Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn optimistic for Falcons future

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Feb 3, 2015; Flowery Branch, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons new head coach Dan Quinn poses for a photo during a press conference at the Falcons Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

At the conclusion of Thursday’s offseason workouts, new Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, quarterback Matt Ryan, and cornerback Desmond Trufant addressed the media at Flowery Branch about their impressions of the offseason so far and their expectations for the future.

Quinn emphasized that he asked the players, “Can you have the best offseason you’ve ever had?”

Quinn was the first to speak, and his trademark enthusiasm was evident from the very beginning.

"“What an opportunity to connect with these guys, talk about the philosophy of the program, put some of the schemes in,” Quinn said of the offseason workouts. “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time.”"

Quinn emphasized to that he asked the players, “Can you have the best offseason you’ve ever had?” He also talked about how his staff is helping the players adjust to the new schemes:

"“It’s a new scheme for everybody. It’s up to us for the coaches to find all the unique stuff that a player has, and then find out how we can best feature them.”"

Quinn said he has been very impressed with the turnout so far at offseason workouts:

"“I think there’s a number of guys that completely came back in ridiculously good shape. That mindset coming in, being in that good of shape, that told me a lot.”"

Coach Quinn talked a bit about how the training programs will progress, and how the players will get into football shape. He also talked about his approach in free agency, and how they decided to add players to the team:

"“Free agency is an important part to continue to add overall guys to our team. Can we add speed? Can we add toughness? How many more guys can we add? How would these players fit onto our team?”"

He was also asked about the top pass-rushers in the draft, and what attributes he was looking for in an elite pass rusher:

"“It’s such a unique position for teams to evaluate. I think really it still comes down to, at that position, speed and length of a player. Really, speed and length and that effort to keep relentlessly going, that’s what makes the really good pass rushers [into] the great ones.”"

“One of the things I take great pride in is getting to know our own players, and how to feature them best.”

When asked about players with off-the-field concerns, Quinn didn’t rule out that the Falcons might still be interested.

Which is all the more important if somebody like Randy Gregory falls to the Falcons at No. 8.

"“I think you really base it on the individual case basis. What would be the support system to make sure the player has all the support he needs to be at his best?” Quinn said. “Everybody’s got a story and some background.”"

On Matt Ryan, Quinn spoke about how much of an advantage he was for a new head coach.

"“It’s a huge advantage. Just from competing against him you know he’s a terrific player. I knew how highly everybody had regarded him. Once you’re around him, and you find out what the competitor was, that’s what probably stuck out to me more than anything.”"

Quinn also had encouraging news on the players that are rehabbing from injuries sustained last season.

"“Everybody is here and they’re working extremely hard. A number of them are even pushing to get back even sooner than anticipated.”"

After Quinn, Matt Ryan was the next to speak. And I must say, he looked quite dashing with his new facial hair.

Next: Matt Ryan's Comments