As we saw this weekend against that worthless Miami team (those were not Ace Ventura’s Dolphins), Matt Ryan’s bulk and mass is more than just extending throws….its extending plays.
It was well documented that in the off-season, Matty Ice was hitting the iron, trying to beef up to do the impossible….Out throw Julio Jones…. But there were a number of times during the Falcons’ third pre-season game when Ryan stepped back in the pocket to look for the deep pass, and it just wasn’t there. What to do next? What happens then?
Falcons fans know that the deep threat will not work everytime due to the fact that teams will be game planning against just that. The check down is just fine….This is how Peyton Manning has made a living the past decade or so… But Ryan eased some of the tension, looking more like the other Manning (Eli not Archie), the double Super Bowl champion Manning that extends plays, and finds ways to make big plays out of broken nothingness.
Much like Eli and Big Ben Roethisberger, Ryan has developed a sturdy foundation to not only heave the ball down field, but to be able to take a hit and deflect off of it to keep the play alive. In Ryan’s first few seasons, he was like a feather, falling to the floor with but a gust of pressure. Now, he is the rock that the team is built around literally and figuratively.
Does this mean we want linebackers tee-ing off on Ryan’s number 2 jersey every snap?…Absolutely not!…But it does mean that even when things break down, the opportunity of a big play is still there. We as Falcons’ fans have not had that since (dare I say it…) Mike Vick. Ryan’s extra mass will allow the countless skill player weapons to find open space, and the extra beef will help the off balance throws get to where they need to be at a swift pace.
There are two things that Roethisberger and (Eli) Manning have in common, and we as Falcons’ fans would love to see Ryan become a part of the group. Both can extend plays with their pure strength and ability to creep away from trouble (as mentioned earlier), but the more important commonality…..Each quarterback already has two Super Bowl victories.