“It’s definitely surreal,” Matthews said Tuesday, the start of the offseason program. “Honestly, my entire career here he’s been the guy. As we all know, he’s moved on now. I have nothing but respect for him. He was a hell of a leader.”
Ryan, who holds all of the team’s passing records, is considered on par or ahead of former franchise quarterbacks Steve Bartkowski and Michael Vick in Falcons lore.