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