I can't cite it specifically, but I do recall an interview that Ryan had at some point in his second year where a reporter asked him about his accuracy or decision making, or something along those lines, and he responded to something like:
"I was always taught that long was never wrong."
Implying that it was something that he learned much earlier than his arrival in Atlanta.
As for Jagodzinski, you do realize he was with the Jim Mora Atlanta Falcons longer than he was with the Packers? He was the Packers offensive coordinator in 2006, but he didn't call plays (and never has), so you shouldn't suggest that his offense and that run by Mike McCarthy are one in the same. Jagz OC at BC in '07, Steve Logan, was certainly known for his high-flying offense in his days as ECU's head coach, but don't dismiss the 3 years that Ryan learned under Dana Bible as inconsequential. Bible helped develop both Russell Wilson & Mike Glennon at NC State following his days at NC State. Logan's most successful QB at ECU was David Garrard. What I'm implying is that Bible's teaching for 3 years likely had a far greater impact on Ryan than anything Logan taught him during his senior year because Bible is much more akin to a "QB guru" than either Logan or Jagodzinski.
And I wouldn't term BC's playbook under Jagz to be that
open. Yes, they used a lot of 3-WR sets, but Ryan's 2 favorite targets that year were his RB (Andre Callender) and his TE (Ryan Purvis). Most of his WRs were all small, quicker than fast WRs, not exactly known for their vertical capabilities. Even then, Ryan relied heavily on the dink/dunk passes.
Ryan has never been a "gunslinger." He only earned that moniker because people that didn't watch him at BC, and saw that he threw 19 interceptions that year, and figured that was a large amount, and thus terming him a risk-taker. Now, some of those INTs were the result of Ryan trying to fit the ball into a WR, but the reality is that Ryan threw 19 INTs that year because he threw the ball 654 times to a bunch of s***ty WRs, which even in this day and age of spread offenses is a helluva lot of pass attempts. Since 2007, only 3 college QBs have attempted more passes than that in a single year. Do you really think most of those passes were long balls? No.
And Ryan's arm strength has always been a question mark, that should be without dispute. It's the #1 reason why the consensus on him as a prospect 6 years ago was so split. Guys that liked him thought he had "enough" arm and loved his intangibles. Guys that didn't, thought intangibles were overrated and having a so-called "franchise-caliber" arm was more important. It's why Bill Parcells passed on him and took Jake Long instead. And not surprisingly, they took Chad Henne in Round 2, who had one of the strongest arms of any QB in that class.
Now, arm strength isn't the biggest determining factor in going deep. It's been an argument discussed ad nauseum
on this board, and I'm sure most are now aware that the deep ball is more about touch and timing than it is just throwing it as far and as hard as possible. So arm strength isn't that important when you have a streaking receiver running a go route.
Where Ryan's arm strength however does matter is when it comes to pulling the trigger on throws in the intermediate and longer range (say 15-25 yards) that just aren't floating a ball out there in front of a wide open WR, but require you to fit it into a tight window with safeties and linebackers closing quickly. This is where Ryan has a tendency to struggle with the most because he can be often hesitant when it comes to making those tight window throws downfield because Ryan knows better than anyone which throws his arm can and cannot make. Now he's much more willing when he trusts his receiver, so you'll see him make these throws to guys like Julio, Tony, and Roddy, but not so much to Harry Douglas (which is reason No. 941 why HD is a bad fit for our QB and offense) or anybody else. But generally speaking, particularly when it's early in a game or early on a drive, Ryan will not pull the trigger on these throws and proceed to check it down in order to "live to play another down."
It's a smart move, but when the competition tends to get fiercer come January, being safer
more often leads to being sorrier
. Because when you play top-notch defenses (which you often will in January), they can put the clamps on the safe, easy throws at some point and it leads to drives often stalling in the red zone. I could continue for another 5000 words, but it's nothing I haven't already said before, so I'll leave it at that.
In the end, I'll say Ryan is a more than capable QB. When watching the All-22, you are afforded the ability to see the times when those windows open and shut quickly, and see Ryan avoid the drive-killing INT. It's the smart play, but sometimes you need your QB to be a little less cerebral
, and a it more testicular
. Ryan has not shown that tendency yet, and probably never will. After Ryan's infamous slide last year vs. the Saints, I agreed with Jamie Dukes in his comments that Ryan was "too cerebral" which isn't a bad thing, but just who he is.
But the current coaching staff certainly doesn't help matters with their over-emphasis on avoiding turnovers and playing things as safe as possible.
I agree with RobertAP to a certain extent, this current coaching staff won't ever change. They haven't in 6 years. Now, I do think with a different coaching staff, OC, and offensive philosophy, Ryan would adapt, but I do think that regardless of the scheme, Ryan will always be a somewhat underwhelming vertical passer
. There are simply throws that he is incapable of making.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-3lIHIyXLs
The goal of any new coaching staff will be to minimize how underwhelming he is, making him slightly
underwhelming as opposed to very