Bush Hamdan has one of the better names on this team, and one of the better gigs. As the newest quarterbacks coach for the Falcons, he’s working with two established veterans, including last year’s league MVP, and a new offensive coordinator. It’s a nice place to build a resume for the former University of Washington receivers coach.
In a recent interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hamdan talked about his early experience with the Falcons. He praises Sark, who he notes he just missed at Washington, and has a lot of nice things to say about Matt Ryan, and specifically, how tough Ryan is.
ON MATT RYAN’S HIDDEN TALENTS: “I think that the guy plays with a chip on his shoulder. He works with a chip on his shoulder. That’s what has been really unique for me see him day to day. Seeing what he looks like in May and June. How he attacks everything that he does. It starts there. From a player’s standpoint, if you just really have watched him over the past four or five years, there is certain element of toughness that you don’t just think about naturally maybe with the quarterback position or him in general. But …it shows up with him standing in the pocket, moving the pocket with walls of people in his face. I think it starts with toughness.
Hamdan hits on something that I think is still underappreciated about Ryan. The best quarterbacks tend to be incredibly durable, and Ryan has taken a number of huge hits over the years without complaint and without missing much time at all. He’s not afraid to take those hits, which lets him hang in there a little longer to make the throws he needs to. Past 30 now, there’s not much else for Ryan to do to improve—though he’ll undoubtedly work on it—but that toughness and work ethic make him a dream for an incoming quarterbacks coach, and a good bet to remain a quality QB for a while yet.
Realistically, I’m not sure how much more Hamdan is going to be able to get out of Ryan, though he can certainly help with #2’s efforts to get more accurate this offseason. His biggest task will be to forget a good rapport with Ryan, help him out if he stumbles, and perhaps develop a young quarterback once Matt Schaub sails off into the sunset in a year or two. Not a bad gig, and hopefully one the new guy can excel in.