Matt Ryan, at 30, says he’s just hitting his stride


For most running backs, the 30th birthday has become the witching hour. For quarterbacks, it’s becoming the point at which a career enters a new level of possibly high-end performance.

I think I’m just hitting my stride,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan tells Alex Marvez of “I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life at 30. I feel like I’ve learned so much about myself, my body, my game from the last eight years. I feel like that experience is going to serve me well in my 30s. I feel like I’m throwing it better than I ever have, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. My best ball is still in front of me.”

For quarterbacks, the sweet spot happens when the brain has developed a thorough understanding of the game and the body can still put that knowledge to good use.

For Ryan, there’s also an element of veteran leadership that resulted in him getting a total of 27 Falcons players together in Fort Lauderdale for a three-day passing camp. Falling during the period on the calendar when teams can’t be involved in such activities, players are allowed to set up such events on a strictly voluntary basis. Ryan’s ability to get so many to agree to come shows that they are willing to follow him the way that franchise quarterbacks should be followed.

Ryan also paid picked up the tab for the event.

“I put it together,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to ask guys to go out of their pocket. For me, it was a great chance to get everybody together and give them a little fun for a couple days.”

As the offseason program approaches for the Falcons, it’ll be more fun for the team given that they won’t be learning a new offense.

“When you’ve been in the same system for seven years, you go on autopilot when you’re on the field,” Ryan said. “When it changes, there’s a lot of work that goes into it. Learning things, seeing things a little bit differently than what we had terminology-wise, speaking the same language. . . . I think we’re at a place where we’re really headed in the right direction. I thought we made strides as the year went on. But for me, even for this trip, to be able to talk in the language we’re going to use. . . . Last year, it was like, ‘Guys, I don’t know what we’re going to call this. Here’s what I want you to run.’ That part of it I think is really nice.”

Falcons fans will think it’s really nice if the team can get back to the playoffs after a three-year hiatus. At a time when some are wondering whether Ryan really is a franchise quarterback, he’s doing what he can to prove that the answer is yes.

27 responses to “Matt Ryan, at 30, says he’s just hitting his stride

  1. I’m pretty sure Matt Ryan Inc. picked up that tab and that’s great. I wish more players did this sort of thing and learned to use their money better.

  2. “Ryan also paid picked up the tab for the event.”

    Considering the money he’s been paid the past few seasons, I’d say that’s the absolute LEAST he could do given the level of play he’s given his teammates.

  3. He is still a good qb but he has to lay off the picks. He also needs another red zone threat a wr or TE that is over 6’3 that can haul in the TD passes.

  4. He’s 30 already?!?!? I can’t believe he’s already been playing 8 years, that makes me feel old.

    He’s had a very strange career so far. He was effective pretty much right out of the gate, and has never really had a bad season. Yet at the same time, he hasn’t really done much either. Not that it can all be blamed on him; the team around him has been in flux for most of his career.

  5. If the pocket is perfect every snap he is a damn good QB but we all know thats not the case. When it starts to collapse he may be the worst QB in the NFL. His mind goes blank. Falcons will be 9-7 this year and miss the playoffs again.

  6. Hate to be the one to point this out, Matt, but your last season was statistically the same to your first season, and you won 3 fewer games in 2015 than you did in 2008.

  7. Dude is every bit as good as a player like Brady, just doesn’t have the same caliber coach, D, or cheating like Brady has.

  8. During the interview Matt got flustered and threw a pick six while clumsily avoiding a sack when the reporter took too long ask a question.

  9. It is true that when the pocket collapses he becomes one of the worst qb’s in the nfl. Slow, tall, uncoordinated. It gets ugly when he doesn’t have a pocket.

  10. Always liked Matty Ice back to his Boston College days buy he’s always been over rated as a pro. Never an elite quarterback. Playing in that dome made him soft.

  11. He said he wouldn’t make guys come out of their pocket for this because he put it together. GTFOH. You can’t make anybody do anything, but when you can’t even get to the pro bowl or a winning record, and you count $24 MILLION against the cap, you better pay for something.

  12. Hitting his stride-at what constantly losing? He sure is Matty ice, cold as hell. This team has to look elsewhere he is the 1st coming if Matt Stafford. It must be a Matt thing. I mean they even brought back schaub. They will be the door Matts in that division.

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