Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the win over the Panthers Sunday:
On reaching his 50,000 passing yard milestone while getting a win: “Yeah, obviously I'm very, very proud of going over 50,000 career passing yards. You know, I've been fortunate on a day where we honor Roddy White. It was cool to have them back because he was such a huge part of my career. You know, it is cool. I got out of the locker room just in time to see the end of his speech, which was great. You know, I'm so happy for him. Then to win the game, too, I think that just makes the day all the better. Proud of the way we played today. We competed hard. The offensive line played extremely well. Ran the football effectively, and our defense and special teams played lights out.”
On Olamide Zaccheaus: “Yeah. I told OZ he stole Roddy's (White) thunder today. I think Roddy had the longest one before that with the touchdown he caught in San Francisco in maybe 2009. He had a 91-yard hitch route on the outside on the left side that he broke a tackle and took to the house. OZ was stealing the thunder today of Roddy. But it was a great play. I'm happy for OZ. He's a guy that's worked extremely hard, you know, and stepped up when his number was called. He was in there, knew his assignment, and ran a great route and broke a tackle, which was impressive.”
On getting 13 points off the four turnovers: “Oddly enough, it was a good day for us, but it could have been better. There were a few more opportunities that we didn't take advantage of. Our special teams and our defense played extremely well and kept giving us opportunities, and eventually, we were able to make the plays we needed to make. I just thought we ran the football really, really well today and just kept at it, and our offensive line did a great job.”
On Chris Lindstrom's return: “I'm happy for Chris. He's worked extremely hard to get back. It's not an easy injury to come back from, especially at that position. He's a guy that his locker is right next to mine. I see him every day and see how hard he goes after it and what getting back meant to him. I thought he played well for us. This is great experience for him the last couple weeks. It's hard when you're a rookie and you get hurt in the first game of your career and have to miss time. I think these next few weeks will be really valuable for him. He'll approach it really well and play well for us.”
On scoring at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half: “Those are huge. The points before the half are key. In this league your stats, you know, your chances of winning go way up when you get points right before the half. They went down and scored a touchdown and we still had some timeouts, which was big. We went right down the field. To get those three points right before the half and then defense comes out and gets the ball back and then that gets the momentum going. I thought that sequence of events was the difference in the game.”
On Olamide Zaccheaus’ touchdown and when he realized his potential: “It's huge. It's huge for anybody, your first touchdown. It's difficult to do. To get into this league, number one, and to excel and score a touchdown, not a whole lot of people get to do that. I'm happy for him. I think he turned all our heads during the preseason. He was really productive in practice, but you always look forward to seeing these guys compete in game-type situations. He was one of those guys that to me always looked better in games. Those are the kind of guys you want. He wasn't afraid to go in there, make catches, to be physical in the run game. I think early on, you know, probably two games - we had the extra Hall of Fame game and two or three games into the preseason we knew we had a shot. He made the team right from the start. I think that shows the confidence that the staff had in him. He's a guy that's worked extremely hard and doesn't get that many opportunities because of the other guys that we have, but when he gets his number called, he's not scared. I admire that in him.”
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