Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan turned 36 yesterday, and he talked with the media after his first day of offseason camp and the hot button item of attendance at “optional” workouts.
Ryan initially was asked about working with the new regime including new head coach Arthur Smith and offensive coordinator Dave Ragone.
“It’s been going well,” said Ryan. “Obviously a transition requires a lot of effort and a lot of work to learn the new system, to make sure that you’re as comfortable as you possibly can be. With the terminology and what they expect from you, there’s always differences, a nuance between different schemes and what certain coaches, how they like certain things.”
“I’ve been working really hard to get on the same page with them. [I’ve] been excited that we’re able to start and get out on the field this week. Start to get guys lined up, moving around and making some steps in the right direction.”
“Dave and Arthur have been great, and I’m excited about the future and hopefully winning a bunch of games.”
There has been a lot of discussion around the league about players attending these optional camps with the players union advising against it. The topic reached national attention when Denver Broncos offensive tackle Juwan James, a North Gwinnett High School grad, tore his achilles working out away from team facility. The Broncos were able to void his contract.
Ryan discussed the veterans option for attending.
“We collectively bargained for it to be optional and voluntary a couple of years ago,” said Ryan. “I fully support guys making any decision they want to make; whatever they think is best for them to get themselves ready to go. Attendance wise, I’m fired up to be here. For me I feel like it gives me the best opportunity to be successful, but I think for all guys, they have to make whatever decisions are best for them.”
“That’s kind of been the case throughout my entire career. There’s been guys that have been here, there’s been guys that haven’t. But you trust the guys that are doing it on their own or doing a great job of getting themselves ready to go and in shape. I have a lot of belief and trust that those guys will be ready to rock when it’s time to go in July.”