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Matt Ryan critiquing his 2015 film is a huge positive for the Falcons

The AJC's Jeff Schultz dropped a gem of a column over the weekend that needs your attention.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

One of the major knocks on Matt Ryan in this fanbase is that he doesn't show enough passion, and perhaps that he doesn't learn from his mistakes. Jeff Schultz's latest offering in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which dropped over the weekend, certainly attempts to address the latter issue. We already asked you to read it over the weekend, but here's a refresher.

Home game. Washington. Falcons trailing 13-12 with six minutes left.

Ryan’s biggest problem in 2015: setting his feet in play-action. In the past, his eyes were down the field. In Shanahan’s scheme, his back is to the defense for five steps, requiring him to quickly pivot, set and throw, requiring far more trust and less hesitation. In the aforementioned interception, Ryan shows how his left foot was in front of his right knee as he turned, a bad position when throwing back to his left. So he had to pivot a second time (two hitches) before throwing. Too late. Interception.


Ryan comes out of play-action clean, but he throws a touch late for Jacob Tamme. Defender D’Qwell Jackson initially steps up as a run defender but suddenly drops into coverage, picks it off at the 6 and trots back for an easy touchdown. Ryan never saw him.

"If I throw it earlier, it’s a completion. I have to just trust our (play) action will work and let it go next time. It looks like I’m throwing the ball right to him."


"That sucked."

There are plenty of mistakes here to read through, and many will conjure up unpleasant memories of the games we all struggled through in 2015. What's important is not that Ryan is inviting Schultz to watch film with him--it's a great opportunity for Schultz, sure, and it gives us some nice insight--but that Ryan is watching these plays, seeing these mistakes, and diagnosing what he did wrong. Having Alex Mack and some of the other new additions on offense is certainly going to help matters, but at the end of the day, Ryan's the one throwing the football, and his ability to cut down on mistakes will be absolutely critical to the team's offensive improvement this year. This sounds a note of hope, at least.

Go read the entire article. It's worth your time regardless of your feelings about Matt Ryan, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about it.