Atlanta Falcons: Ryan takes no-huddle clues from Manning

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has never been to Peyton Manning’s quarterback camp.

“I’d love to go at some point,” Ryan said Thursday.

But you could never tell that based on how Ryan has operated the Falcons’ no-huddle attack since the second game of his rookie season. The attack has grown in complexity as the team has added more plays and formations each season.

While the origin of the Falcons’ no-huddle has been traced to Boomer Esiason and Sam Wyche during their Cincinnati Bengals days of the late 1980s, Ryan acknowledges that he has copied some of Manning’s style and movements.

“Every quarterback watches him,” Ryan said. “I’ve certainly watched him a lot. As far as emulating him, you have to be your own player. But in terms of what they do at the line of scrimmage — what he’s done historically for a long time — we try to bring some of that into what we’ve done in the no-huddle.”

The Falcons do not rely as heavily on their no-huddle attack. It’s just a part of their offensive package. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter ran 11 of 54 plays (20.3 percent) plays out of the no-huddle against the Chiefs and used it on two drives. The first drive ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones and the second stalled at Kansas City’s 3-yard line and Matt Bryant added a 21-yard field goal.

With Ryan and Manning on the field, Monday night’s nationally televised battle could turn into a duel between no-huddle offenses at the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

“There is really nobody better at it,” Ryan said of Manning. “He is as good in the no-huddle really as anybody that’s ever played. It’s fun to watch. I think every quarterback, at one point or another, has turned on his tape and tried to pick up some of the things they are doing. He’s one of the best.”

Manning is making a comeback after being away from football for 20 months because of neck surgeries. After parting ways with the Indianapolis Colts, he signed with the Denver Broncos.

In the team’s season opener against Pittsburgh, he led the Broncos to a 31-19 victory. The Broncos scored 22 points while operating out of the no-huddle attack.

“I think he was drafted when I was — I don’t want to make him sound too old — I think in the seventh or eighth grade,” Ryan said. “At the time, I remember watching him at Tennessee. He was unbelievably talented and then when he got into the NFL he was carving people up and has been doing it for a long time.”

In addition to running the no-huddle, Ryan and Manning were coached by Bill Musgrave early in their careers. Musgrave is now Minnesota’s offensive coordinator.

Ryan relishes his first meeting against Manning, the NFL’s only four-time MVP.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

“It’s fun to play against the very best,” Ryan said. “He’s obviously one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. He’ll present a big challenge for our defense.”

In addition to the no-huddle and Musgrave, there is another parallel between Ryan and Manning’s careers. Both have struggled early in the playoffs.

Ryan is 0-3 in the playoffs. Manning didn’t win his first playoff game until his sixth season in the league, when the Colts routed the Broncos 41-10 in the wild-card round after the 2003 season.

“I think it’s one of those things that you have to use it as motivation in the right way,” Ryan said about his playoff woes. “That’s what I’ve tried to do. It’s certainly difficult, no question. But you put it behind you and start moving on.”

Ryan, who has a 44-19 record as a starter, will get to show the nation if he’s an elite quarterback. He started the season with a strong showing in Kansas City on Sunday, with three touchdowns passes and a 136.4 quarterback rating.

“We’ve been saying from the beginning that Matt is a top-tier NFL quarterback, and that’s how top-tier NFL quarterbacks play,” Koetter said. “We were able to protect him. Any quarterback is going to play better when he’s got time to throw it and also when you have good guys catching it. We threw it and caught it well against Kansas City.”

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62 comments Add your comment

ParanoidAndroid

September 14th, 2012
8:11 am

ParanoidAndroid

September 14th, 2012
8:13 am

Just wanted to spoil Seen’s day since being first seems like the highlight of her days.

Matt gets closer to that elite status Monday night.

dean

September 14th, 2012
8:18 am

Peyton Manning 2.0 is Matt Ryan.

just sayin'

September 14th, 2012
8:53 am

Rise Up!

September 14th, 2012
8:56 am

Game against Manning … it’s time for the Falcon brass to take the bridle off of Ryan. While the D is still finding it’s way, this is a shoot-out game and the O will need to carry it home on MNF. Let Ryan out of the sandbox and let him play with the Big Boys!

ParanoidAndroid

September 14th, 2012
9:02 am

Falcons Fans, be LOUD when Manning is in the no-huddle. I want to see everyone off their seats and yelling.

BamaGuy

September 14th, 2012
9:20 am

Seen is RARELY seen these days.

jb

September 14th, 2012
9:23 am

This one could be a landmark “passing of the torch” game … Ryan has the nation’s attention. Let’s hope he delivers!

MaxxFalcon

September 14th, 2012
9:28 am

We have to be able to run the football on Monday night. Keep their Offense off the field, pass off of play-action to keep those DEs honest. If we go 5 wide and shotgun all day, Dumervil and Miller are going to have a field day pinning their ears back and teeing off on #2. Defensively, we must stop the run and hit Peyton early and often. Let’s see what kind of looks Nolan can give Manning. We need to try our best to confuse Manning and Denver’s protection. If Peyton knws what coverage we are in and is dropping back with all day to throw, he will pick us apart, with or without Grimey. I pray that Chris Owens can hold up in the slot for 4 quarters.

D man

September 14th, 2012
9:42 am

We are going to have to score some points against a tough defense Sunday night. The defense will have to play lie they did in the second half last week.

dean

September 14th, 2012
9:51 am

This could be a 45 to 38 kind of game-either way.

Barton

September 14th, 2012
10:05 am

If I see Nolan drop us into a Cover 2 with Robinson over at right corner I’m going to cry and we are going to get carved up. Please throw the house at Manning. Only way we’re going to beat him is if he’s looking up from the ground all game. Gotta love Matt Ryan. I hope he retires a Falcon with at least two rings.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

SirReal

September 14th, 2012
10:20 am

It’s gonna be a shootout. I wouldnt be surprised if it’s 49-42 either way in this one. Whoever wins the turnover battle wins this one. I’m looking forward to it. It might be a classic matchup of the teacher vs the student. Ryan’s the future, Manning is the legend. Should be a fantastic matchup. Even if we lose Birdland ( which I still dont think will happen. we’re GREAT at home), I think Ryan comes out and shows everyone he deserves to be in the convo of the top ten QBs in this league hands down.

Red Pants

September 14th, 2012
10:34 am

Ryan a top 10 QB? Sure, but look at the list…..

Brady
Rodgers
Brees
Peyton
Eli
Stafford
Roethlisberger
Romo
Ryan
Flacco?
Cam?

Not a whole lot of competition once you get past the guys with rings.

Nique

September 14th, 2012
11:50 am

& Ryan should have had 4 throwing TD’s & a rushing one because he completely missed Julio for his 3rd TD catch of the game when he was wide open in the back of the endzone. Ryan looked great Sunday, the offense looked great Sunday, Dirk called great, that being said, we were playing a banged up Chiefs defense missing its best 2 players & 4 starters overall. There’s going to be a market difference between what we saw last week & what we’ll see this week. Not that Denver has the best defense in the league, because they don’t, they have some whole. I think up the middle they can be exploited all the way from the NT to the safeties. If we don’t turn it over & don’t give up more than 2-3 sacks, (as long as those sacks aren’t sack fumbles & dont lead to an injury) we should win this game. I’d like us to win this game by 10 points. I believe that people are overhyping Denver off of one game. They are a good team, but legitimate super bowl contenders…idk about all of that! The Steelers stifled their running game, it’ll be important for us to do the same to make them one dimensional & from there, we’ll just have to trust Nolan, which i do!

Really?

September 14th, 2012
11:59 am

Maybe a ‘marked difference’ not a ‘market difference’ as stated directly above.

Nique

September 14th, 2012
12:12 pm

Thx 4 the proof read really?, it’s a blog post, not a hw submission & if the blog monster would stop eating my post, I already cleaned that up!

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
12:24 pm

I don’t think Denver will put up the points that some on here think they will…………….Falcons will be fired up for this home game in the Dome……………………looking for a huge upset Monday night over the Broncos…………………….and still see the NFC South looking like this Tuesday morning…………

This is what the NFC South will look like Tuesday Morning……………………………………………………..

NFC South Standings
Atlanta 2 – 0
Tampa Bay 1 – 1
Carolina 1 – 1
New Orleans 0 – 2

Falcon James

September 14th, 2012
12:45 pm

The Falcon will throw, throw, throw. Turner will be lucky to get the ball 5 times. This going to be a shootout.

Tuba dreams

September 14th, 2012
12:51 pm

@SeenThisB4….This ones for you….Blow that tuba brother…

Brownie

September 14th, 2012
12:58 pm

A slight turn off the topic, but regarding a major improvement by Ryan since last year……he’s obviously stronger. Not Dan Uggla, but noticeable.

Ryan’s biggest weakness as a QB has been that he throws high nearly every time, causing the receiver to leave his feet to catch it. The result is the receiver loses balance and falls down OR the defender has an extra second to recover and make a quick tackle. The last few years the Falcons’ yards-after-catch stats have been among the worst in the NFL. You could say some of that was Malarkey’s fault, as his passing scheme was very “point to point”, but much of it was Ryan’s inaccuracy.

Getting in the weight room has made a huge difference. Any QB coach (same in baseball by the way) will tell you that when you try to overthrow/throw too hard, the ball will sail on you. When you try to throw softly, you release late and it comes up short.

Think about all the times Roddy and Gonzalez have had to jump to catch passes, and now think about Ryan so far this year. I’ve watched every pre-season game and last week, and I can think of one pass to Roddy on the right sideline that was slightly high.

He’s now hitting receivers chest high,and they will get huge yards with their legs after the catch. NOW watch what Roddy, and especially Julio, can do.

Brownie

September 14th, 2012
1:00 pm

Oh, and by the way, all the receivers’ ribs feel better so far this year…

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
1:06 pm

@ STB4…………….. you should drop by here and tell me that story again you posted during the Preseason on how the Saints were going to dominate the NFC South and the NFC division and win in the Playoffs and win the NFC Championship and host the Superbowl and win the Superbowl and have a Ticker Parade in New Orleans and a Huge Dinner Party at the White House as well with the President and then meet the Heads of State from all the Leaders around the World in a Summit talking about how the Saints were so sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet this Season…………………………………………………………………………..Oh, did I already tell it again for you ? Nevermind then………………………….you can slide on that one

Just Sayin.....

September 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

Only difference that matters is that one qb actually has playoff wins…

Just sayin…..

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
1:13 pm

@ keep sayin………………….true as it can be, at least for now

Just Sayin.....

September 14th, 2012
1:13 pm

Have any of you guys realistically taken in consideration that the Broncos have two shutdown corners? Where are the points going to come from? Each time the Broncos force 3 and outs the more chances Peyton will have to run up the clock.

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
1:23 pm

Two corners wont shut down the entire offense………….look for Michael Turner to show up big on the ground game plus you have Rodgers and one hel& of a tight-end in Tony Gonzales and many other weapons on offense as well………………………….honestly, think Champ can cover Julio Jones………………………………lmao

slimG

September 14th, 2012
1:53 pm

Birds defense still missing some pieces which will be evident this monday. Give these guys some slack still a couple years away.

MaxxFalcon

September 14th, 2012
3:11 pm

Tracy Porter is not a shutdown corner, and he didn’t go against a receiver as physical as Roddy or Julio last week. This ain’t Mike Wallace or Antonio Brown. If Porter tries to jam either one of those guys Monday night they will take his apple pie

Paddy

September 14th, 2012
3:16 pm

Leave STB4 alone. The NO newspaper does not offer bloggers and no place to comment on any thing let alone sports. ‘Seen’ is like a homeless guy. He posts for gratification. Look for him at the interstate off ramp near you!

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

P B Orr

September 14th, 2012
3:41 pm

Can we send the tool who invented the phrase “elite quarterback” to Mars? That rover needs dusting.

zorro

September 14th, 2012
3:45 pm

Linebackers for the falcons will win this game. Remember Pressure broke the pipe. And oh yea! We still have a running game, that will be on display so order by Smitty him self. Jason Snelling, Rodgers, A smith and M turner will run behind a good Offense line this Monday Night. Manning just might get hurt, just saying.A Harry Douglas sighting will come in under the radar this is to Keith Brooking to be on the look out for a fast moving object.

just saying

September 14th, 2012
3:48 pm

Matt Ryan is a far better QB at this point in his career than Manning was. Just saying…

Tampa fan

September 14th, 2012
4:33 pm

I love how Falcons fans are so hard on Matt Ryan when he’s the best hope for the Falcons. There’s no one available that would be an upgrade to Matt Ryan. The media continue to undermine Ryan and yet, instead of having his back, fans want to complain about him. I feel sorry for Falcons players. Matty Ice come to Tampa, we would welcome you with open arms!

Titan

September 14th, 2012
4:36 pm

We will give you #1 draft pick for Matty Ice

Samuel

September 14th, 2012
4:42 pm

I know the monkey is on Matt Ryan’s back when it pertains to winning a playoff game. Being said that, he could come closer to Falcon fans believing it, if he can win and play well against the great Peyton Mannng.

Samuel

September 14th, 2012
4:44 pm

The Falcons have to learn to play well in primetime!

Tampa-1

September 14th, 2012
4:45 pm

I can’t wait to see The Scoolmaster give little Matty Meldown a lesson in how to run a no huddle and when it’s all said and done , little Matty Melt can run home like a little schoolboy and sob in daddy smiths arms .

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
5:10 pm

I can’t wait to see Tampa Bay fold up like a cardboard box against the Giants…………………………………………no way they can handle them…………………………..

Whiznot

September 14th, 2012
5:21 pm

Nine of thirteen ESPN guys pick the Falcons over the Broncos but we have P. Manning throwing against a depleted Falcons secondary vs Matt Ryan throwing against Bailey and Porter. I hope the ESPN guys are on target but I’m very concerned. We need a strong rush.

Tampa-1

September 14th, 2012
5:30 pm

Lets not forget you also have the refs. I’m sure Blank has boosted their billfolds so as not to be embarassed again like the last time you played a real team…. Giants …Saints …Packers

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
5:36 pm

ha ha ha ha…………never can tell , but seriously, not a chance………………………………………

Michael M.

September 14th, 2012
5:40 pm

lets say the Broncos win I betcha 8 out of the 9 out of the 13 would be screaming Denver is Superbowl ready……….already saw a article out there someone was saying are they Superbowl bound with Manning……………way too early in the season for anyone to be talking that crap

AFfansince1980

September 14th, 2012
6:52 pm

Come on guys… I am a woman, and I can tell you who ever shows up Monday night, and has thier heart and mind IN the game being played will win. As for all of the comments about playoffs, just look back through the history of NFL Quaterbacks, and tell me how many seasons MOST ALL of the LEGENDARY QB’s played before they started winning. Peyton Manning is a great QB, and it took him SIX seasons. This is the START of Matt Ryan’s FOURTH. Give him time to develope, and our team to develope, and WE will make a difference. Falcons, win or lose I am still always a TRUE FAN. I have no off and on switch!!!!!!!!

billyho55

September 14th, 2012
8:21 pm

@TAMPA FAN

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE WITH YOUR ASSESSMENT! EXCEPT FOR THE GOING TO TAMPA THING.

[...] preseason is not a secret. And he didn’t wow anybody in week one either. Tur more… Atlanta Falcons: Ryan takes no-huddle clues from Manning – blogs.ajc.com 09/14/2012 Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the first half of [...]

Brian Hunt

September 14th, 2012
8:41 pm

I thank the Universe every day that Matt Ryan is our QB.

Singletary

September 14th, 2012
9:55 pm

All hail the fan who despises the overusage of “elite quarterback.” Now if we can land “factor back” on a planet near Betelgueuse…