The Atlanta Falcons were absolutely humiliated by the New York Giants in the playoffs last season, as their season came to an end with a 24-2 thrashing on the road. Matt Ryan received tons of praise early on his career, but as of late, he has become a goat after losing three times in opening round games of the playoffs. The Falcons inability to progress in the postseason has the team under intense pressure to finish in crunch time. No.2 is looking for a new alternative this offseason to help him perform when it matters the most. Ryan has spent more time in the weight room in the hopes of becoming stronger when the postseason comes upon the Falcons. The key will be getting back to the postseason first in a very tough NFC South division.
Matt Ryan joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Archer and Bell to discuss bulking up in the offseason, new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter teaching Julio Jones the Atlanta Falcons offense, his expectations for Julio Jones this season, the Falcons offensive line being healthier this season and Roddy White taking shots at the league for the Saints bounty gate scandal.
What made you decide to bulk up in the weight room in the offseason?
“I wanted to get a little stronger, so it would hold up during the season. You take the beating during the year and it’s hard to train the way you want to during the season. Your body just doesn’t hold up and I really felt like if I could get a little bit stronger or a little bit bigger some of that stuff would stay on in December and January. I feel great and my body feels good. I have worked really hard and I think it’s going to bode well for the season.”
What is the philosophy of OTA’s this offseason?
“I think it’s good. We have gotten to work with Dirk Koetter [new offensive coordinator] now for two months and I think everybody really likes him. Some things will be different, but OTA’s are the nuts and bolts, the basics, of what you are going to do. I think the guys have bought into what he is teaching. He’s a great teacher and I have really enjoyed working with him. I think the biggest thing has just been for some of the young guys to get in their first offseason with some coaching and not in the grind of the season. The preparation is so rushed from Sunday to Sunday. When you get into this time of the year guys like Julio Jones, our receivers coach and Dirk Koetter can take their time working with him and really teach him the offense the way he needs to see it and I think it’s going to be huge for him.”
How much more do you expect out of Julio Jones this season?
“I think he is going to have a great year. I thought he was extremely productive for us last year and I think this year he is going to be even better than he was.”
Can the offensive line keep you upright to win a playoff game?
“I think we have got our guys healthy. When you have your five guys healthy up in front of you that goes a long way. I love the guys we have up front. They play tough. They play hard. They play physical and now that they are fresh and healthy I think they are going to have a great year.