According to a report from ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has all the confidence in the world that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has everything it takes to win, is doing everything possible to improve, and is the Falcons quarterback for many years to come.
Every year Mr. Blank and Matt Ryan sit down and talk about the state of the franchise, where they see things going, and where Matt Ryan is heading with his progression as a quarterback that this team. The Falcons desperately need Ryan to lead them to a playoff win, and the time needs to be soon.
The good news is that Mr. Blank does have a boat load of confidence in Ryan the person, Ryan the worker, Ryan the student of the game, and Ryan the teammate. Blank stated in an interview that he sees Ryan not as comfortable with where he is as a player; he sees a person who is motivated to spend countless hours in the film room, is the cliché ‘first one in, last one out’ type of worker, works on his athleticism, as well as being a leader through motivating his teammates.
Blank does, however, note the difference between quarterbacks who are labeled ‘elite’ and those and the tier just below, a tier in which we can infer Ryan is in. In order for Ryan to take that step, he must win playoff games. Mr. Blank is no idiot; he realizes that even thought the Falcons have had four consecutive winning seasons under Ryan and Head Coach Mike Smith, the playoff record is a glaring 0-3.
It is good that the owner of our team has such confidence in our quarterback. I wish all Falcons fans would see that Ryan is a really good quarterback, and is approaching the ‘elite’ status held by quarterbacks like Manning, Brady, Rivers and Brees. It is even better that a man who has had tremendous success in the business world, and did not get there by slacking off or hands-off management of his company, sees Ryan as one of the hardest workers he has seen, a player who tirelessly strives to improve himself and therefore his team.
Ryan had his best statistical season in 2011, with 29 touchdown passes, only 12 interceptions, a 92 quarterback rating, and more than 4000 yards passing. That being said, he only completed just over 61% of his passes, the Falcons overall record was 10-6, and they got destroyed without scoring an offensive point in their playoff game against the Giants. Clearly, when he completes more passes he will throw more touchdowns and more yards, and Ryan realizes that he still has improvement that he can make, and is working hard to get better.
You can’t really ask more of a man to show up on time and work hard. Apparently Ryan is going above and beyond the call of duty. And that’s exactly what the Falcons are going to need if they are to win a playoff game.