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Many around the NFL have written off longtime Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, thinking he’s on the backend of his career in the ATL.
Ryan and the Falcons have struggled lately, going 18-30 the last three seasons, all of which have had Ryan as the starter.
The 36-year-old has spent the offseason getting ready for a new staff, a new coach and new players. The team showed they still trust Ryan, as they didn’t draft a quarterback at all.
The team spent their first round pick on massive tight end Kyle Pitts from Florida, a player with whom Ryan can quickly develop a 1-2 punch that can produce damage when the offense is on the field.
Ryan spoke this week about the upcoming season. He says he knows that the clock is ticking on his career, but still insists that he’s got good football ahead of him.
“I think in one respect you understand that if you play well for long enough, these are the conversations that are going to come up,” Ryan said on Tuesday.
“I understand I’m not going to play forever, but I also have the mindset that I can still play really well and have a lot of good football in front of me.”
A lot of Falcons fans actually hope that Ryan struggles, that way the team can move on and go with backup A.J. McCarron or even third-string QB Feleipe Franks.
Social media doesn’t help the situation, and Ryan said Tuesday that he’s well aware of the way some fans can be.
“It’s harder than ever now to avoid the noise,” he said.
One thing Ryan has going for him is that he’s got the support of new general manager Terry Fontenot, who proved that he likes what he sees in the 2008 third overall pick by not drafting a QB.
“From the very beginning we always had a lot of confidence in Matt Ryan,” Fontenot said.
“Really going through and evaluating this entire quarterback class has nothing to do, never had anything to do with a lack of confidence in Matt Ryan.”
We will see how long that confidence lasts.