Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say to the Atlanta media on Monday:
On the short week and dealing with preparation: “I mean your work week is obviously condensed. For me, I got back to work like it was a Wednesday and jumped ahead. Having done this so many times throughout my career I’m comfortable in it, I think the biggest thing is getting our young guys to understand what it takes to get themselves prepared and ready to play on the short week. But (Dan) Quinn does such a good job in terms of setting up the schedule and keeping things as normal as possible for us on a short week that we’ll be prepared and ready to go.”
On Coach Quinn’s comments that the Saints are scoring points and field goals aren’t going to cut it – whether he feels pressure to score: “No. The job for us is to score every time we get into the red zone that’s no different than any other week in terms of our mindset as an offense. When we get our chances, we have to convert and we’ve been doing a good job of that for most of the year. We missed one opportunity of that this weekend and I thought that we could have used but it’s the same mindset every week, we have to be aggressive and make our plays when we get our chances.”
On seeing a team that averages 45 points over the last three games and what goes through his head: “I mean nothing really. Obviously, we know that they’re explosive and capable of making plays but every game shakes out differently. I’ve been in all kinds of different ones throughout my career. I try to prepare myself the same week every week, knowing that it’s our responsibility and our job as an offense to find a way to score more than they do, and that’s approach is going to be the same for us this week.”
On thinking about some of those 40 and 30-point games that he’s been in with Drew Brees already: “Yeah, there’s been some good games throughout my career playing against New Orleans and playing against Drew. Some back and forth. Some high scoring ones, some low score ones. We’ve had all types of games with them, we’ll see how Thursday night shakes out, but they’ve certainly been fun to play through for the last 10 and a half years.”
On looking at something positive to build on, whether he sees it as Julio Jones is streaking right now and to keep throwing to him: “Yeah. I mean he’s been streaking all year. I know the touchdowns have resurfaced the past couple of weeks, but he’s been playing so well for us all year and has been so consistent. It’s been a major focus point of our offense is finding ways to get him involved and get him the ball because he’s so explosive. But he’s had a great year.”
On Calvin Ridley’s season: “I think he’s done a nice job for us. Our offense is built that we have so many weapons that the ball is going to find different guys depending on the week. They all understand that, that the matchups are going to dictate where we go. I think he’s done a great job, I think mentally he’s at a great place. There’s ups and downs through every season for all of us, and I think he’s handled that really well. I expect him to play well and he’s going to continue to play well as we move through the remainder of the year.”
On the balance when it comes to running tempo: “We’ve used it a lot throughout the year at different times, jumping in and out of it, to keep people off schedule, to keep people off balance and for us to stay on schedule. I think it’s just a feel thing, how a game is going, whether you want to kind of jump into some tempo or slow things down, each game shakes out differently and you have to adjust to what it is but we’ve done a nice job and we’ve been effective when we’ve used it this year.”
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