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Matt Ryan is trying to save Dan Quinn’s job

Fact: Dan Quinn has a locket with Matt Ryan’s picture in it hanging around his neck

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Franchise quarterback Matthew Thomas Ryan is a seasoned veteran. During his 11 seasons as a professional football player, he’s taken a deliberately team-friendly approach when speaking to members of the press about the state of the team. Put simply, he’s careful about what he says and he usually says what you’d expect him to say under the circumstances.

Ryan took a slightly different approach during an NFL NOW interview this morning. (Hat tip to’s Nick Shook for the video/quote.)

“He has the respect of the locker room and the guys play hard for Dan,” Ryan said during an interview on NFL NOW. “There’s no question about it. We all appreciate everything that he does for us, the style of coaching, and he’s got great relationships with all of the guys in our locker room. So we love him. We are playing hard and doing everything we can for him.”

On the surface, Ryan is saying what you’d maybe expect him to say. But I’d encourage you to look a little deeper, because there was a less controversial route he could’ve gone down.

He could’ve simply said that they are focused on winning the last two games and building for the future. He could’ve said that it’s not his job to figure out who will be the head coach next year, that he trusts “Mr. Blank,” and that he’s focused on building on the success they’ve had since the bye week. Instead, he went out of his way to publicly defend Dan Quinn. He went out of his way to say that they are acutely aware of the fact that his job is on the line and they want to save his job, if possible. That, at least in my mind, says something.

Your thoughts, Falcoholics?