Great expectations lie ahead for newly named Indianapolis starting quarterback Matt Ryan. Luckily, he’s not getting colt feet.
Speaking with the Indianapolis Star this week after being traded to the Colts, coming off a 14-year tenure with the Falcons, Ryan touched on subjects floating around his arrival, such as age, the Colts’ vision for a Super Bowl and longevity in the NFL as an elite quarterback.
“I’ve said from the start, I’d like to play as long as I can,” Ryan responded.
Ryan, 36, stated that despite facing the naturally uphill wrangle that comes with aging in football, the product on the field is ready to become the best it’s ever been.
“I still feel I can play at as high a level as I ever have,” Ryan said. “As long as that is (the case) — nobody has a crystal ball to know exactly how long it’s going to be — as long as I feel good and feel like I can play well, I’m going to try and play.”
With the shelf life for quarterbacks stretched out considerably thanks to seasoned greats like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, Ryan believes that his skillset will manage to hold up just as well.
“It’s funny. I played in a division where it was Tom Brady, Drew Brees and then me at one point, and I was like 35,” Ryan noted. “I was like, ‘I feel young. Tom’s 43 and Drew’s 41, but I feel good.’ I really do. My body feels really great. I feel like I’ve gotten myself into a spot where I know how to train. But I feel great. I don’t feel like an old man.”
Ryan’s greatest battle last season was not his age but his lack of weapons.
Losing veteran wideout Julio Jones in the offseason and playing without Calvin Ridley following his abrupt retirement, Ryan had to make do with a rookie tight end and a versatile special teams player / wide receiver in Cordarelle Patterson to stay afloat in the NFC South.
The quarterback’s production maintained rather than regressed: throwing for 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 3,968 passing yards and completing 67.1 percent of his passes.
Check out Armando Salguero’s latest column on Matt Ryan‘s move to Indy.
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