THE ICE MAN: Falcons ahead of last year’s pace

 

110812 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass to Julio Jones during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 12, 2011.      Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110812 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass to Julio Jones during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 12, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

JACKSONVILLE – Despite missing work because of the lockout, quarterback Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan believes the Falcons are ahead of schedule compared to last season.

Last season, the Falcons went 13-3 and won the NFC South before being eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs.

With the 132-day lockout, the Falcons did not have any team-sanctioned practices or any minicamps.

“I think we are ahead of where we were last year,” Ryan said.  “We talk about it every day. You are either getting better or you’re getting worse. We are just trying to get better every day, and even year-to-year.”

Ryan led the team’s players-only practices in May and June. About 20 to 30 players met twice-a-week at Buford High to practice.

He believes the Falcons are ahead of last year’s pace because they are veteran-laden team and didn’t have a lot of turnover.

“We are in a good place,” Ryan said. “We have to keep trying to get better and improve daily.”

Ryan believes the offseason workouts at Buford were fruitful.

“For sure, I think getting together in the offseason really helped us out with our focus coming into training camp,” Ryan said. “We’ve had a really good couple of weeks. I think for the most part, we are off to a good start.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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38 comments Add your comment

Die Hard Falcon

August 19th, 2011
2:27 pm

Die Hard Falcon

August 19th, 2011
2:32 pm

Wow, I’ve never been first.

I would love to see us shut all the “dream team” wagon-riders up. Now philly has had our # under Andy Reid, they beat us every time, but this year, they’re the Yankees of the NFL, and you cannot buy a time. The Yanks have won some titles that way, but football is much more of a team sport, you need to play together and have continuity to succeed. The Falcons have that now in year 4 of the TD, Smitty, Matty Ice era, and I believe we’re underdogs. 13-3 last year but b/c of the way our season ended, no one is talking about the Falcons, I think we are going to be solid and surprise a lot of wagon riders in the media.

Don't feed Aints trolls (It isn't 2009 anymore)

August 19th, 2011
2:33 pm

Are you guys still posting First!!!! What are you in the second grade?

Rikus

August 19th, 2011
2:34 pm

Very encouraging, although I’d expect enthusiasm and a postive outlook from Matty.

Post-it

August 19th, 2011
3:12 pm

First team sure looked ahead of schedule against Miami last week. We’ll see if it continues tonight. Of course, we’re playing the Jags…

Don't feed Aints trolls (It isn't 2009 anymore)

August 19th, 2011
3:25 pm

Miami’s offense was a bit subdued because no Brandon Marshal, but they have a legit good defense. I think we really won’t know too much until the Steelers game next week. The Steelers have an extra day to prepare for that game. I think tonights game is going to be a bit misleading with our starting center and CB out. Does anyone know if Edwards will play tonight?

1eyedJack

August 19th, 2011
3:25 pm

How long will the No. 1s go tonight?

Super Quick

August 19th, 2011
3:29 pm

First team was very good, i think we only need a shut-down corner from being in the super bowl mix this year, what do you think.

ryan

August 19th, 2011
3:35 pm

I don’t like the term shut down corner, but I agree that we need another good corner. Doesn’t have to be pro bowl caliber, just better than what we have now.

Thomas D.

August 19th, 2011
3:47 pm

Hey Fellas, when I said “explosive”,I didn’t mean throwing the ball down field per se. I meant double reverses and lining Julio up in the back field.Things like that.

Just want to clarify it before it bites me in the behind.

DrJ

August 19th, 2011
4:33 pm

We haven’t got screens and reverses down yet. Our reverses have very definitely been Implosive rather than explosive, but it’s a work in progress.

Die Hard Falcon

August 19th, 2011
4:34 pm

I believe that the Falcons are flying under the radar this year so far. All the hype over the “dream team” and the other usual suspects. We got crushed in our house in that playoff loss, but we still had the best record in our conference and 2nd best in the league, the media is sleeping on the Falcons.
You can’t buy a team in the NFL like you can in baseball, it’s much more of a team sport and requires more continuity to remain successful, this has been proven time and time again, in the NFL you build a team, you don’t buy it. The eagles got shredded by the steelers last night, and I think that the Falcons will finally beat philly, they’ve had our # for a decade and it’s our time.
@Aints Trolls
I’ve never been first, I realize it’s childish, but it felt good just once. I have read several of your comments on here and respect you as a knowledgeable fan so I won’t even defend myself. Any true Falcon fan is my compadre. GO FALCONS!!!

Die Hard Falcon

August 19th, 2011
4:35 pm

I believe that the Falcons are flying under the radar this year so far. All the hype over the “dream team” and the other usual suspects. We got crushed in our house in that playoff loss, but we still had the best record in our conference and 2nd best in the league, the media is sleeping on the Falcons.
You can’t buy a team in the NFL like you can in baseball, it’s much more of a team sport and requires more continuity to remain successful, this has been proven time and time again, in the NFL you build a team, you don’t buy it. The eagles got shredded by the steelers last night, and I think that the Falcons will finally beat philly, they’ve had our # for a decade and it’s our time.
@Aints Trolls
I’ve never been first, I realize it’s childish, but it felt good just once. I have read several of your comments on here and respect you as a knowledgeable fan so I won’t even defend myself. Any true Falcon fan is my compadre

Die Hard Falcon

August 19th, 2011
4:36 pm

I believe that the Falcons are flying under the radar this year so far. All the hype over the “dream team” and the other usual suspects. We got crushed in our house in that playoff loss, but we still had the best record in our conference and 2nd best in the league, the media is sleeping on the Falcons.
You can’t buy a team in the NFL like you can in baseball, it’s much more of a team sport and requires more continuity to remain successful, this has been proven time and time again, in the NFL you build a team, you don’t buy it. The eagles got shredded by the steelers last night, and I think that the Falcons will finally beat philly, they’ve had our # for a decade and it’s our time.
@Aints Trolls
I’ve never been first, I realize it’s childish, but it felt good just once. I have read several of your comments on here and respect you as a knowledgeable fan so I won’t even defend myself. Any true Falcon fan is my compadre.

Die Hard Falcon

August 19th, 2011
4:37 pm

I believe that the Falcons are flying under the radar this year so far. All the hype over the “dream team” and the other usual suspects. We got crushed in our house in that playoff loss, but we still had the best record in our conference and 2nd best in the league, the media is sleeping on the Falcons.
You can’t buy a team in the NFL like you can in baseball, it’s much more of a team sport and requires more continuity to remain successful, this has been proven time and time again, in the NFL you build a team, you don’t buy it. The eagles got shredded by the steelers last night, and I think that the Falcons will finally beat philly, they’ve had our # for a decade and it’s our time.
@Aints Trolls
I’ve never been first, I realize it’s childish, but it felt good just once. I have read several of your comments on here and respect you as a knowledgeable fan so I won’t even defend myself. Any true Falcon fan is my compadre.,

Day One Fan

August 19th, 2011
5:51 pm

Give you a hint…Bleacher report had him on the list as one of the top 50 stars that will never win a ring. NO FALCONS made the list.

Th

August 19th, 2011
5:59 pm

I’ll be watching to see if Matt Ryan can throw to a receiver running down the field away from him. He hasn’t been able to hit that pass with any accuracy since half way through his rookie year. He went 0 for 1 in the first exhibition (first pass to JJ). We’ll see if he even tries tonight.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 19th, 2011
6:14 pm

1eyedjack — Here’s what Coach Smith about how long the starters will play. “Traditionally, we increase the number of snaps or series. We went three series with our defense and we’ll probably go a little bit longer in this ball game. We want to make sure that everybody on our roster gets an opportunity to go out there and play in the ball game Friday night so that we can get an evaluation on them.”
Translation — More than three series for the starters.

jerry

August 19th, 2011
6:50 pm

Sister Hicks
had 3 picks.

bird

August 19th, 2011
8:45 pm

Why is #55 back in the game?

Mr. Panic Button

August 19th, 2011
9:43 pm

Where’s my message?

Mr. Panic Button

August 19th, 2011
9:44 pm

Look here little bow tie…where’s my stuff?

Singletary

August 20th, 2011
8:42 am

Dude, de-bow. (Not you, D-Led. This is not an anti-bow-tie rant.) Loved seeing Jerry in Jax backfield. If it were the reg season, I’d've liked a lot more intensity. 22 clearly wants a place on the team. Any hope for Bear Woods?

The Jama

August 20th, 2011
10:21 am

Both Owens and Franks are aweful. The team definitely needs to sign a veteran free agent to play our nickel position. They take turns getting beat up and down the field by opposing team’s 2nd and 3rd stringers!!! We need desperate help at nickel back

SirReal

August 20th, 2011
11:16 am

Didnt see the game but not worried about it. They werent the only 1st unit that looked dry around the league. I do hope we arent dinking and dunking again as suggested by some people Ive talked to. I still say that before the season ends, we’ll need a new D-Coord. BVG is just not that guy in the NFL for our team. Great college coach, not so great NFLer. Mularkey,…………..this is a big one for him too. Again, this is all preseason. I dont care if we lose them all as long as our first units show what needs to be shown for week 1 and beyond.

Matt Ryan highly overrated

August 20th, 2011
1:27 pm

deep pass yet? ahead of last year? nope not at all!! good talking point are for the home town fans!!

FalconJim

August 20th, 2011
2:06 pm

Not TOO worried…..but I must say, my “Birds” didn’t look too good last night. Matty Ice, was just that, except for the Douglas play and a few others. I don’t know, maybe they just didn’t want to “tip their hand” on any of the so-called explosive plays we’ve been hearing so much about.
But hey, it’s only the 2nd game of the pre-season, so I’m sure they’re gonna do fine come regular season.
GO, YOU DIRTY BIRDS!!!

marcus

August 20th, 2011
2:35 pm

Is Sidbury still on the team? If so, he is playing ?

PlanB

August 20th, 2011
4:46 pm

I was watching a tape of the GB & Arizone game. First series Rodgers uses a hard count and gets 5 yd. penalty on tha Cards. We used to use the hardcount alot and it helped. Not only did we get an extra 5 yds. but we got some easier 1st downs and kept the ball moving. We also got the defenses holding back a little worrying about it happening again. Extra 1/2 second each play helps. My point is, we seem to have forgotton or quit using so many little things that mount up, and this can only be blamed on coaches and coordinators. Example: screen passes. Lack of imagination. 1st down = Turner up the middle. 2nd down = same. Atlanta…. we have a problem. MM used to be better than this. Is MS too conservative and holding him back or what? That extra 5 yds always meant alot more than 1/2 a first down to me.

Dennis

August 20th, 2011
6:14 pm

Wow… disappearing gripes… so once again: nah, nevermind. It won’t add anything to that 11 first down outburst…

KQuark

August 20th, 2011
11:36 pm

1st string will do fine. 2nd string is worse and 3rd string was terrible. Obviously the 1st string D is ahead right now and Ryan and JJ need to get better chemistry.

Of course the nickel is still a concern. I thought Franks still is ahead of Owens but if a vet is on the waiver snatch him like we did Brian Williams.

dub366

August 21st, 2011
8:26 am

we need a QB

dub366

August 21st, 2011
8:29 am

Matty Ice can’t throw deep. got all these weapons and they out run the football.

D man

August 21st, 2011
9:30 am

Dub366 – Really??? That was a back shoulder throw because of the coverage. Julio was suppose to turn around if the defender is still between him and the goal line on that play. That is why Matt threw it behind him.

BTW – There are 31 other teams that would love to have Matt as their QB…

D man

August 21st, 2011
9:34 am

PlanB – Wrong!!! The Falcons were number one last season on hard count 5 yard penalties. Matt was the best at doing that so what are you talking about.

Bail Bondsman

August 21st, 2011
11:30 am

ISNT IT REFRESHING TO KNOW WE HAVE A CLEAN CUT , GOOD GUY QB-ING THE FALCONS INSTEAD OF A DOG KILLING T H U G ??????

Chandler goes Deep..

August 21st, 2011
10:45 pm

Chandler>Patty Melt

Nate

August 22nd, 2011
3:09 pm

The falcons this year will be everything that they were last year. I believe we will open up the passing game with Jones flying out there. Go Falcons!!!!!