probably still be slighted by some, but would get more respect.

 

Drew Brees would be known as nothing more than a really good QB who padded stats on a legendary level if he had not won a SB with the Saints. The media is weird like that and many sheep fans follow their lead.

 

Winning a SB would do wonders for Ryan and the Falcons franchise.

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56 minutes ago, DonOfThemBirds said:

 

He'll probably still be slighted by some, but would get more respect.

 

Drew Brees would be known as nothing more than a really good QB who padded stats on a legendary level if he had not won a SB with the Saints. The media is weird like that and many sheep fans follow their lead.

 

Winning a SB would do wonders for Ryan and the Falcons franchise.

Yeah but it will be because of his weapons. 

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Ryan's always been a stand up guy, hopefully since he's familiar with some of the schemes we won't have to wait 2 years for the offense to click. The Falcons want to keep Julio and I hope they do. The Aints always managed to wiggle their slimy *** under the cap TF need to work some of that magic and find a way to make it happen. 

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15 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

Yeah but it will be because of his weapons. 

 

 

They may say that at first if he wins a SB, especially Saints fans. It'll die down and Ryan will get his due 5 years after retirement when getting inducted into Canton because a ring will make him a 1st ballot HOFer without question.

 

No one talks about all the talent Peyton Manning had with the Colts or Broncos. Brees had his share of talent as well.

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1 hour ago, Drunken Minotaur Zebra said:

Smdh I swear when will it stop...

 

Brady *did not take a pay cut* he got paid under the table via his foundations and other means. This is practically common knowledge. 

And his so called pay cut, left him still making around the same as what Matt was making at the time. 

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6 minutes ago, B_Lo_Touchdowns said:

Ryan's always been a stand up guy, hopefully since he's familiar with some of the schemes we won't have to wait 2 years for the offense to click. The Falcons want to keep Julio and I hope they do. The Aints always managed to wiggle their slimy *** under the cap TF need to work some of that magic and find a way to make it happen. 

 

I wonder will Arthur Smith stick with the no huddle uptempo offense during games when it's working and opponents are on their heels unlike under Mike Smith and Dan Quinn's tenures?

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33 minutes ago, DonOfThemBirds said:

 

 

They may say that at first if he wins a SB, especially Saints fans. It'll die down and Ryan will get his due 5 years after retirement when getting inducted into Canton because a ring will make him a 1st ballot HOFer without question.

 

No one talks about all the talent Peyton Manning had with the Colts or Broncos. Brees had his share of talent as well.

The media narrative is strong with Ryan. It always has been. He may get in to HOF with ring but there will be part of media which won’t give him credit.

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29 minutes ago, DonOfThemBirds said:

 

I wonder will Arthur Smith stick with the no huddle uptempo offense during games when it's working and opponents are on their heels unlike under Mike Smith and Dan Quinn's tenures?

Arthur Smith was very very conservative in TN. Not sure if it was more Vrabel or AS. 

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39 minutes ago, DonOfThemBirds said:

 

I wonder will Arthur Smith stick with the no huddle uptempo offense during games when it's working and opponents are on their heels unlike under Mike Smith and Dan Quinn's tenures?

He ran it in Tennessee so I don't see why not. IMO Matt is at his best in NH, if we let Matt operate the way the Colts did with Manning we'd have 2 maybe 3 rings already 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Drunken Minotaur Zebra said:

Smdh I swear when will it stop...

 

Brady *did not take a pay cut* he got paid under the table via his foundations and other means. This is practically common knowledge. 

When fans like this become thinking and intelligent people.  It will happen when they learn to examine all aspects of an issue before forming an opinion.  It will happen when they learn to think before publishing a hasty and unfounded opinion.  It is going to happen when they mature enough to want an intelligent discussion with varying viewpoints versus acting like screaming toddlers whose only objective is to get attention. 

Generally, by the time a person is in their mid-twenties, if they have not shown signs of maturing, they will live their entire lives in adult bodies thinking like a child.  It is happening more and more as children are not disciplined, not taught, and the erroneous promise of a life where things are given to them as they need them by a cruel government who intends to take more and more.  My parents taught me to never get near a strange adult promising candy.  They knew what the outcome of that would be.  Children no longer understand.

It will not stop.

Edited by NorthGaBoy
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