Rookie Of The Year Matt Ryan Eager For Encore Performance

July 20, 2009 – 6:00 am by Michael Bean

We’re just about there. Training camps around the National Football League are set to open before the end of July. For the Atlanta Falcons, there likely will be tremendous optimism and energy in year two of the Mike Smith era. Last year, nobody expected much out of the Falcons. This year, Atlanta is expected to fare even better than they did a season ago. A big reason for that is their quarterback, Matt Ryan. The former Boston College stud enters year two of his young career and has his eyes set on big things. Before heading to camp though, Ryan headed off to Lake Tahoe to play in the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament (he finished 47th). He joined KLAC in Los Angeles to talk about why he was so successful last year, what he’d like to do to get even better, and of course, to talk a little golf.

On why he thinks he was able to make the transition from the collegiate to the professional game so easily last year:

“I think a lot of it had to do with the great coaching I got in college. I felt like I had four great years with Tom O’Brien and his staff and then Jeff Jagodzinski came in my last year and I felt like I learned a lot from him as well. So, I think I was very well prepared for the pro game coming from B.C.”

On if fizzling out early in last year’s playoffs will serve as extra motivation for himself and his team:

“Yeah there’s no question about it. The loss we had in the playoffs to the Cardinals serves as great motivation for everybody heading in to this year. I know it certainly does for me. So, we want to get back there and we want to improve on what we did last year.”

On the excitement about adding perennial Pro Bowl tight end, Tony Gonzalez:

“Yeah, no question about it. That was a big pickup for us. We added a first ballot Hall of Famer, one of the best tight ends to ever play the game – if not the best. So it’s a huge pickup for our team and our offense and I think he’ll really help us out.”

Listen here to Ryan on KLAC in Los Angeles

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