Worried about Matt Ryan? Johnston says you’re nuts

Count Daryl Johnston among those who don't doubt Matt Ryan's future.

Count Daryl Johnston among those who don't doubt Matt Ryan.

Jumping off the Matt Ryan bandwagon? Daryl Johnston has a message for you.

“If they’re selling, I’ll buy their seat,” said the Fox analyst and former Dallas Cowboys fullback. “His intangibles are off the chart. He’ll be fine. It’s very difficult to find a quarterback, and the Falcons have a very, very good one. He’s a young guy who’s going to get better. Did he set the bar high last year? Absolutely. But what he’s going through now is completely normal. Peyton Manning went 3-13. Troy Aikman was 0-10. I’m not saying Matt Ryan is either one of those guys, but it’s normal to struggle.”

Johnston worked the Fox broadcast last week when Ryan threw two interceptions that played into the Falcons’ 28-19 loss at Carolina. He also watched the Falcons’ wins over San Francisco and Washington, and will work this week’s game against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands.

Ryan has thrown at least one interception in six straight games, and has 10 in the last five. But, no kidding: Johnston started laughing when I mentioned to him that some fans and media members had increasing concerns about the second-year quarterback.

“I’m sure Matt will be the first to tell you that he’d like to have back that fourth-quarter pass to Michael Jenkins,” Johnston said. “He didn’t have to throw that. It was a tw0-man route and Carolina was dropping seven into coverage and the ball sailed on him. But in the drive before that, when they went for the field goal that [Jason Elam] missed, Matt was great. He took what the defense gave him. He completed some short passes and moved the team down the field. That’s what surprised me so much about the interception.”

Surprisingly, Johnston downplayed the significance of the loss of running back Michael Turner, who is likely out for at least Sunday’s game against the Giants, and possibly longer, with an ankle sprain.

“As long as Jerious Norwood is healthy, it won’t be as big a deal,” he said (although Norwood has missed four straight games with a strained hip flexor). “Jason Snelling stepped into a difficult situation last week when Turner left and Norwood wasn’t 100 percent, and he did great. Obviously, they’re not the same style offense without Michael Turner. But Norwood and Snelling are pretty good and they can do some of the same things.”

Earlier today, I attempted to break down the NFC wild card picture.  Johnston still views the Falcons as a potential playoff team but believes the race won’t be decided until the final week of the season

“Minnesota and New Orleans have elevated themselves,” he said. “The East [Division] will be a tough race and I think Arizona will win the West. But those two wild card spots are going to be difficult for anybody to clinch. I think it’s going down to the end.”

195 comments Add your comment

The Grinch

November 18th, 2009
5:58 pm

If he thinks Norwood’s gonna be or stay healthy, he obviously doesn’t watch many Falcons games. let’s hope he’s right.

Dawgs2009

November 18th, 2009
6:03 pm

Same old Falcons. They will find a way to let us down once again. I have watched it for years!

rknight

November 18th, 2009
6:11 pm

Might want to check your title. Are you saying Johnston says we should worry about our nuts instead of Ryan? That makes sense, too. I know I am.

RomeDawg

November 18th, 2009
6:18 pm

As a lifelong Falcons fans I keep waiting for that “bad” thing to happen and I am afraid Turner’s injury may be it. Hope not, but we’ll see. I like Snelling, but he’s not Turner. I also am have concern for my nuts!

Gamer

November 18th, 2009
6:19 pm

Falcons got the personnel to achieve postseaston play but will they put it all together when it count!!

A certain receiver(Jenkins) must complete his routes!!

The linebackers must stay solid tackling running-backs!

Stop dropping pass-rushers into passing plays, let them rush the passer!!

Whoever running the ball need to run hard and decisive every down given.

Hopefully, Ryan and WR’s can get on the same page!!

Falcons can still go 10-6.

20 wins in a row

November 18th, 2009
6:20 pm

Didn’t they learn anything from Vick? I am sure he will be a good NFL QB but what if he turns out to be a total bust? You have to pay him a lot of money thats what.

Born2Buzz

November 18th, 2009
6:27 pm

Ryan will be fine.

And Jeff, can you ban “Choke” before he even gets on here and starts ruining the blog.

Big games coming up in the next 3 weeks.

Whopper Dawg

November 18th, 2009
6:34 pm

The flaw in your conclusion that the Falcons make the playoffs is that we, the Giants and the Eagles all finish 9 – 7, they both beat us head to head, but we get in. I think head to head is the first tie breaker, so I don’t think that will happen.

I think 9 -7 is best case, with 8 -8 being more realistic.

Don’t forget that none of this year’s draft choices are playing to any type of significant level and Baker is hurt again. Yeah, I know that Perry and the safety are hurt – but the rap on them were their history and injuries, that was the rap on Baker too, and we drafted them anyway.

rms

November 18th, 2009
6:34 pm

falcons are soft!

Fair and Balanced

November 18th, 2009
6:35 pm

What intangibles caused 12 interceptions thru Week 9?

hiramsaint

November 18th, 2009
6:39 pm

honestly jeff, after sunday the falcons will be 5-5 with 6 to go. do you think they’re gonna win even 4 of those? of course you don’t. they may get 3 and go 8-8 so your consecutive losing season hang-up will be over . maybe next year they’ll concentrate on football instead of being distracted by…who is our qb…. why is our coach getting in fights….why did we get rid of our linebackers… is king arthur broke… why do we have no depth…no disrespect intended, just some observations!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 18th, 2009
6:39 pm

Fair and Balanced

November 18th, 2009
6:35 pm
What intangibles caused 12 interceptions thru Week 9?

“Because” if he didn’t use his intangibles, it would be 20 PICKS :)

FalconUGAFan

November 18th, 2009
6:40 pm

They learned plenty from Vick. Thats why he isn’t on the team.

I’m a lifelong fan too. Been through all the lean years, but I’m not ready to give up on them. I never have and I never will. Go Falcons!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 18th, 2009
6:41 pm

The only football in the state is at Georgia Tech. They also happen to be the only football that has a fair open competition at quarterback, regardless if his eyes are not blue.

Go Jackets!

Edd

November 18th, 2009
6:42 pm

Like I say and have said , , it is time to see how good the coaching staff and front office is. Great teams get it right and get it fixed ! Are the Falcons headed to the “NEXT” level and how quickly ? It will be very very hard to win in NY. Go to coaching Mike Smith , call the plays Larkey and man up players, this is the truth for this year, dig deep, we are gonna need it and I will do all I can, drink, watch, drink, cuss, hurray, drink, cuss the prevent defense , and hope for a WIN in NY, this is it since ‘66. Go Birds !!!!!!!!!1

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 18th, 2009
6:45 pm

If The Great Smitty would stop fighting with opposing players and do his job, maybe he can avoid ending up like the ex Buffalo coach.

rknight

November 18th, 2009
6:45 pm

Your welcome, Jeff. Damn budget cuts in the newsroom/sports desk.
BTW, Falcons will be fine; near and longer term.

Loyd Roser

November 18th, 2009
6:48 pm

Matt “Choke” Ryan , get a girlfriend or another boyfriend.

Karla

November 18th, 2009
6:50 pm

Loyd r, that was funny to me.

karl

November 18th, 2009
6:55 pm

I still say “choke” is Terrence Moore.

junebaby

November 18th, 2009
6:55 pm

keep it up “choke”. i for one, love your posts! all these hypocrits hate it when the shoe is on the other foot!

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:04 pm

People let’s inject some facts in here, Matt Ryan came in with all this hype, and the truth of the matter is this is Michael Turners team. Michael not Matt is the more significant Body on the field now. Lose Matt and Redman, with “Burner Turner” keeps Defenses honest. There will be all out blitzes on Matt this next few weeks, and ATL Fans will see his breakdown. With that said, do I think he will be a good QB in the NFL? yes. Will he get to that next level as a QB remains to be seen. Management will attempt to get players around him to make him look better than he is, but in reality he is at best above average. Imagine if M. Vick had “Burner Turner”, and a now mature Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, and yes Michael Jenkins to keep defenses honest. They couldn’t be played againt in a cover 2 because know safety would want to take a chance on covering them and watching this guy take off out the pocket, and corners would crap there pants on roll outs. Atlanta Matt is going to be good, but reality is Vick is and will Always be Considered the best QB to play here. P.s If Bartkowski would’ve had wheels(Legs for those who dont understand)he know doubt is the best Ever. One last note, If you really know football please hope that he gets away from trying to use T. Gonzalez so often he is getting read like a people magazine these days by D. Coordinators!

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:12 pm

Matt “Choke” Ryan, Hate Tech, but must admit about fair QB situation. D.J. Shockley put up way better numbers in senoir years than JPW, and ole Brown eyes got shown the door. Come to think of it with the exception of the old days, what Bama QB you know has did anything in the NFL in lets say the last 20 years?

gman

November 18th, 2009
7:15 pm

when is somebody going to call out T.D. and his choice of draft picks, out of two drafts we really get two significant players, calling ryan 1 and lofton 2. oh and ill say biermann as 3
so this blog if for T.D. if a player is injury prone in school and college, guess what. sometime
you have to pick the next best player at the position.you think guys with the tangibles that
jerry and moore slipped on purpose, no they were risky. so please the draft is to get help its
not to see how many players we can fill the injury report, unless your starting and I.R. club

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:16 pm

Karl “Choke” ain’t Terrance Moore, “choke” is real and honest. You know that thing that most Americans aren’t any more!

matt r

November 18th, 2009
7:19 pm

Do football announcers speak in rhetorical questions even when not on TV? Of course they do!

Larry

November 18th, 2009
7:20 pm

Jeff,

I agree with you on this one! I know! I know! You can close your mouth now and get up off the floor!

Others,

Please stop referring to the past, “the curse,” and the jinx! This type of utter nonsense has nothing to do with the present or future and you simply continue to perpetuate that Southerners are still addicted to pork rinds and rely on Palm Readers to validate their future spouses. This makes you look stupid, wimpy, insecure and unintelligent!

Everything this team and its owner has done since ridding itself of the Georgia Dome Thug/Rap environment over the past couple of years is both remarkable and worthy of praise and admiration. I now feel like I’m in a true football environment agings like we had with the Leeman Bennett era and going to the Dome is fun again.

We are set for years of sound, competitive football!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 18th, 2009
7:21 pm

Addition by subtraction:

- Delete the CHOKE

- Delete Mike “Grumpy Old Man” Smith

- Delete Thomas “I Aint No Belichick” Dimitroff

Sum it all up:

About 100 million dollars of freed up money.

This “New Face” project was a failure from the beginning.

I thought The Great Smitty was brought in because of his defensive guru status, but the defense is in even worse status than it was in 2007, before he started have Viagara issues.

He is so frustrated with his and the CHOKE’s performance that he attacks players who had nothing to do with his failures.

He will be the 2nd coach to be DELETED.

Turtsnap

November 18th, 2009
7:22 pm

I see Matt “Choke” Ryan has arrived… end of blog!

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:23 pm

Born to Buzz, Ya’ll ain’t even got a stinger playing in the A.C.C. Who, and I mean who has did anything in the ACC? If not for Miami, or FSU you guys couldn’t claim a “real” legit champion, and to be honest they wasn’t in the ACC when they won it. So ya’ll Tech fans please shut the smuck up!

Dale Tims

November 18th, 2009
7:25 pm

Matt “Choke” Ryan is a dum dum, duh .

Kendra

November 18th, 2009
7:29 pm

I totally agree Big Mike,I am Vick’s #1 fan and I too think that he was and still is one of the best. Matt Ryan is truely not ready to perform and need a little more practice. I am a true falcons fan that is very tired of watching them lose. Please Mr. Art let’s put more time into the team and less time in trying to own the dome, which will never happen.

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:32 pm

Larry, Thugs win Championships (Rothlisberger, R. Lewis, R. Moss, and yes Pretty Boy Brady) who had 30 chicks before he settled down. So please don’t come with the “soft boy” mentality, and please don’t try to bring the sublimital thoughts (thugs a.k.a. Black Guys) in the mix. Oh yes a Thug actually knows what sublimital thinking is, and has a degree.

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:34 pm

Kendra, nothing sexier than a woman that knows the game and can still keep it street and sexy!

FALCONFAN4LIFE (BABY)

November 18th, 2009
7:35 pm

Why isn’t Chris Owens playing, can anyone tell me.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 18th, 2009
7:35 pm

I can recall after that weak schedule the Falcons had in 2008, you remember. Surely you do. Let me remind you:

- Detroit

- Kansas City

- St. Louis

- Oakland

Remember now? Thought that might ring a bell. So, all the anti Vick media, you know, John Clayton of ESPN, FOX, AJC, etc. The were saying he will be the next coming of Jesus, but I never heard of Jesus having a sophomore slump.

Fast forward to this season and the only teams they can beat are the ones with losing records. You know who they are. Well, let me refresh your selective memories:

- Miami (4-5)

- Carolina (4-5)

- San Fran (4-5)

- Chicago (4-5)

See a pattern? No? Well let me make it easy for you. They are all LOSING teams. Anybody can beat those losing teams. Now the winning teams, Patriots, Cowboys, & Saints – the CHOKE did what he does best….. CHOKE.

Now if he couldn’t win against winning teams with Turner, who had 428 yards in his last 9 quarters, how in hell do you expect him to win without Turner.

With 10 interceptions in the last 5 games, this guy is a BUST.

“DUMP THE CHUMP”

And stop making excuses!

riggo

November 18th, 2009
7:37 pm

When will Michael Jenkins show up?

Whitey

November 18th, 2009
7:38 pm

rknight

I agree…shouldn’t use johnson and nuts in same sentence…too close together, but if anyone would be an expert on nuts, it’s johnson!

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:39 pm

Ya’ll stay cool out there in BLOG LAND, but remember, “Ain’t no sunshine when BigMike gone!

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:43 pm

Hey “Choke” just one Question man! Do You see a Romo effect going on in Atl? I do all the hype and no real game.

Larry

November 18th, 2009
7:47 pm

“BigMike Said,”

By definition, “subliminal” is defined as “existing or functioning below the lever of consciousness.” I know you have a degree and all but I think the word you were looking for is implication or implicative.

And to set the record straight, yes, I think the DeAngelo Halls are thug like individuals always looking for someone (black or white) to fight with but I do not consider Vick a thug. Vick is just a guy who was raised by poor or non existent parents who failed to grow up and overcome this and whose behavior is more defined as stupid, ignorant and grossly immature, not that of a thug like Hall. The rest of the people you mentioned aren’t “thugs,” They’ve just done some questionable and irresponsible things.

Clear it up for you, smart guy?

Cairo

November 18th, 2009
7:50 pm

Choke you are a celebrity now. Milk it! Loving it….

Larry

November 18th, 2009
7:57 pm

Jeff,

To rid ourselves of the “Chokes,” “Big Mikes,” and other cerebrally challenged and cognitively deficient bloggers on here, have you ever considered an IQ test that first one must pass before gaining access to your blogs? I know, I know! Some, like “Choke” will find someone to take the test for him but hopefully the inconvenience and embarrassment of asking will run him and others off after a while.

I just feel too often when I visit with you its like driving through the slums to get to the Island Resort and I’m hoping to find a way to circumvent these pest-like irritants to enjoy a higher level of exchange.

Give it some thought!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

November 18th, 2009
7:58 pm

BigMike Said

November 18th, 2009
7:43 pm
Hey “Choke” just one Question man! Do You see a Romo effect going on in Atl? I do all the hype and no real game.

“Exactly”

So let's hear it choke

November 18th, 2009
8:00 pm

What’s your thought’s on Ryan? I don’t think we’ve heard it yet.

Not that Ryan will end up as one of the NFL greats at the QB position but are you basing your opinion of him based on his sophomore year stats alone? Or is it for another reason? Race, alma mater, or home town, or something else? Be honest.

No one knows what type of QB he’ll turn out to be, but he does have a good work ethic and is a leader on the field whether you acknowledge that or not. Are his teammates wrong when they say that he is a leader?

I don’t want to turn this into a MV conversation because he is yesterdays news but is he the reason you hate Ryan?

Make some good points other than giving us his passer ratings for this season.

Jeff Schultz

November 18th, 2009
8:12 pm

So let’s hear it choke — Sorry, are you asking me? My position on Ryan is pretty clear. He’s struggling a bit right now but I think he’ll be fine eventually. But when you take a step back after achieving so much last year, it’s going to scare people.

Jeff Schultz

November 18th, 2009
8:12 pm

Larry — No IQ tests for open commenting. Or calling into talk radio. Or the vent. Or blogging. Or . . .

cdog

November 18th, 2009
8:18 pm

the problem is not matt ryan. its the defense. when you have a defense that has no pride about itself. can’t stop the run, constantly gives teams 2nd and 3 or less, a secondary that can’t cover william perry,and constantly keeps the offense trying to come back from being two or more touchdowns,even johnny unitas or peyton manning couldn’t consistently bring them back. this what ryan is running into. he has to try and match td for td with the opposing teams. all of this spell losing. until the defense takes pride and stop people, its going to be a struggle.

Dustin

November 18th, 2009
8:19 pm

For all you Falcon haters out there, route for another team and stop bashing the home team.

Matt Ryan can’t be great 100% of the time. Flacco is having the same growing pains with the Ravens, and, hey, look they’ve got the same record.

As far as Mr. “choke” and his comments about the Falcons only winning to losing teams, true, but every one of those teams are still in the playoff hunt, two of those teams made the playoffs last year, and every team was at or near 100% healthy when the Falcons played them.

It’s hard to beat Brady and Co. in NE, they hung with the Saints in the Superdome, and the other two loses also came on the road. The only game they didn’t play to form was last week against the Panthers (which by the way was the second time they’ve played this year).

As far as Matty “Ice” is concerned it’s way to early to call him a bust, which I highly doubt he is. Who else were all the Vick lovers out there begging for in the draft, oh yeah, Glenn Dorsey. Where is he now? That’s right making no impact, faded into transparency on a dismal 2-7 KC team.

Ryan is adjusting to the game, like the article said just like Manning, Aikman, and just about every other starter has since the history of football. A bust would be someone like JaMarcus Russell and teetering Brady Quinn.

Ryan will make the throws needed, and the more he sees these pro defenses, especially after playing all these good teams this year, he WILL make the adjustments needed. I think 10 wins is attainable, 9 more likely. No matter what I can promise you that Matt will be working harder this off season. No need to fret.

So let's hear it choke

November 18th, 2009
8:20 pm

My fault Jeff, was talking to “CHOKE”…

I’d actually like to hear your thoughts on Elam. Missing filed goals at crucial points hurts and he seems to be having a rougher year than Ryan. Does Smitty get to a point and start putting in Keonan? I was at the game Sunday and when Elam came in to kick the go ahead FG my stomach dropped. And of course he missed it. That could have been a game changer.