Q&A: Matt Ryan says offense needs to pick it up in practice

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) calls signals during first quarter NFL preseason football action against the Miami Dolphins in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) calls signals during first quarter NFL preseason football action against the Miami Dolphins in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was frustrated with the offense’s performance against the Dolphins.

In perhaps his most controversial statement in his young career, he said the players need to pick it up in practice and do a better job of getting on the same page.

Despite the need for picking it up practice, Ryan also felt like the offense is ready for the regular season.

Here’s what he had to say after the 16-6 victory over Miami on Friday.

Q: How do you think it went for you guys out there tonight?

A:  ”There were some things we did pretty well, but for the most part I think we had seven possessions in the first half and we came away with just 10 points. That’s a little bit frustrating. We were close. It’s something that we need to iron out in practice. We need to do a better job of being on the same page in practice. Being a little bit more productive there. With that said, I think we’ve been really productive this preseason. . . I feel like we’re ready to go.”

Q: How tough was it not to hook up on that one play were it looked like you had Roddy open for a sure touchdown?

A: “That’s a perfect example. With that particular play, we were close. But in this league, close doesn’t count for much. You have to go out there and you have to execute. That’s something we need to do a better job of heading into the regular season. I think we will. We still have a little bit of time before we go up to Pittsburgh and play that first game. I think the most important thing is that we are playing our best football when we get to the regular season.”

Q: Is good for the offense that you got Harry Douglas back involved with four catches today?

A: I think it was good for Harry to get back tonight and have a couple of catches. We have seen that every day in practice. He’s been out there and has been really productive. This was the first time in a game that he had a chance to go out there and play an extended period of time. It’s going to be huge to have him back. He’s definitely going to be a huge part of our offense.”

Q: How gratifying was that second drive, where you converted on three third downs and scored a touchdown?

A: To be honest with you, I think our third downs were good all night. We were very good on third down tonight. (10 of 19, 53 percent) The problem is that we were in quite a few third downs. We need to be better on first and second down. I personally needed to do a lot better on first and second down. Those are the things we can correct. That’s the beauty of the preseason. You’ve got a chance to iron out some of those things and sure that when we do get to the regular season, we’re playing at full steam.

Q: How comforting is it knowing that you can power the ball at teams in short yardage situations?

A: That’s good. That’s a big part of what we do. We’ve got a really good offensive line and power running backs. Mike (Turner), Jason Snelling and Jerious Norwood do a great for us of getting downhill on third and short situations. That’s kind of where our identity is. We like to be a physical football team. If you are going to be that kind of team you have to execute in those type of situations. I think we’ve done a really good job of that this preseason.

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129 comments Add your comment

Chris

August 27th, 2010
11:39 pm

Chris

August 27th, 2010
11:40 pm

sweet! very mediocre numbers by the offense. I did not see the game due to the fact that I’m in Texas, so I can’t tell if the two defenses were really good or what. I do know that we had 2 turnovers lost in the first half……

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

August 27th, 2010
11:41 pm

I agree that the offense still appears to struggle however am I still confident that the Falcons will get it right by the start of the regular season. At least tonight the offensive line gave Ryan a little more time to survey the field of play. Hopefully they can continue to improve in that area (pass protection).

With that said…..Matt needs to work on his accuracy. That pass to Roddy White (who was wide open) exposed one of his weaknesses which is accuracy.

Chris

August 27th, 2010
11:43 pm

CAN’T WAIT FOR THE REGULAR SEASON!!! DIRECTV needs to start showing the preseason games for the 350 that i’m paying this year just to see my birds.

This Gets Old

August 27th, 2010
11:44 pm

Wasn’t Ryan the one telling us that the offense would come around once they “game planned” for their opponent? Didn’t realize that they can turn it on and off at will. The league now is built to throw the deep ball. Don’t or can’t do that? Can’t be a Super Bowl team. Yeah, it’s preseason but didn’t last seasons preseason Chargers game portend what troubled the team all season long?

GN

August 27th, 2010
11:50 pm

After watching both the Braves game and the Falcons game tonight I came to realize just how similar these teams both are.. just enough to be good but not enough to be great. Can’t be consistent about anything but frustrating the heck out of a fan. I hope the Falcons do well but I have a feeling this year will be the same as last. Some very good moments and some very bad one’s.

GTMustang

August 27th, 2010
11:57 pm

This Gets Old

August 27th, 2010
11:44 pm

Wasn’t Ryan the one telling us that the offense would come around once they “game planned” for their opponent? Didn’t realize that they can turn it on and off at will. The league now is built to throw the deep ball. Don’t or can’t do that? Can’t be a Super Bowl team. Yeah, it’s preseason but didn’t last seasons preseason Chargers game portend what troubled the team all season long?

Did the 2008 Detroit Lions preseason portend their regular season? You know, they were undefeated in preseason and winless in the regular season. John Kitna looked like the super bowl MVP in preseason and didn’t have the starting job half way through.

Preseason doesn’t really portend much of anything.

joey

August 28th, 2010
12:11 am

what does portend mean?

This Gets Old

August 28th, 2010
12:13 am

GTMustang

I didn’t write that every preseason portended every regular season result did I? And the preseason game against S.D. last season did in fact point out a team weakness, didn’t it? The Falcons have stopped effectively attacking defenses down the field.

joey

August 28th, 2010
12:14 am

but seriously, last game everyone was talking abot how spoon couldn’t cover because he got exploited by Tom Brady?? The D bounced back his game. i only hope our offense isn’t the liability this year.

Sly Ty

August 28th, 2010
12:16 am

Offense struggled somewhat, however this Defense looked very dominant. Great showing by the Defense. Oh as a side note it appears that the Eagles made a huge mistake in releasing McNabb. Kolb looked bad tonight.

This Gets Old

August 28th, 2010
12:16 am

In this case portend means that I’m already done talking about this.

joey

August 28th, 2010
12:22 am

my only knock on matt is that he looks far to timid in the pocket for a third year qb. i’m still waiting for him to take the reigns of this offense. Reference, joe flacco, i.e. not scared in the pocket

GTMustang

August 28th, 2010
12:23 am

Joey:

por·tend·ed, por·tend·ing, por·tends
1. To serve as an omen or a warning of; presage: black clouds that portend a storm.
2. To indicate by prediction; forecast: leading economic indicators that portend a recession.

joey

August 28th, 2010
12:26 am

GT:
thanks man, I’m always looking to expand my vocabulary

joey

August 28th, 2010
12:40 am

Not that I think Flacco can hold a candle to Ryan’s potential, it’s just that Ryan reminds me of a young Peyton Manning, to much starch in his collar. What remains if he’s got the gumption to get over the hump, and win championships. And if he will ever start really distributing the ball, to his check downs, and down the field.

joey

August 28th, 2010
12:49 am

You can’t blame Mularkey for all of Ryan’s short comings. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy when we drafted the kid, just want to see him really carry his wieght like i think he could/should.

This Gets Old

August 28th, 2010
12:57 am

I think Flacco is every bit as good as Matt Ryan, and I like Matt Ryan. I don’t think the lack of production is solely the fault of Ryan. 13 completions for 103?? The seam routes are where Jenkins excels and the offense doesn’t seem to hit anybody on the move. They don’t seem very aggressive on offense.

Reggie

August 28th, 2010
1:09 am

The seam routes are where Jenkins excels …Dude are you drunk? Jenkins made one seam route catch and that was Ryans first pass. I think its time we all start to face reality….we are weak at quarterback…Period

joey

August 28th, 2010
1:21 am

Ryan is a middle of the road QB right now, who has a chance to be great. He had the oppurtunity to step it up last year and failed. This is the last curtain call for Smitty and Ryan, let’s hope they bring it.

joey

August 28th, 2010
1:45 am

is anyone else glad though, that mike smith is our coach, i just hope this is the year our D cracks the top ten, and dude can stick around.

Reid Adair

August 28th, 2010
2:25 am

Good for Matt Ryan. Perhaps he’s stepping up as a leader on offense in his third season.

willie g loves football

August 28th, 2010
4:02 am

this team will lose in pitts burg openingday you heard it hear now , low scoring game our kicker SUX.

PUNK STYLE #2

August 28th, 2010
4:51 am

Still fooling your self on #2. He is just a every day QB no more. skills? we do know he has a weak arm! out of 32 team where is he? 45 million to be just ok so far this is a fact. Watch how they turn on him if they go 8-8. This how Atlanta throw another player under the bus! sam Baker pure bust!!

NES

August 28th, 2010
6:33 am

Very good game defensively except for Chevis Jackson can’t cover or wrap up tackles, look for B. Williams to take his spot if his knee holds up. Finally ‘Spoon off the outside corner on speed rush and should have had a QB sack but failed to wrap up QB, no worry, Bierman finished the sack! Seemed to me that Ryan sure floated a few passes tonight, hope it was the high temps and humidity causing ball to be slippery. Also, Ryan sure underthrew a deep pass early to R.White, also White dropped a couple of catchable balls again (that is a concentration issue). Bottom line is Ryan will be a short to medium range passer and that is ok as Joe Montana didn’t have the strongest arm either, just had all the pieces needed to win, (Jerry Rice for one!) TE Mike Palmer looked good again, looks like he will be Gonzo’s back up and replacement.

Reggie

August 28th, 2010
6:41 am

NES Seemed to me that Ryan sure floated a few passes tonight, hope it was the high temps and humidity causing ball to be slippery…….good one NES, WE DONT HAVE HIGH TEMP OR HUMIDITIY Problems in the Ga dome and the throws are the same. And for the love of God..let that be the last time you or anyone else mentions Matt Ryan in the same sentence as Joe Montana. Thank you..that is all

You gotta be kidding me!!!

August 28th, 2010
7:50 am

Roddy White couldn’t catch a cold!!!

alanfalcon

August 28th, 2010
7:54 am

R. White seems to be having fun, now lets get productive, too many dropped balls already, does he understand that this if the NFL and not some pick up game-catch the damn ball.

[...] stepped up for an out-of-sync offense…Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan says the team will need to iron out a few things in practice…Cornerback Dunta Robinson was scratched from the lineup prior to the [...]

Mitch (the one in Rome)

August 28th, 2010
8:54 am

Joey, Ryan finished the year with turf toe and won with turf toe. Have you ever played the game? That jank hurts like it’s hard to describe. It ends many men’s NFL careers. He is far above a middle of the road QB.
Not all is as it appears on the television. Routes, cutting off a route when one is not supposed to. That is what is meant by ironing out things in practice that Ryan mentioned. Receivers and QB need to be on the same page. That means that receivers are not reading what Ryan is reading. It’s not a talent issue. It is a practice issue and operating correctly in the offense.

From what I can see that is not Ryan but his receivers. Believe me, he has studied enough film to know what he is talking about. How many times do you hear the receivers talk about studying film? Not much.

It’s not Matt Ryan.

D Money

August 28th, 2010
9:13 am

I wasn’t impressed last night as all. The defense looks like it may be okay but the offense looked bad

SHOTYME

August 28th, 2010
9:23 am

I love Matty, especially his first year the kid looked great, confident in the pocket, distributing the ball. Heck, were’nt we first in third down conversions that year. But I have to say lately he has been looking a little indicisive “hope i spelled that correctly” in the pocket last year and in preseason. I hope he gets back to that first year mentality. Funny to say but the defense looks a lot better than the offense in preaseason and defense wins championships we all know that, lets hope the defense carryover to the regular season and that the offense can get it together, lets stop settling for field goals and start taking shots at the endzone fom the opponents 30 yard line lets be aggressive. Did anyone see drew brees and phillip rivers last night thats agressive offense 8 and 9 play drives.

David

August 28th, 2010
9:27 am

Roddy White Looked like dog crap,Hold on to the damn ball

Moore Sigting

August 28th, 2010
9:34 am

Can you believe William Moore actually played in a game. He actually exist and is no longer in witness protection program!!!!!

truth

August 28th, 2010
9:41 am

We should get our heads out of the sky. This team is not ready for the superbowl. Look at the Packers……there’s the NFC superbowl representatives, they actually look ready in all phases of the game. I know it’s just pre-season but sooner (rather than later) this team needs to show it’s ready for the season. Matt needs to drop the excuses. One minute things are clicking in practice and now they “need to pick things up in practice.” Come Matt you are better than that……I hope.

DHunt

August 28th, 2010
9:46 am

first we blamed the O-Line. Oh they aren’t blocking for Matt, he only has a couple of seconds before he is getting pressured, Never mind that he was taking a lot of three step drops, which puts you right behind the line and means you are expected to get rid of the ball quickly. Then we blamed it on game planning. Oh Matt doesn’t have all his weapons in place and they are just calling vanilla plays. Now we want to blame the receivers, not only for drops (which are sometime their fault and sometimes not really) but for not knowing the playbook.

I guess Matt is the only one who is going to get a pass (no pun intended) on this team this year. And I’m not even talking about a bunch of know nothing AJC Falcon fanatic bloggers (which I am one of them), but Falcons tv announcers and national media too, it seems.

Truth is the O-Line played great last night. The receivers missed a couple of balls that hit them in the hands, but for the most part routes were solid and catchable passes were caught. MR2 looked not so good. Locking in on Gonzales early and often, little accuracy, less touch, questionable arm strength, and floating balls all over the place on passes less than 30 yards.

I’m not bashing the guy, because the only way my Falcons are going to be successful in the near future is if MR2 is successful, do I am rooting for him. But people, let’s be real and call it like it is. If he is supposed to be an intermediate passer then he has got to be a better than 70% completion passer. Hasn’t even gotten close this year yet. He has to start getting ball to receivers faster and in stride so they can turn some of these 7-15 yard passes into 20-30 yard plays, and he has to be a better distributer all around. The Falcons need and deserve a top 10 QB, I would settle for a top 15 QB. Not sure right now if we have a top 20 QB.

SeenThisB4

August 28th, 2010
9:46 am

I thought the falcant offense looked extremely tentative, timid, and confused, particularily when they were in first and second down situations. Instead of going for the jugular they always took little nibbles at the Miami defense. They had a good third down conversion percentage, but I think that was more a function of desperation and dolphin miscues than anything deliberate by the falcant offense. The falcants are on the verge of collaspe.

truth

August 28th, 2010
9:59 am

I would like to see Gonzo go back to KC. Matt depends way to much on him and we all and every team we play knows it. Matt looked real good his firat year throwing to receivers and then Gonzo comes and its as Matt can’t get the ball to a WR. Still the blame is not Gonzo it’s Matt, he’s the captain.

I wouldn’t say collaspe Seen, your team also depends solely on your QB, we’ve proven we can win without Matt and if we have to win without him I’m fine with it. I’ve said 100’s of times I’m a team fan not a player fan.

Jake

August 28th, 2010
10:02 am

C Jackson had maybe the worst game I have seen as a Falcon DB in a long time. He could not tackle or defend. Must have been at least six bad plays. So bad I would put him on the cut line for the final 53.

truth

August 28th, 2010
10:05 am

Me too Jake.

Sly Ty

August 28th, 2010
10:15 am

Wow, so many of you guys are beating up the offense, how about praise the Defense a little. The Defense looked dominant at times. We have a spectacular front 4 rotation going on. Has anyone noticed the Bierman has gotten a sack in all three preseason games, whats up with that?

SeenThisB4

August 28th, 2010
10:17 am

truth: The falcants team hasn’t proven they can win without their starting QB. And my team hasn’t HAD to prove they can win without ours. It’s all conjecture, but I think the Saints CAN win without Brees.

Sly Ty

August 28th, 2010
10:18 am

Jake please, you must have not seen Chris Houston play at all. Oh and by the way I saw a Lions game on the NFL network the other day, and Chris Houston is still not locating the ball. He is always in good position, but he never locates the ball so he is continuing to give up big plays on the regular.

This Gets Old

August 28th, 2010
10:29 am

Two seasons ago all I could do was b-tch, moan and complain because the team didn’t have a TE that could be used as a real weapon. As much as it pains me, that now seems to be the problem. I don’t think that a TE should be your #1 target, especially not forcing the ball to him. The last “explosive” play that I can recall is last season in the third quarter @TB. I love Matt Ryan but there are WR’s open..he’s just missing them.

All we’ve heard is the “great chemistry” developing within the offense. Preparation for this season began in May and here two weeks before the bell rings and it’s “We’ve got to pick it up in practice? Running a “gadget” play here or there doesn’t mean you’re not predictable. Dating myself here but I don’t think that this team has run ten successful screens since…JUNE JONES coached them.

T.O.P. looks great on the stat sheet…unless Drew Brees takes 90sec. to top your FG with a quick TD. Needless to say it’s time to look at PK’s.

truth

August 28th, 2010
10:29 am

You better hope they don’t HAVE to prove it SennThisLoserB4. Man we can’t vent on our own boards without aints losers bringing in that Katrina stinch. Seen were you one of the brotha’s stealing tv’s after the hurrican instead of helping your fellow man? Loser people loser city.

Peter

August 28th, 2010
10:30 am

Matt Ryan better pick it up…….if he misses wide open receiver’s like he did last night, we are in for a long season, with expectations out the door.

Once "Recent" Reader

August 28th, 2010
10:31 am

SeenThisBefore . . . . also . . .I know the teams don’t show all their plays in pre-season. If the Falcons decide not to go downfield in the regular season and do not have success (Wins) . . .then I think we can talk about tentative offenses. If you are a big Brees fan today . . . go back and check out his first 2 years and compare them to Ryan’s. I always like Brees since his Purdue days, and hope that Ryan is fortunate enough to improve as much as Brees did in his 3rd starting year.

This Gets Old

August 28th, 2010
10:33 am

truth
I would like to see Gonzo go back to KC. Matt depends way to much on him and we all and every team we play knows it.

Wasn’t piggy backing on you truth. Was typing while you were posting. Needless to say I agree about the over reliance.

Also Peter

August 28th, 2010
10:35 am

SeenthisB4 wouldn’t you see a better view on a Saints blog?