Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan, Dirk Koetter form fast bond

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan couldn’t figure out why offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter repeatedly turned down his invitations for a round of golf.

The two needed to bond professionally and personally, and a golf course seemed to be the perfect place to lay the foundation for a mutually beneficial partnership.

But Koetter, hired by the Falcons in January, knew the young quarterback had a motive.

“He kept asking me to go golfing with him because he wanted to take my money,” Koetter said. “I was a little smarter than that. I just kept making excuses for why I couldn’t go.”

When told of Koetter’s dodging, Ryan put it together.

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter applaudes a catch by wide receiver Julio Jones in approval of a well run play in Flowery Branch on Saturday, July 28, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter applaudes a catch by wide receiver Julio Jones in approval of a well run play in Flowery Branch on Saturday, July 28, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

“No wonder he didn’t play with me,” Ryan said. “He must have been scared or something.”

While Koetter was careful not to play Ryan, who has a strong golf game, the two made it a point to extend their professional relationship into their respective personal lives.

After several team events and fundraisers, they fostered their relationship.

“I think that it was extremely important,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to know each other when you’re going into a game, you really do because Sundays kind of brings out everybody’s alter ego.

“You want to have that rapport to the point where you both know each other pretty well. I think we’ve done a great job of that. I feel very comfortable with Dirk, professionally and personally. I think both of those things help.”

Koetter wanted to make sure the relationship was sound.

“I think that it is real important that the quarterback and the play-caller are on the same page and can communicate,” Koetter said. “I think that’s one of Matt’s best traits. He’s a great communicator, and he can tell me what he likes and doesn’t like and why. Yet he’s still open to coaching.”

As a rookie in 2008, Ryan played immediately under former offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave. When Musgrave left to become Minnesota’s offensive coordinator after the 2010 season, Bob Bratkowski became the quarterbacks coach.

Last season, under Mularkey and Bratkowski, Ryan passed for a franchise-record 4,177 yards and tossed a career-high 29 touchdown passes. He also had the most attempts (571) and completions (357) in team history.

So finding the proper coaches when Murlarkey and Bratkowski left for Jacksonville, was very important for Ryan’s continued development.

Falcons coach Mike Smith felt that Koetter, whom he worked with for one season (2007) in Jacksonville, was a perfect fit for the job.

If the exhibition season is any indication, Koetter and Ryan appear set to re-write more franchise records. Ryan was third in the NFL in passing yards, playing in only three of four games.

“I’m very impressed with how quickly they’ve gotten on the same page,” Smith said. “The one thing I think about both Matt and Dirk is they’re very collaborative.”

Koetter has been rather flexible with Ryan.

“Even though he’s a proven player, he’s open to the way I see it and my experiences,” Koetter said. “It’s been a give-and-take relationship. We’ll see how it plays out, but I’m happy with where it’s at.”

Ryan believes that the time spent away from the team was very important.

“We had a number of different events that we went to with and for the Falcons where we got to spend some time away from football and got to know each other,” Ryan said. “I’ve met his family. They all seem very, very nice. He’s a family guy, which is one of his best attributes.

“Just a number of different things, seeing him outside of the facility, outside of the football arena, both of us got a good feel for each other. I think those kinds of personal relationships help. Having good personal relationships, a good locker room and a good mix among the coaching staff and players is important.”

Ryan needed some new friends, too. The personnel in the quarterback meeting room has been overhauled since his rookie season.

“I’m thankful for all of the people that I’ve worked with before because they’ve certainly helped me get to the point where I’m at,” Ryan said. “But I like the new guys that we have around, too.”

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88 comments Add your comment

Seen This B4

September 6th, 2012
8:07 am

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
8:11 am

Enter your comments herego be first on ur crummy aints blog……do yall even have a blog???

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
8:13 am

Seen b4 you must really love the falcons. Ur on our blog more than ur own

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
8:16 am

Wheres dat slug buddy of yours hiram saint????…probably cookn crank his one room trailer.

Seen This B4

September 6th, 2012
8:20 am

What kind of sissy garbage is this write up all about? Koetter and Ryan are worried about their personal and professional relationship? Really? LOL! WTF?! I knew the falcan’ts were soft, but DAAAMMMMN!

The only important thing about communicating on Sunday is making sure that the receiver in the QB’s helmet is picking up the transmittor on the play caller’s headset.

This is how well he knows him: Ryan said. “I’ve met his family. They all seem very, very nice.” Seem? In other words, he doesn’t really know them! LOL!

Man they come up with real garbage to write about!

“Target that soft falcan’t defensive middle and fire all weapons!”

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
8:24 am

Shot out to O.j santiago and shane dronett. Boy sure wish we had arthur blank a long time ago…dat rankin smith was horrible….Sam baker u better rise up dis year!!!!….has anyone seen tim dwight??..i wunder if eugene robinson iz still soliciting???

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
8:41 am

hiramsaint

September 6th, 2012
8:58 am

@Seen This B4 – We should go get some vaseline and stare at a picture of our single super bowl trophy together. We don’t have to take such badgering from Turk and his ghetto talk. Besides, we both know the falcan’ts are the better team this year. Brees is one hit away from going down, and then what? We have no team. Hopefully the bounty program is in full swing when we play the falcan’ts .

Seen This B4

September 6th, 2012
9:15 am

@ faux hiramsaint: Your team is going to be one back by Sunday evening.
Let me pose you a question: Matt Ryan is one hit away from going down, and then what? Are you going to send in the guy the Saints discarded as garbage or the rookie that’s never faced a first string NFL defensive team?

@ Cleveland Turk: You’re too slow.

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
9:18 am

Dere ur are slug!!!! I wuz turnning over all those wet rocks behind your flooded parish lookn for you. Now got take seen b4 and wipe dat extra slime off ur back and use it on your “girl” seen b4………Get Off Our Blog!!!

JSS

September 6th, 2012
9:23 am

Dang STB4, you have a stalker too? A user-name stealing one at that… Good luck with that!

PMC

September 6th, 2012
9:23 am

Matt Ryan Mike Mularkey Oil and Water…… That would make me want to read the column more honestly.

D man

September 6th, 2012
9:27 am

Ryan likes our new OC. Cool!!! Now, let’s get ready for some Falcon football on Sunday. I feel a lopsided victory coming on for my Falcons. I’m looking for a big day from our defense as well as our offense.

Falcons 35
Chiefs 13

PMC

September 6th, 2012
9:27 am

We do seem to spend a lot of time in this city in Baseball and Football talking about relationships in the locker room and less time talking about what needs to happen in relation to winning.

It’s all well and good that they are Kum ba ya, that’s cool and all, but mostly I want to see a lot of touchdowns. They can’t really talk about what they are going to do though I understand that, but wouldn’t mind seeing a little more edge and emotion from this group.

Ok, you like each other, produce…. or you know, go get a career in golf or something.

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
9:39 am

Da aints hone lose to rg3. Watch. Lofton 2 down self go get ate up. If he even plays wit dat bum ankle and bum dline.

Redcoat

September 6th, 2012
9:39 am

Seen is like those has been, or never were, high school athletes that go sit on the visitor side at high school games just to “stir it up”, be able to have some kind of fake pride, and soon disappear when their team stops winning…….very sad, I wonder where they go and do after their run is through?……..change their name and get on another band wagon I guess?

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
9:41 am

Dman i like dat score i think ur dead on wit that one………hiram and seen b 4 are girlfriends Lol!!!

SirReal

September 6th, 2012
9:42 am

Cleveland Ave Turk…dont worry about parasites man. Thats all people like that are….I mean who hovers over another team’s blog for like the last 3-4 years? You’d think it would get old. You’d think their girlfriend or wife would have had enough. WAIT….they probably dont have either. There’s no way a man can spend this much time on another team’s blog if they TRULY had a life. It’s sad.
I’m glad that Ryan and Koetter are on the same page. I can read between the lines. He likes him a LOT more than the rigid personality of Mularkey. He doesnt seem very warm at all. I think the Ryan/Koetter relationship will blossom into greatness. Oh yeah, I’ve seen the garbage blog they have on NOLA.com and I can see why these idiots come to ours. That thing is absolutely ATROCIOUS!lol

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
9:44 am

Yep redcoat u right… I just wanna know win him and hiram gone come out da closet.

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
9:47 am

Wat it do sireal…….dat undercover closet hider seen b 4 got da nerve to be first on our blog. Can u belive dat clown/queen.

Redcoat

September 6th, 2012
9:50 am

How are Brees and his OC getting along?………What?…….They will not be speaking to each other once the season begins for a while?……Why’s that?

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
9:51 am

We bounty hutn all drag queens named seen b4 who somewhere under hiram saint while they both are inder their trailer all alone in the park.

SirReal

September 6th, 2012
9:53 am

@Cleveland Ave i already told you what the deal is with those guys. Dont give them a host. Thats what parasites look for. They’re only on our blog b/c their whole website period looks like something my 11 year old niece could probably put together.

Seen This B4

September 6th, 2012
9:54 am

I know that I am getting under your skin when I see that you all start trying to analyze my motives!

Let me put it into terms you lightweights understand: I think your team suxs, and I will express it as often as I can.

You can disparage me as much as you like, I simply don’t care what you have to say. LOL! I really don’t! So, have at it. It won’t stop me from being here!

Chiefs 20
falcan’ts 17

Seen This B4

September 6th, 2012
9:57 am

@Redcoat: Brees and his OC have been working together since he was in San Diego, and they will be working together this Sunday, the following Sunday, and every Sunday during the entire season. Educate yourself on who is and who is not suspended.

Conspiracy Theorist

September 6th, 2012
10:01 am

I think these guy Seen and Hiram are really covert AJC employees or something….the only way to explain it. They should have been deleted from being able to blog long ago. I’m starting to wonder if this is whats really going on….AJC I know its a “free” country but man…this gets old to Birdland.

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
10:03 am

Shut up queen!!!
U are burboun st. oldest used up and slimmest queen. A useless slug in a flooed useless parish in a useless downtrodden city.

Cleveland Ave.Turk

September 6th, 2012
10:07 am

D.led thinks it fair for them to be here….if i wuz him id just delete all their comments before they can even post. He did that to me a few times. I guess i was gettn to mean to dem slugs/queens.

True Falcon Fan

September 6th, 2012
10:13 am

Hello ZERO, how was Florida, did you get writers cramps from signing all the pay checks? Probably not Disney is all electronic i suppose. Did you enjoy the RNC while you were their? I’m sure you must of signed checks for all those folks too……LOL ;)

Go Falcons!!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
10:19 am

I hate Aints fans!!!!!……Shot out to O.j Santiago

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
10:26 am

If it wasnt for mardis gras. No one would even know new flooded orleans existed…….even the people from there dont even want to be there. ….But opps!! Uh.oh!!! They somehow love to come and live in our lovely city so dey can see da falcons and braves everwhere…….Wow.

hammerinhankhammeredsaints

September 6th, 2012
10:34 am

..the saints fans have site I like ,it’s pretty weak they don’t talk about teams like San Fran or teams like greenbay crushing their unknown defense ,they can barely thrive on our page ,between Matt Ryan and cam newton they will destroy the ain’ts lol

realitycheck

September 6th, 2012
10:34 am

Cleveland Ave. Turk……………Maybe ypur local community college has a general writing/composition course you might want to take. Additionally, an elementary spelling class could’nt hurt either!

Mike is Back

September 6th, 2012
10:40 am

Seen This B4, dude an Aints can’t be first on the BIRDS blog.lol

Dled, Matt has looked really GREAT…this might be the year of ICE!

RISE UP BIRDS LETS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
10:44 am

Yep u rite. I cant spell………u not even worth debating wit….who are u anyway?? A new nobody. We have enuff of ur undercover queen sisters already.

North FLA Falcon

September 6th, 2012
10:44 am

RG3 is gonna light up the Aints secondary!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
10:47 am

Heres a @realiy check…ur a wet flooded parrish slug wit mardis gras beads on. Pull down ur skirt. The scars on ur knees are showing

True Falcon Fan

September 6th, 2012
10:50 am

Jerry’s boyz looked preetttyyy good last night, good thing we see them week # 9 — if either team is not beat-up to bad by 11/4th should be a very good game in ATL for sure……Ole Danny White aka Tony Romo play very well indeed. Me i’m looking forward to # 8 — wondering if his “hineA$$” will be ready to play for the “dream team”…. LOLOLOL’s :)

Go Falcons!!!!

True Falcon Fan

September 6th, 2012
10:54 am

10:44 that would be really neat if were to happen for sure, but don’t count or bet onit!

Goin to Vegas on 11/11 — perfect timing to bet the YOE! :)

Go Falcons!!!!

True Falcon Fan

September 6th, 2012
10:58 am

The point is re “Dream Team” — i would be more worried about the back-up QB than ole # 7 (who really cares)

Redcoat

September 6th, 2012
11:13 am

Seen so sorry to get under your skin like that…….don’t really keep up with the aints as you do the Falcons, plus the aints had so many violations and suspensions………..I know you had a tough off season dealing with all the negative aints issues and also keeping up on all the positives about the Falcons…..it would drive any aint troll crazy……..Would you just prefer everyone to take Sir Real’s suggestion and not respond to you?

JSS

September 6th, 2012
11:37 am

Untreated Syphilis (AKA TFF), 6 and 21… And when has Orlando and Tampa been the same place? You really to get an atlas or computer GPS… Don’t worry, like your attempts at humor, those fleas were running from their undercover John Birch meeting on Monday and Tuesday in fear… Luckily, Orlando was already full with Labor Day vacationers and Euros! I did have to watch that joke of a finale to preseason… Keep stalking, Georgia is one of the few states that doesn’t give people like you the room you deserve in Butts County…

Nique

September 6th, 2012
11:43 am

Franks is back!!!! Birds cut TIM Toone & brought Franks back! I’m glad because Franks is a better cb than Owens & a better returner than Toone. The move just made no sense!!! It seems from some of TD’s comments that Franks needed a fire lit under his but & hopefully this does it if that was the case!

PMC

September 6th, 2012
11:56 am

Sucks to be Tim Toone, get a job, get hurt a bit, see the Giants with absolutely no competant CB’s ont he field… get injury settlement quick smart and now Smith doesn’t have to answer the question again about who the KR is going to be.

PMC

September 6th, 2012
11:58 am

Getting hurt at PRACTICE…. not a game PRACTICE.

welcome back D Franks. So Sorry for you T Toone.

Glad Franks is here and not in NYC after last night, wow did their backup CB’s look bad last night.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

September 6th, 2012
12:02 pm

Yep. But i liked toone too.

True Falcon Fan

September 6th, 2012
12:17 pm

Hello ZERO – I knew you would wake-up sooner than later. My guess is Momma handled the driving/bus ride or air tickets and all expenses for your sorry A$$! For your information re GPS – Orlando is hole closer to Tampa than one knows…..I must say you are one hilarious moron for sure… ;) LOLOLOLs

Ken

September 6th, 2012
12:20 pm

D-Led with Franks coming back due to the ijury to Toone that leaves the Falcons with only 4 receivers one would think that a DB will be inactive for game 1?? Whats the word on this out of the Branch??

Falcons bring back Franks | Atlanta Falcons

September 6th, 2012
12:20 pm

[...] Ryan, Koetter form fast bond [...]

True Falcon Fan

September 6th, 2012
12:21 pm

Here comes “predictable”