Former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attends training camp

FLOWERY BRANCH — There was a familiar face at Falcons training camp Friday.

Former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan watched practice with “the ice cubes”: his oldest sons, 5-year-old twins Marshall and Johnny. Both sons wore their dad’s jersey.

Ryan quarterbacked the Falcons from 2008-21. He was traded to Indianapolis in 2022 and played one season before he was released. In May, he announced that he would be an NFL analyst for CBS this season. He has not officially retired.

Falcons coach Arthur Smith welcomed Ryan to practice, saying he was welcome to attend anytime.

“We love Matt. I enjoyed the hell out of the year I got to work with him,” Smith said. “(Offensive coordinator) Dave (Ragone) and I stay in touch with him. We have kids of similar age. He doesn’t live that far from me. I love having Matt out here.”

Smith and Ryan talked during practice, with Smith joking he turned his microphone off during their conversation. Smith gave Ryan a copy of the practice script, hoping to show him how the offense has evolved since Ryan was traded. During the early part of practice, Ryan and his sons watched quarterbacks Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke and Logan Woodside.

Defensive lineman Grady Jarrett played seven seasons with Ryan, serving as a team captain with him in 2020 and 2021. His was one of the top comments on Ryan’s CBS Sports announcement on Instagram, writing “congrats bro” with two fire emojis. He wished Ryan luck in whatever he does next.

“I’m sure Matt knows better than anybody where he wants to be and what he wants to do,” Jarrett said. “I’m sure he’s going to do great, whatever it is, his next team. As a brother (who) played with him for seven, eight years, whatever he’s going to do, he’s going to be great. So it was definitely good to see him and his boys today. It’s always love.”

Running back Cordarrelle Patterson played with Ryan in Ryan’s final season as a Falcon. Like Jarrett, he was glad Ryan attended practice.

“I (saw) him in the locker room and went up there and talked to him,” Patterson said. “I miss him, man. That’s my guy.”

As Ryan moves into the broadcasting world, Patterson wishes “Matty Ice” the best.

“Whatever Ice do, he’s gonna be great at it,” Patterson said. “I mean, it’s a Hall of Famer, in my eyes. Whatever he’s doing, he’s going to put his best to it.”