Insider: Matt Ryan Had ‘Difficult Conversations’ With Colts

Matt Ryan

Gett Quarterback Matt Ryan is stepping up as a leader for the Indianapolis Colts after a rough start to the season.

The Indianapolis Colts acquired quarterback Matt Ryan in part because of his leadership skills. Those skills were put to the test this past week with the Colts coming off a 24-0 loss.

NFL Network’s James Palmer reported on September 25 that Ryan had “some difficult conversations” with his teammates to prepare for Week 3. Palmer also tweeted that Ryan told him he had “to give a few guys a kick in the a**.”

The Colts are hoping Ryan’s leadership can get the team on track against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.

Colts’ Leadership at Quarterback

It’s ironic that the leadership the Colts have at quarterback is again a topic of conversation following the team’s trip to Jacksonville. Indianapolis’ leadership behind center became a major discussion point after the Colts suffered an embarrassing 26-11 defeat against the Jaguars in Week 18 of 2021. That loss knocked the Colts out of playoff contention.

Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay was most critical of quarterback Carson Wentz’s leadership after that loss. Most notably, Irsay indirectly called acquiring Wentz “a mistake” while speaking at the NFL’s Annual League Meeting in Palm Beach, FL on March 30.

Irsay was nothing but complimentary of Ryan’s leadership skills during the offseason. Irsay raved about Ryan’s leadership using a unique comparison while appearing on The Pat McAfee Show on May 2.

“This is a Navy SEAL. This is an astronaut that’s going to Mars,” Irsay said on the show’s May 2 episode. “This is the right stuff guy. Special.

“He’s the type of guy that if you’re landing on an aircraft carrier, you want him to be the pilot. I mean special, guys.”

It will be interesting to see how the Colts’ players, particularly on offense, respond to Ryan’s “kick in the a**.” Ryan is in his first season with the Colts, but he was voted 1 of the team’s 7 captains.

Colts’ Young Receivers Need ‘Kick in the A**’

Palmer didn’t reveal which players had the most difficult conversations with Ryan to prepare for Week 3, but it wouldn’t be shocking to hear it was the team’s wide receivers. Without Michael Pittman Jr. against the Jaguars, Indianapolis wideouts combined for 8 catches and 126 yards.

Pittman alone had 9 receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown in Week 1.

A lot of Colts players aren’t playing up to their potential to begin the season. But Ryan badly needs his secondary receivers to get open more regularly to move the offense.

Ryan could use some additional blocking as well. The Jaguars recorded 5 sacks and 11 quarterback hits against Ryan in Week 2. Several of his passes were deflected at the line of scrimmage too. One of those deflections led to an interception.

Better offensive line play would not only give Ryan more time to find a receiver, it would open some lanes for running back Jonathan Taylor, who didn’t have much room to run in the first half of Week 2. Taylor gained only 4 rushing yards before halftime against the Jaguars.

The Colts will be hosting the Chiefs in their home opener on September 25. Indianapolis will be trying to avoid a winless first 3 weeks for the second straight season.

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