Matt Ryan: I think Dan Quinn has done a great job with Dallas’ defense

NFL: JAN 22 NFC Championship - Packers at Falcons
Getty Images

For six seasons, Matt Ryan was Dan Quinn’s quarterback and the duo had their share of success with the Falcons.

But Quinn was fired after an 0-5 start with Atlanta last year and now he’ll coach against Ryan as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator on Sunday.

Ryan was asked several questions about Quinn in his Wednesday press conference and said he still keeps in touch with his former coach. And Ryan complimented Quinn for how he’s helped improve Dallas’ defense in 2021.

“I think he’s done a nice job of using the guys that they have there in Dallas and trying to emphasize their strengths and allowing them to play fast and physical and fly around,” Ryan said. “Their defense has played really well this year. I think he’s done a great job.”

Ryan also said he isn’t sure how the familiarity between the two men could manifest itself during this week’s matchup.

“I think he’s got a knowledge of my skill set for sure,” Ryan said. “I hadn’t known some of the guys on their defense too, and they know me and those kinds of things, but I think more so than anything, what I’ve learned from him and what he’s going to do, he’s going to have his guys ready to play and they’re going to understand what they’re trying to do. He’s really good about that.

“So, I know that the familiarity of knowing that their guys will be ready to go. Those guys are going to know what they’re trying to accomplish on the defensive side of the ball. We’re going to have to step up to that and match that and hopefully be better than that.”

Ryan was named NFC offensive player of the week for his performance in last Sunday’s win over the Saints. He has thrown for 2,157 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions so far in his first season under Arthur Smith.