NFL Football 2008: QB Matt Ryan Aims to Have Atlanta Falcons Flying High | NFL Football 2008 | iHaveNet.com
 

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Rookie Quarterback Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

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  NFL Football 2008
  QB Matt Ryan Aims to Have Atlanta Falcons Flying High

       The Atlanta Falcon's First Round Draft Pick Matt Ryan. 3rd Player Selected Overall NFL Draft 2008

 

 

Matt Ryan Quarterback Atlanta Falcons Rookie Draft Pick

Matt Ryan, QB

NFL Football 2008: QB Matt Ryan Aims to Have Atlanta Falcons Flying High | NFL Football 2008 | iHaveNet   SHARE

We're not starting a new chapter here," said Atlanta Falcons owner ARTHUR BLANK. "We're starting a new book."

That was in the days leading up to the 2008 NFL Draft, which, the team hopes, produced one successful page-turner.

The new Falcons book opened with a first-year general manager in THOMAS DIMITROFF, a rookie head coach in MIKE SMITH…and the No. 3 overall pick in the draft – Boston College quarterback MATT RYAN.

"We had options picking at No. 3," says Dimitroff. "But looking at the skill-set that Matt Ryan possessed, along with his intelligence and leadership ability, we were excited about going in that direction.

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"This guy is a prototypical quarterback," continues Dimitroff. "He can stand tall in the pocket. He's very intelligent. A big-time leader. He has accuracy at all levels. He's a game-winner. In the end, he'll take a shot in the face and get up. He's a persevering, hard-nosed quarterback."

Ryan, who was nicknamed "Matty Ice" throughout high school and college because he played as if he had ice water in his veins, impressed the Falcons during his pre-draft workout and interview.

"In our meeting, Matt had an opportunity to sit down with offensive coordinator MIKE MULARKEY and quarterbacks coach BILL MUSGRAVE," recalls Smith. "They let him get up on the board and see what he could do. It's real easy to evaluate a guy on the field and see how he throws the ball. So when they sat him down in a meeting situation, they really tried to stump him. They really gave him some difficult stuff in terms of trying to find out what he knows and what he doesn't know. He was outstanding on the board. He's very cerebral."

The 2007 ACC Player of the Year, Ryan set numerous Boston College season passing records, including yards (4,507) and touchdowns (31). He led the Eagles to a 25-7 record (.781) as a starter in his career. Included were three bowl victories. He hopes to bring that success to Atlanta.

"I was really excited when I got the call from the Falcons," says Ryan. "I wanted to be in Atlanta."

He knows a lot will be expected from him. He’s looking forward to the challenge.

"There are certainly a lot of adjustments you need to make when making the transition from college to the NFL," says Ryan. "But for me, I think decision-making is the most important part of being a quarterback. You've got to make your decisions and know where to go with the football. So I'm going to work as hard as I can and learn the playbook, and learn the offense and work on making good decisions."

In his first Falcons minicamp, the quarterback impressed many, including the man who drafted him.

"In his first practice, there was an element of focus and presence," says Dimitroff. "You look at him and you see his savvy and his ability. In that session, he was tapping himself on the helmet when he made a mistake, saying it was his fault."

The head coach was also pleased with Ryan’s first outing as a Falcon and was enthusiastic about his dedication for the game and his ability to stay calm under pressure.

"Matt is a very passionate football player," says Smith. "You can see his passion and how he brought his team back to victory time and time again in college. That's the kind of player we want on our football team."

And the type of player the Falcons want to star in their new book.

 

NFL Football 2008: QB Matt Ryan Aims to Have Atlanta Falcons Flying High | NFL Football 2008 | iHaveNet   SHARE

AFC & NFC June Update News & Notes

The NFL Draft is in the books, organized team activities are in full swing, and National Football League training camps loom not two months away.

Meanwhile, there are five NFL teams who hope they already have a leg up on the competition.

In the NFL Draft in April, five teams had two first-round selections. That was the most such teams since the common NFL draft began in 1967.

And one former NFL general manager thinks those two first-rounders can mean only good things.

"There is a great benefit to having two No. 1 NFL picks," says CHARLEY CASSERLY, who spent more than 20 years as an NFL personnel executive and general manager with the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans and is now a CBS and NFL Network analyst.

"You expect them to be starters for you, and depending upon their position and where they are taken in the first round, they should have an immediate impact in their first year and possibly even start for you in the first year. In the long term, because they are first-rounders, percentage-wise they have the best chance to start for you over players taken in later rounds."

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs -- with defensive tackle GLENN DORSEY (No. 5, LSU) and guard - tackle BRANDEN ALBERT (No. 15, Virginia) -- are one of those five clubs that are hoping they have a built-in advantage thanks to their draft.

"It’s a great energy right now," says Kansas City Chiefs head coach HERM EDWARDS. "We’ve got to use this to our advantage. It’s a good direction we’re headed in. I think both of our picks can come in and compete and help us right away."

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys owner JERRY JONES, who has had multiple first-round picks four times during his time in Texas, knows the potential benefits running back FELIX JONES (No. 22, Arkansas) and cornerback MIKE JENKINS (No. 25, South Florida) can provide to the defending NFC East champions. "This gives us a good opportunity," says Jones, whose team won Super Bowl XXVII after having two first-round picks.

It’s only June, but it’s never the wrong time to believe you may have an advantage.

The five NFL teams in the 2008 NFL Draft with two first-round selections:

Atlanta Falcons
QB Matt Ryan and T Sam Baker

Carolina Panthers
RB Jonathan Stewart and T Jeff Otah

Dallas Cowboys
RB Felix Jones and CB Mike Jenkins

Kansas City Chiefs
DT Glenn Dorsey and T Branden Albert

New York Jets
LB Vernon Gholston and TE Dustin Keller

A look at the teams with the best record following a draft with two or more first-round NFL draft picks since 1967

YEAR

TEAM

RECORD

PLAYERS

2001

Rams

14-2

DT Damione Lewis, S Adam Archuleta and DT Ryan Pickett

2004*

Patriots

14-2

DT Vince Wilfork and TE Benjamin Watson

1987

49ers

13-2

T Harris Barton and RB Terrence Flagler

1975

Rams

12-2

DT Mike Fanning, G Dennis Harrah and T Doug France

1992*

Cowboys

13-3

CB Kevin Smith and LB Robert Jones

1994*

49ers

13-3

DT Bryant Young and FB William Floyd

*Super Bowl champions


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