“When you start over at a place…there are obviously guys here that have been very successful that we’re excited to work with, but there’s a lot of different factors when you’re going in and each job is different where you’re at”, Smith explained. “Obviously, Matt Ryan has been here and he’s had a lot of success as Julio Jones has and a lot of other players that have been here for a while. But you just have to take everything into consideration and know there’s going to be changes as we go through the spring with Terry and even in the summer.
” [[Matt has]] the same future as every other player on this team. We’re going to evaluate everything. We’re excited about working with Matt, but I can’t predict the future, Rich.”
Due to his contract breakdown and Atlanta’s messy salary cap, the Falcons are, most likely, stuck with Ryan for another year. This means Smith will be forced to work around Ryan’s talents and he’s confident that he can find success.
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Smith Believes Ryan Can Work In His “System”
Smith is known league-wide for the turnaround of quarterback Ryan Tannehill around at Tennessee over the past two years, but Eisen takes note that Tannehill was very dynamic between running and throwing and that’s not Ryan’s style.
“We’re going to adapt to the strength of the player and we’ll break out some speed option with Matt…he certainly did it in high school”, Smith said. But, there’s a lot of things, and being serious, taking this job it’s not like we’re bringing Derrick Henry with us either. You gotta adapt to who ya got.”
High school was a long time ago, Smith. Ryan will turn 36 before the start of the season and isn’t the young buck on the ground he once used to be. Though, he did rush for his longest (13-yards) touchdown in the middle of the season since Week 15 in 2018. Woohoo!
MATTY ICE. 🔥 #RiseUpATL
— NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2020
While Ryan is definitely not known for his scrambling ability, he is known for his passing ability as he became the fastest player to reach the 40,000 passing yards mark.
Ryan Wants to Stay In Atlanta
With the Falcons struggling to win all season, rumors emerged that the Falcons would be trading Ryan before the November 3rd trade deadline.
Ryan addressed the rumors and his strong desire to stay in Atlanta.
“I’ve said it all along. I love Atlanta,” Ryan said via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I want to be here. I want to be a part of this organization. I don’t worry about the noise outside our building. I try to focus on week to week getting myself ready to go. I’ve said it, I want to be here, and hopefully, that will be the case.”
Getting “stuck” with Ryan at quarterback will be the least of the Falcons’ worry this year. Atlanta will have the chance to draft a talented rookie quarterback from this year’s draft class, but where they really need to hone in on, is looking for an upgrade at running back similar to the Titans’ Derrick Henry.