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Arthur Blank: It was hard watching Matt Ryan take a beating

Falcons 49ers Football AP

Falcons owner Arthur Blank admitted his team wasn’t tough enough last year.

But the toughest part for him might have been watching the beating his quarterback was taking.

It wasn’t easy,’’ Blank said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. “I think it wasn’t easy for his teammates, I know that. I saw the stress that it put on them. They were trying to protect him. They weren’t always able to do it consistently. That’s not to say they didn’t do it at all. They just weren’t able to do it at the level that they would like to do it.’’

The protection problem became a self-perpetuating cycle, as the Falcons trailed so much they had to throw more, putting their $100 million quarterback in harm’s way. Ryan was sacked 44 times, the most of his career.

But Blank said the protection issues caused more than physical duress (though Ryan didn’t have any major injuries), leading his quarterback to make mistakes of his own, also setting new career highs with 17 interceptions and four fumbles lost.

“Matt had a fair number of turnovers this year,” Blank said. “He would be the first to say in some games, he probably pressed more than he probably would have liked feeling the weight of this team on his own back which, in a sense, is to his credit. But in a sense, it’s not a good thing, because you end up making some decisions that are not always the best decisions. So it was a difficult year, I think, for all of us, including Matt, and certainly the folks that tried to protect him.’’

The Falcons don’t have enough draft picks to fix all the line problems at once, as the defensive side needs to be addressed as well.

But it’s clear he feels an obligation to protect his biggest investment.

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15 Responses to “Arthur Blank: It was hard watching Matt Ryan take a beating”
  1. crownmethegoat says: Jan 7, 2014 9:45 AM

    You mean it was hard watching your money take a beating Mr. Blank

  2. bostonian13 says: Jan 7, 2014 9:51 AM

    Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the league who’s skill is overshadowed by absolutely horrible pass protection and an atrocious defense. I would want this guy on my team. He’s failed in the playoffs but you give this guy a Baltimore defense that just won the Super Bowl….Atlanta will run the NFC.

  3. wfederal says: Jan 7, 2014 10:03 AM

    That’s what you get for giving away the farm for one player. I admit, Julio is one of the best receivers in the NFL but now you don’t have the ability to fix your many problems. No matter how great the player is, sometimes trading that many picks just isn’t worth it. There’s no point in having an elite receiver if you can’t draft a line to allow your QB time to throw to him.

  4. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 7, 2014 10:03 AM

    A lot of people say if you don’t have a franchise QB you can’t win. I think your roster has to start with the Oline and Dline.

    If you can’t protect your QB it doesn’t matter if you have Brady, Brees or anyone back there.

    If you can’t get after the other guy’s QB its hard to stop them.

    The lines are the basis of everything.

  5. telldatruth says: Jan 7, 2014 10:06 AM

    Not when he’s pocketing the millions he’s making

  6. jjb0811 says: Jan 7, 2014 10:07 AM

    They can trade back in rounds 1-3, collect additional picks and fix both sides if they want to. Or they can sign Incognito to handle the situation!

  7. weepingjebus says: Jan 7, 2014 10:11 AM

    Not for me, it wasn’t.

  8. droyer85 says: Jan 7, 2014 10:50 AM

    No one cares about the Falcons, it’s playoff time.

  9. philtration says: Jan 7, 2014 10:50 AM

    harrisonhits2 says:
    Jan 7, 2014 10:03 AM
    A lot of people say if you don’t have a franchise QB you can’t win. I think your roster has to start with the Oline and Dline.

    If you can’t protect your QB it doesn’t matter if you have Brady, Brees or anyone back there.
    If you can’t get after the other guy’s QB its hard to stop them.
    The lines are the basis of everything.
    ===================================

    That is correct but I would bet that 75% of the people that gave a thumbs up to your comment would have voted the other way if it were Jay Cutler you were talking about.

    For some reason there are a lot of people that throw away all common sense and basic football knowledge when it comes to certain players.

  10. orivar says: Jan 7, 2014 11:12 AM

    harrisonhits2 says:
    Jan 7, 2014 10:03 AM
    A lot of people say if you don’t have a franchise QB you can’t win. I think your roster has to start with the Oline and Dline.
    —————————————————-

    EXACTLY! They are the foundation of your team. Okay so your team has a ‘franchise QB’ but your team doesn’t have any consistency. Guess what that means? I’ll tell you. That ‘franchise QB’ is going to have a completely wasted career. Jason Campbell comes to mind on the Redskins. Does anybody really think Tom Brady would be Brady behind the Vikings O? Nobody even pays attention to how over the years Brady has had a consistent oline. All your so called Elite QBs have that in common, time in the pocket.

    QBs get all the success and all the blame even if on snap they’re already dodging three defenders. (Talking about you Vikings!)

  11. starderup says: Jan 7, 2014 11:50 AM

    For Matt Ryan to take all those hits along with 44 sacks and still end up in the top 5 in completions says a lot about his abilities. He has been an elite QB for a couple of years now.

  12. chazatlas says: Jan 7, 2014 2:07 PM

    ALL quarterbacks in the NFL named “Matt” end up being mediocre at best.

  13. chazatlas says: Jan 7, 2014 2:08 PM

    Signing busted up RB’s to replace busted up RB’s don’t help. See Steven Jackson.

  14. whoisrdymlz says: Jan 7, 2014 2:09 PM

    “Matty Ice Up, Son”

  15. axespray says: Jan 7, 2014 9:10 PM

    bostonian13 says:
    Jan 7, 2014 9:51 AM
    “Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the league who’s skill is overshadowed by absolutely horrible pass protection and an atrocious defense.”
    ————————
    Hey now, Rodgers went 15-1 with a crappy oline and awful just horrendous defense.

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