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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan hosting teammates in Miami, Florida for off-season workouts

Fact: Matt Ryan is the peanut to the Falcons' butter

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons desperately want to be in contention as soon as possible. There are a variety of factors that will influence that process: scouting, personnel management, drafting, and coaching. Those are the basics. But then there's the behind the scenes work. The time and effort individual players put in when the cameras aren't watching, when an ESPN highlight is a non-possibility. That stuff matters, a lot.

Matt Ryan isn't a perfect quarterback. I occasionally felt the need to throw inanimate objects at my TV last season watching him throw pick after pick. But he's better than that. We've seen him be better than that on a consistent basis since the Falcons drafted him in 2008. What's more, he's an incredible leader. Look no further than the Florida workouts he's currently hosting.

Apparently Ryan himself planned this entire thing. It's something we knew he was considering as early as January. Thanks to the always reliable Vaughn McClure, we know for sure that Nick Williams, Mohammed Sanu, Jacob Tamme, Levine Toilolo, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones, Robert Alford, and Desmond Trufant are there.

This just speaks volumes about Ryan as a player and about the direction this organization is headed. They aren't going to sit back in rebuilding mode with an eye towards competing in a year or two. They want to win now. From what I can tell, Ryan has never done anything like this before. And if I had to guess, Tamme played a huge role in encouraging Ryan to undertake this. It's both symbolic and practical. It's smart, and with any luck, it will pay dividends.

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