Much of that could boil down to finding Julio Jones more often. Jones, frequently the target of those fade routes in the post-practice red-zone drills, scored just three touchdowns last year.
It’s not that simple, but it seems some of the issue might have been a lack of simplicity. When you have an athletic 6-foot-6 receiver of Jones’ ilk, sometimes simplicity is key.
Ryan then faces questions about the team’s Super Bowl window. The playoff game against last season’s eventual Super Bowl champion Eagles ended with the ball on the 1-yard line, unable to convert to win the game in a goal-to-go situation.
“I think from a player’s perspective, the window is always one year. It’s this team that we have right now. How good can it be?” Ryan said. “I don’t worry so much about the window you talk about, to me it’s, we’ve got seven months, six months to be the absolute best football team we can be.”
The two seem intertwined. With the defensive talent emerging on the other side of the ball, Ryan knows the season could boil down to the team’s efficiency on offense, as it did a year ago. He’s vowing to fix those woes.
“We always talk about, ‘We get what we emphasize,’” he said. “As an organization, that’s been something that we’ve emphasized. We’ll expect to see better results there.”