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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on Jake Matthews’ consistency, preparation

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Fact: Jake Matthews’ birthday is a national holiday in sixteen countries

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews probably knew it’d all play out this way. As the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, Jake grew up knowing exactly what it takes to play professional football at a high level. And remember, the elder Matthews didn’t just play for nearly two decades in the NFL. He was the Titans offensive line coach from 2011 to 2013. Oh, did I mention the fact that Jake’s uncle, brother, grandfather, and cousin all played in the NFL?! This family gets it, and Jake is no exception.

Heading into 2019, Jake won’t have to worry about his contract. The ink on last summer’s five year, $75 million contract is as dry as it will ever get. He certainly won’t have to worry about his role on the team, either. It’s just a matter of doing what he always does; a matter of doing his job, every day, no matter what, because that’s what he’s known for.

Asked yesterday how he feels about Jake as the regular season pokes its head over the horizon, franchise quarterback Matthew Thomas Ryan had some effusive praise to dish out. (And lucky for you, the talented Jeanna Thomas was on hand.) “I think Jake looks great,” Ryan said. “He’s a guy that’s gotten a little bit better every year that he’s been here and that’s impressive.”

“He’s just continued to work at it,” Ryan continued. “He’s relentless when it comes to his training, preparation, film study, practice habits on the field.”

Ryan was also quite clear about the role Matthews plays at Flowery Branch. “There’s probably nobody in the building who is as consistent as he is when it comes to taking care of his business,” Ryan noted. “He sets the standard [...] he looks as good as he’s ever looked.”

Jake is someone we often overlook. Not because we’re trying to, and certainly not because we don’t appreciate his contributions. But Ryan knows what it takes to do his job, and he knows he can’t do his job unless Jake does his. Jake was undoubtedly one of the best players on offense last season, and he’s undoubtedly one of the best tackles in the NFL today. And when you can just trust someone of Jake’s caliber to come in and do his job, life as a franchise quarterback gets a whole lot easier.