Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has a formidable supporting cast. That's his reality at the moment, and it's been his reality before. That was then and this is now. And while Ryan's had a couple rough years in between, there's no denying the wealth of talent presently at his disposal. The mantra around Flowery Branch this year seems to be "focus on today." We keep hearing the players and Dan Quinn repeat one liners highlighting that concept. And believe me, Matt Ryan is living in the now, because his current situation is pretty freaking great.
Few quarterbacks have a third wide receiver as talented as Roddy White. But that isn't lost on Ryan, who readily compliments his teammates as often as possible, especially his wide receivers. Ryan spoke to the media today, and our own Jeanna Thomas was there. In the roughly ten minutes he spoke, Ryan spent about a third of his time complimenting Julio Jones, Leonard Hankerson, and Roddy White. This is what he had to say.
"Oh I think Julio has gotten, ya know, a lot better. And that's ... he was pretty good when he got here, ya know. He's a guy that, every day, it feels like he can improve. And he [doesn't] just say it. He works towards it, and he really believes in that. I think sky's the limit. I think he's only going to continue to improve. He's got as good of a skill set as you could ever possibly imagine. And he's got an unbelievable work ethic to get the most out of that skill set. And he's one of the best teammates you could ask for."
"I think Hank's doing a nice job for us. He's a guy coming off an injury. He's done everything you could want from him. He's been a great teammate. He's worked extremely hard ... as he gets more comfortable, he's going to continue to improve."
"Roddy is one of the best players I've ever played with. Bar none, two or three guys, he's in the mix. Him, Tony, and Julio. Those guys are the best. And so, ya know, he's certainly capable of making plays at any time. And he will, he's going to make a lot of plays for us; he did week 1. It's just, when we're throwing the football, the ball's going to find different guys at different times, depending on how they play us."
None of what he said was new or shocking. To be frank, it's about what you'd expect him to say. That said, it's always interesting to hear his perspective on these guys.
As for Julio, Ryan is obviously cognizant of his rare, exceptional talent. Then there's Hankerson, the welcome surprise. And let's not forget the elder statesman: Roddy. For some reason, Roddy took a lot of flack in the public sphere for not getting a catch during the Falcons' victory over the Giants. I can tell you Ryan's comments alluding to that fact weren't specifically prompted, which tells me two things. First, he's very aware of that criticism. Second, he wants to defend Roddy, inasmuch as he can.
Again, nothing particularly earth shattering here. Just some very complimentary things Ryan had to say about his guys. Your thoughts?