FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl last season and is ready to continue his ascent to super stardom in the National Football League.
In three seasons, he has passed for 10,061 yards, which ranks fifth in franchise history.
Last season, he set franchise records with 357 comple¬tions on 571 pass attempts. He also threw for career-highs with 3,705 yards and 28 touchdowns with a career-low nine interceptions and a 91.0 passer rating.
With the season-opener against the Chicago Bears looming, here’s what Ryan had to say to the media this week:
ON THE CHICAGO BEARS: They’re never easy. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. Chicago is a very good football team. It’s going to be a difficult place to go in and play. It’s a storied franchise and a great stadium to play in. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
ON THE TURF AT SOLDIER FIELD: It’s something you can’t really worry about too much. Our equipment staff here does a great job of having everything at our disposal up there. I know (Equipment Manager) Brian Boigner and his staff will have all of the equipment that we need up there.
ON HIS EXPECATIONS FOR THE OFFENSE: Our expectation is pretty simple and it’s to play well every week and give ourselves a chance to win. It doesn’t go any
further than that for me.
ON THE BEARS DEFENSE: You have a lot of tape on guys that have been in the League for a long time, but there’s also a reason they’ve been in the League for a long time because they’re very good players. Certainly, when you look at this Chicago defense, they’ve got some talented guys; some perennial Pro Bowlers, especially at the linebacker position and really in the front four as well. We’re going to have our work cut out for us. It’s been tight games every time we’ve played them, come down to the wire and we’re going to need to prepare well all week and do what we can during the week to give ourselves the chance to play well on Sunday.
ON JOE HAWLEY STARTING AT CENTER FOR TODDY McCLURE: I think Joe will do a good job. Joe has been here, preparing hard for the last couple of seasons. He has put in his time and I think has studied the way you need to study so when this opportunity presents itself, I think Joe will do a good job. Obviously, you’d love to have Todd (McClure) out there, there’s no question about that. He’s a veteran guy, but I think Joe steps in and does what he needs to do.
ON CHICAGO’S RUN DEFENSE: Certainly, when you go against a tough defense that is stout against the run, you know it forces you to be effective in the passing game. We’ll prepare that way.
ON LAST SEASON’S OPENER AT PITTSBURGH: Opening games are always fun to be a part of. It’s an exciting weekend. I think one of the things that you have to go into it knowing is that you’re going to see some things you didn’t see during the preseason from them and there are going to be some things that are unexpected. You have to adjust to that. I think we’ve got the guys on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball that are able to adjust to some knew things that you haven’t seen during the preseason and adapt to that.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog