NFL: Matt Ryan's leadership impresses Colts

NFL: Matt Ryan’s leadership impresses Colts

WESTFIELD, Ind. – Matt Ryan was a unifier for 13 seasons with Atlanta. He gets back to work, this time with Indianapolis.

He only has two days of training on the clock, at a facility that is new to him, but the Colts are already impressed.

“When you approach a guy with his track record, you can tell him, ‘Here’s where we’re coming from, but trust your instincts,’ coach Frank Reich said. It’s a state of mind. »

Reich and GM Chris Ballard expected that kind of quiet confidence when they acquired the 37-year-old veteran in March for a third-round pick.

With Atlanta under reconstruction, the league’s most valuable player of 2016 suddenly became available.

As for the Colts, they wanted stability and leadership, after using five different starting quarterbacks in five years on Day 1 of the season.

The club was ruled out of the playoffs at the end of the 2021 season, showing a 9-8 record.

Ryan is eighth in all-time with 59,735 passing yards and ninth with 367 touchdowns.

Beyond the numbers, the Colts believe he still delivers confident, elite-level play. We believe he can help this young team.

“He’s got a quick tempo coming out of huddle,” left tackle Matt Pryor said. That’s what it takes to win on offense. It makes the defense rush and it can destabilize it. »

Ryan learned the playbook quickly, as early as April, which wowed players and coaches alike. He bonded with trust and humility.

Over the summer, he trained with teammates near the Colts compound in suburban Indianapolis.

“Everyone is listening to him,” said running back Jonathan Taylor, NFL leader with 1,811 rushing yards in 2021.

“He exudes leadership. Having the chance to learn alongside him makes you pay attention to detail. »

Ryan intends to keep the attack alert, the defense on the lookout and the fans glued to the action, with a rhythm that would please a certain Peyton Manning.

“We had as many plays as in the past, but we finished practice 10 minutes early,” Reich said. It was like that for the two days. It comes from the tempo of the quarter and it is remarkable.”

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