Matt Ryan supports Pace Academy’s Jordan Sloan’s recovery from injury

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say to the media via a virtual call Thursday:

On his statement that the only way to improve as a unit is to take a look in the mirror and what that meant for him personally: I think, for me, it’s about capitalizing when we have the opportunities. For me, personally, it’s about giving our guys chances to make plays on balls. So, I think I’ve done it pretty good through the start, but it can always be better. That’s the thing. That’s the thing I’m always striving for is to go through a game with excellent decision-making, making sure I’m going to the right spots with the ball and then ultimately giving our guys a chance, giving them the kind of ball that can allow them to make a play on it. I think I can do that better for us as we move forward.

On Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' performance in the 2010 postseason against the Falcons: Why do you have to go there, man? No, I hear you. That was obviously a tough night for us. They were on fire, and he was on fire, there was no question about it. They had an unbelievable run throughout the playoffs and we caught a buzz saw that night. He was playing great football throughout his career, but had to be about as good as he’s ever played in that stretch through the playoffs. It was painful to watch, of course because we were going against him, but also very impressive to see him play that way.

On his tweet in support of the Pace Academy football player that suffered a traumatic injury last week: I got a text message the other day from the head of school at Pace Academy. He kind of forwarded the story, and I just wanted to raise awareness for what is going on there. I’ve been fortunate enough to work out in a lot of offseasons at Pace, and they’ve always been just so kind to me and welcoming to me in opening up their facilities. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people there. Their community is hurting right now, so I just wanted to raise awareness for what he was going through and make sure that people are keeping him in their thoughts and are praying for him, and hopefully he’ll get back to full recovery here at some point soon.

On what he wants to prove to the rest of the NFL the most Monday: We just want to win. That’s the biggest thing. Just find a way to get it done. I know the first three weeks haven’t been what we would have wanted. That’s for sure, but I still have a lot of faith and a lot of belief in this football team that we’re capable of winning and winning regardless of who we’re going against. I think we have the guys to be able to do that. So, it’s not about proving anything, really. I think it’s just about finding a way to get to 1-3 and then moving forward from there and trying to find a way to get back into the mix here.

On the mood of the team this week: I think it’s been about what you would expect – frustration on Monday and guys being disappointed with how things went, but then there’s a level of professionalism that has to continue. You have to be able to move forward. That’s what you keep stressing to these guys is that in this league, nobody is going to feel bad for you or there can’t be any feeling sorry for yourself. You have to get back to work. You have to find a way to be better, and I thought that was the case today. I thought we did a good job of getting back to work in the meetings, very good walk-through and very good practice today. That’s what we’ve got to focus on and have the belief that when we get back in those situations, we’re going to right the ship.

On the difference this season in WR Calvin Ridley: Well, I think guys – going into Year 3 for him or being in Year 3 now – I think there’s always a jump that tends to happen. That first year he was explosive for us, and I thought he did a nice job last year, but I think just his level of comfort within the offense, there’s not a whole lot of thinking for him going on out on the field and when guys aren’t thinking, it allows their athleticism to really flourish. He seems to be playing free and confident, and I feel like he’s in a really good space in terms of his routine during the week of getting himself ready to go, and I think you’re just starting to see that come to fruition out on the field. He’s playing free and playing with confidence.

Falcons' next four games

Falcons at Green Bay Packers, at 8:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5

Panthers at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11

Falcons at Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18

Lions at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday Oct. 25

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