If you can’t beat them, start talking like them.
After a 28-3 lead late in the third quarter became an overtime loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons now slide back to 0-0 and try to climb close to the top of the mountain again. And quarterback Matt Ryan suddenly is sounding a lot like the coach who foiled the Falcons’ effort to win their first Lombardi Trophy.
“We’re on to 2017,” Ryan said Thursday, via the team’s official website.
“You know, you learn from it, like we did,” Ryan said. “You deal with it, like we did. And then you move forward and you start preparing to try and be the best football team that this group can be. And that’s where we’re at.”
It’s not entirely clear where they’ll be as a team, if the Falcons suffer the same kind of multi-year hangover that the Seahawks are still enduring after having victory over the Patriots melt into defeat.
“Every year is different,” Ryan said. “I think the group of guys that we had down there [in Florida] was a little bit different than we had the year before. But I think the camaraderie is the No. 1 think you take from situations like those. When you get the chance to get everybody away from here — to get some work done on the field, but also to spend some time together, you know, relaxing, just hanging out. Those times are important.”
That camaraderie will be tested in 2017. Even with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan now gone, the other two people whose fingerprints are on the failed effort to convert a first down on the fringes of the red zone into an 11-point lead late in regulation (Ryan and coach Dan Quinn) remain in place. If other players can’t get past that, it will be even harder for the Falcons to get back to the Super Bowl.