ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 13: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons is sacked by Roman Harper #41 of the New Orleans Saints at Georgia Dome on November 13, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
In the midst of the NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach, Arthur Blank seized the opportunity to publicly address Roger Goodell's actions in dealing with the Saints. The entire Falcons organization likely had no issue with the punishments handed down, but Blank fully endorsed the league's decision.
Huge block quote from Blank:
"I think he dealt with it appropriately. I think it will be one of the most significant decisions he'll ever make as the commissioner. I think he'll be the commissioner for the next 30 years and I think people will look back and say he sent a message to the teams, the players, the coaches, everybody in the NFL and sent a message to the fans that 'This is not what we're going to have in this league.' I think it was appropriate. Obviously, it's going to be a hard hit on the Saints, but they'll recover and time will move on and it will be fine."
It's no surprise he backed Goodell on this matter, but the interesting part came at the end of ESPN's article. Several players who were specifically targeted during "Bountygate" have been named, but Matt Ryan has yet to come up. Apparently Blank doesn't buy that one bit.
"I mean Matt wasn't one of the players named," Blank said. "But, on the other hand, I'd be hard put to believe that he wasn't a target at some point, whether he was named or not."
Buck Belue and John Kincade got into it yesterday on 680 The Fan regarding Blank's words. Belue felt there was no way NOLA didn't target Ryan at some point, while Kincade said there was no reason for them to, citing the fact that Sean Payton has had great success against Atlanta and Ryan.
Some of the callers who weighed in on the story felt that Blank shouldn't have even brought it up. Others agreed wholeheartedly with Buck that No. 2 must have been a marked man.
There could be dozens of players on the list that haven't been mentioned, but I really wonder if Matty Ice was included. What's your take?