Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is more complicated than you think. He works hard and he deliberately suffers through his failures. There’s a lot of emotion bubbling underneath that icy exterior. I challenge you to find a professional athlete that works harder to hone and improve his craft. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Still thinking through the possibilities? Stop. Just stop.
Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop dropped an epic piece about Ryan yesterday. (Grab a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and go read it now, if you haven’t already.) He covers a wide range of topics: Ryan’s post-game vomiting in college, his initial attempt to fill Mike Vick’s shoes, and his lukewarm league-wide reputation, particularly pre-2016. But Bishop’s focus is primarily on how Ryan will move on after the most infamous Super Bowl loss in NFL history. In short, he’s done and will continue to do what he’s always done.
He also met frequently with [quarterback-specific trainer Adam] Dedeaux again this spring ... fine-tuning Ryan’s throwing motion, continuing to focus on fundamentals. Once he got the review and the revisions out of the way, Ryan could resume his steady presence in the locker room—looking back, then moving forward, a major part of Atlanta’s preferred approach. “I know one thing about Matt Ryan,” [Rich] McKay says. “Tomorrow will be a lot like the next day, a lot like next Tuesday, a lot like two weeks from Thursday. He’s a pretty predictable guy. People will call that boring. I call that winning.”
The main takeaway from Bishop’s piece that I can’t seem to shake is Ryan’s preparation. He’s developed this approach, a routine, that requires him to look back before he can look forward. And that’s not something he just picked up after the Super Bowl loss in February; he’s been doing this since college. Lucky for us, he’s already months into that process, ready to let go of the past and take on the next challenge.