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Jaws: Matt Ryan must improve in ‘muddied pocket’

Matt Ryan Pic Getty Images

As Ron Jaworski of ESPN continues his ranking of the top-30 quarterbacks in the NFL, he slotted Atlanta’s Matt Ryan 11th among signal callers after back-to-back playoff appearances. Ryan is 27 years old. His career touchdown-to-interception ratio is 95:46, and Ryan’s yearly passer ratings have risen steadily.

“You know what I really appreciate about Ryan; he has improved in each of his four years as the Falcons’ starter,” Jaworski said on SportsCenter Saturday. “… He’s won 69 percent of his NFL starts. That’s pretty good.”

Jaworski likes Ryan’s talent level, and particularly his commanding presence and decision making before the snap of the ball.

“Ryan is a timing and rhythm passer,” Jaws observed. “He hits his back foot, and the ball comes out. First down was the explosive-play down for Ryan [in 2011]. He had 24 completions of 20 yards or more. … I also like Ryan’s natural feel for anticipating throws. …

“In 2011, Ryan was given more responsibility at the line of scrimmage. The ability to control the game before the snap is an increasingly important attribute in today’s NFL.”

Jaws still sees one part of Ryan’s game that must improve, in order for the fifth-year signal caller to take another step forward.

“Ryan is right on the edge being a top-ten NFL quarterback,” Jaworski opined. “I love the way he’s engaged in every single game. But there’s still one element of Ryan’s game that needs work. He must become more consistent in what I call a ‘muddied pocket.’ With bodies flying around him. Right now, he needs that comfortable cradle, functional space. If he improves in that area, he’ll crack my top ten.”

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28 Responses to “Jaws: Matt Ryan must improve in ‘muddied pocket’”
  1. wadecounty93 says: Jun 30, 2012 4:33 PM

    Jaws Please get off MNF!

  2. ShimSham says: Jun 30, 2012 4:43 PM

    Ryan also has to improve his deep ball. They can say the Atlanta offense will be “more explosive” every year, but it never will be so long as his deep passes hang in the air three times longer than they should.

  3. atlsage says: Jun 30, 2012 4:44 PM

    I’m not a big fan of Jaws, but as a Falcon fan, his analysis on Ryan was spot-on.

  4. gosuhgo says: Jun 30, 2012 4:45 PM

    Jaws lost me when he put staff and cam below like…flaco and matt ryan.

  5. buccaroo989 says: Jun 30, 2012 4:45 PM

    I agree Ryan could be in the top ten eventually. Unfortunately his
    Window may close prematurely along with his teams. I think the trade to move up to get Julio Jones will prove to be one of the worst moves In franchise history. It seems like when a playoff team decides they are one player away they fall into this trap. Unfortunately it is the fans who pay for the mistakes th gms make. Best thing they could do is trade Ryan while he still has some value and bring back Vick.
    Doggonit!

  6. craigmaitland says: Jun 30, 2012 5:19 PM

    If Matt Ryan played for the Eagles jaws would ask him to marry him.

  7. citizenstrange says: Jun 30, 2012 5:20 PM

    To quote Jim Palmer about Earl Weaver:

    “The only thing he knows about pitching is that he couldn’t hit it.”

  8. trefkennedy says: Jun 30, 2012 5:34 PM

    He can’t win a playoff game, that’s all they say about Tony Romo, yet Matty frost gets off scott free smh

  9. mjkelly77 says: Jun 30, 2012 5:43 PM

    I think Jaws has his Matts mixed up. He rates Matt StafFORD who really had his first real season last year as #14 and Matt Ryan as #11.

    2011 Season
    StafFORD: 41 TDs. 16 INT, 5,038 yds, 97.2 Rate
    Ryan: 29 TDs 12 INT, 4,177 yds, 92.2 Rate

    And StafFORD is 3 years younger than Ryan.

  10. buccaroo989 says: Jun 30, 2012 5:59 PM

    Sorry stafFORD fan but one season with megaton does not make you great. He had a good season with the help of a phenomenal receiver. Let’s see him stay healthy and show us some more. Like able kid though.

  11. cannonballdookie says: Jun 30, 2012 6:04 PM

    Not sure why everyone is so spiteful towards Jaws as he’s spot on in this analysis.

    Matt Ryan is soft for lack of a better word. He can play great when things are going well for him, but the moment he starts to face adversity, he struggles too much and can’t snap out of it. Not every game is going to be in a dome, you aren’t going to have a perfect pocket every down, your RB isn’t always having a great game, and sometimes you may need to make comebacks as well.

    Ryan is certainly an above average starter, but he just needs a little more toughness to get to the next level.

  12. unionslie says: Jun 30, 2012 6:41 PM

    Dear Jaw’s Haters & Stat’s Guys,

    Jaws has forgotten more about football in the time it takes me to type this than you idiots will learn in a lifetime. And last I checked fantasy numbers don’t determine how good a QB is, but since most of you spend more time watching your fantasy score than actuall football you won’t even know what I’m talking about. Good QBs don’t just put up numbers they play past week 17, but since your seasons end in week 16 you once again won’t know what I’m talking about.

  13. latenightroach says: Jun 30, 2012 6:50 PM

    Jaws has about as much credibility with me as Trent Dilfer – None.

  14. jacobslatter says: Jun 30, 2012 6:51 PM

    Pockets are less muddied when the starting 5 play well, and LT Sam Baker & RG Garrett Reynolds as well as C Joe Hawley replacing injured veteran Todd McClure in September struggled like a Tom Cruise with his ego (as well as other Travoltian leanings ;) ). No worries, new O-line blood is flowing in camp and the Dirkster is installing new crap in the offense for Matty Iceberg…just ask Jacksonville how well they loved their offense last year. No wait, don’t ask them how their offense was last year…

  15. rajbais says: Jun 30, 2012 6:51 PM

    After Tony Romo, this is the quarterback that needs to win a Super Bowl!!!

    I personally felt that critics prematurely made the Falcons a Super Bowl contender when they showed no proof in the past playoff appearances or on defense to do so and that was unfair to Ryan!!!

  16. SeenThisB4 says: Jun 30, 2012 7:07 PM

    Matt Ryan has reached the apex of his athletic ability. He’ll never be any better.

  17. nashwaakkidd says: Jun 30, 2012 7:47 PM

    gotta win some playoff games to earn that extra respect. great regular season qb tho. very compareable to you know who in BIG D. to quote Deion ” he… is… not… that…guy” applies to both these guys

  18. spartyfi says: Jun 30, 2012 7:53 PM

    Bucaroo, take away Stafford’s number 1 and Ryan’s number one ( also a top flight WR) and Stafford still has him by a long shot!!! Get real and stop discounting what Stafford did “because he has CJ”. Lame logic. Stafford has one of the top 3 arms in the league!

  19. thingamajig says: Jun 30, 2012 8:19 PM

    OK Jaws but what does Gruden have to say.

  20. lks311 says: Jun 30, 2012 8:32 PM

    Ryan’s top 4 weapons last year: Turner, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez.

    Stafford’s top 4: Megatron, Burleson, Titus Young, Pettigrew.

    Think that ends the Stafford has Tron arguments.

  21. zatoichi7 says: Jun 30, 2012 8:37 PM

    what jaws says about ryan is true.

    i would take stafford over ryan any day.

    jaws may not be the best color commentator, but NO ONE in television breaks down tape as well as him. i wish he would do a show of just that again.

  22. edwinmoses says: Jun 30, 2012 9:26 PM

    Sorry ATL fans, but I’ll take Fitzpatrick over Matty boy.

  23. shutupbrees says: Jun 30, 2012 10:36 PM

    I respect Jaws analysis, but I’d take about 8 of the QBs he’s ranked lower than Matt Ryan, over Matt Ryan. Guy is extremely mediocre, not good, not bad, just vanilla. The fact that he always plants and throws means he’s targeting his first read on every play. That’s not a positive. And it clearly shows come crunchtime.

    Vanilla Ice is probably closer to 15th …

  24. stanleyhalas says: Jun 30, 2012 10:44 PM

    The reason you take Matt Ryan over Matt stafford is simple…Matt Ryan has stayed healthy all his career, stafford has been off the field more than on in his short career

  25. youcantmakemepickausername says: Jun 30, 2012 10:46 PM

    unionslie says:
    Jun 30, 2012 6:41 PM
    Dear Jaw’s Haters & Stat’s Guys,

    Jaws has forgotten more about football in the time it takes me to type this than you idiots will learn in a lifetime. And last I checked fantasy numbers don’t determine how good a QB is, but since most of you spend more time watching your fantasy score than actuall football you won’t even know what I’m talking about. Good QBs don’t just put up numbers they play past week 17, but since your seasons end in week 16 you once again won’t know what I’m talking about.
    ———————————————-
    Okay, never been in a fantasy league, so that’s out the window. And while i readily admit Jaws knows more about football than me (and probably more about proper use of the apostrophe than you), Jaws is also the guy that said over and over how great Kevin Kolb would be, and how did that turn out?

  26. qj1984 says: Jun 30, 2012 10:49 PM

    lks311 says: Jun 30, 2012 8:32 PM

    Ryan’s top 4 weapons last year: Turner, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez.

    Stafford’s top 4: Megatron, Burleson, Titus Young, Pettigrew.

    Think that ends the Stafford has Tron arguments.
    __________________________________
    spartyfi says: Jun 30, 2012 7:53 PM

    Bucaroo, take away Stafford’s number 1 and Ryan’s number one ( also a top flight WR) and Stafford still has him by a long shot!!! Get real and stop discounting what Stafford did “because he has CJ”. Lame logic. Stafford has one of the top 3 arms in the league!
    ____________________________________

    I am not a Matt Ryan fan. I’ve always thought he was overrated but comments like these show just how little the average fan knows about football. It’s not as simple as taking CJ’s number’s away from Stafford. People don’t realize the coverage it takes to take Megatron out of a play. Even when the ball isn’t going to Megatron is presence on the field has a major impact on the rest of Detroits WR. I know people only watch highlights but even in the highlights Megatron is drawing double and triple coverage. When a defenses focuses that much on one guy, other guys are bound to be open.

    Talk to me when Stafford and the Lions have to go a game without Megatron. My bet is Stafford won’t look so hot.

  27. buccaroo989 says: Jun 30, 2012 10:58 PM

    Sorry Stafford fans I wasn’t trying to rip Stafford …
    Only saying he hasn’t proven to be durable or productive for more than the one season. I will admit he has shown more toughness and an ability to go deep, more than Matty Ice and I can tell the Lions faithful
    are very excited about him. That being said I honestly believe I could make some big plays if I had megatron to throw the ball to (I am 5’10″, 49 years old, with a torn rotator cuff, and no organized football playing
    Experience other than throwing to my dog “Bear” in my back yard (he roots for Chicago )).

  28. spartyfi says: Jun 30, 2012 11:04 PM

    QJ, watch them both throw the ball and tell me who’s better…not even close. Also, Ryan has Roddy White and he pulls the same coverage as CJ. Sick of people who have probably seen stafford play twice ever and think he’s good because of CJ. A lot of other QBs have played for the Lions with CJ and not done nearly as well. In 2 years you all can come back here and apologize for not knowing what you’re talking about!

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