In an exclusive interview with Heavy on behalf of TravisMathew, a lifestyle and golf apparel brand inspired by the vibes of the California coast, the 14-year veteran discussed what the Falcons must do for a chance at victory, as well as his love of golf.
“He’s consistent day in and day out,” Ryan told Heavy of Smith’s handling of back-to-back losses. “And guys know what to expect from him. I think he’s got a vision for where he wants this to go. And he’s working at it day in and day out to try and get it going. And I think we made strides. I really do.”
ALL the latest Falcons news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Falcons newsletter here!
Ryan on Falcons’ Key Focus to Victory
At one point during the second half of Week 2, the Falcons gained some momentum and had a chance to take the lead while the score was 28-25, but the offense got stuffed deep near the goal line, forcing them to punt.
Ryan made it clear that making those red-zone plays are big keys to victory but staying efficient on first and second downs to put themselves in a better scoring position is even more important.
“Number one, it’s about scoring touchdowns in the red zone,” Ryan told Heavy. “I think we did a good job of that against the Bucs. We’d like to get down there a little bit more, but we did a good job of when we were down there, coming away with touchdowns. Another thing we really got to improve on is our short-yardage efficiency. We had two third and ones and a fourth one in the game against the Bucs. We didn’t convert on any of them.
“It’s going to be important for us when we give ourselves really good third-down opportunities, like third and one that we convert, stay on the field, and keep drives going.”
During the two drives that ended in touchdowns against the Bucs, the Falcons went three for four on third-down conversions, plus a fourth-down conversion to Calvin Ridley for a score.
Despite a rough start to the season, Ryan remains optimistic about what this young group of guys can do moving forward. And for what it’s worth, the Falcons certainly saw some improvement along the offensive line as Ryan was sacked just once in comparison to Week 1’s three sacks brought on by the Eagles.
“I think from week one to week two, we improved, we did some things better. And I think we can really make a big jump from week two to week three. And as long as the guys are continuing to buy in, and believe in that mindset of daily growth and improvement––we’re going to be just fine moving forward.”
Ryan on His Love for Golf & the TravisMathew Brand
Like football and winning, Ryan’s love for the game of golf runs deep, hence his partnership with TravisMathew.
“It came about because I’ve been friends with some of the folks from TravisMathew for a long time,” Ryan told Heavy. “And I was at a point in my life where, you know, my lifestyle and their brand kind of fit, I love to play golf. I’m very casual. Love being by the beach and by the ocean. It just made sense. I’m looking forward to partnering with them for a long time.”
As any golfer knows, there are endless golf brands out there. But what makes this one so much better?
“I love their brand,” Ryan elaborated, “because you can wear it to the golf course. And then when the round is over, you can head out for dinner in the same clothes, or you can head to the beach.”
Ryan said he really got “bit by the golf bug” in 2008 when the TravisMathew brand first came onto the scene.
“I’ve kind of been addicted since 2008––when I got here to Atlanta and had all this free time during the NFL offseason.”
Of course, Ryan’s just as competitive on the golf course as he is on the football field.
“That part of my personality never really goes away,” he said.