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Falcons' Dan Quinn emphasizes Matt Ryan being comfortable in scheme
Jan 29, 2016
ESPN Staff Writer
Although the primary storyline from Thursday's Atlanta Falcons news conference was general manager Thomas Dimitroff saying he has to produce to keep his job, head coach Dan Quinn did weigh in on a few items as well.
One of the topics Quinn addressed was quarterback Matt Ryan's feelings about offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme. Ryan admitted he was overwhelmed at times in the new offense, although he never publicly criticized Shanahan or complained about it.
Quinn, who said the primary focus for Ryan will be cleaning up the turnovers, said Ryan expressed no qualms about the scheme during an exit meeting.
"Yeah, I asked that question directly, about the same one, because I wanted him to make sure," Quinn said. "I know he's comfortable in the system, (but) why did we have those turnovers that caused some of the negative situations to take place? He absolutely agreed, (saying) `Absolutely, I can dominate and play in the role that we want here.'"
Matt Ryan threw 16 interceptions in 2015, just one off his career high. AP Photo/Bob Leverone
Ryan posted his fifth consecutive season of 4,000-plus passing yards, but he also threw 16 interceptions, the second-most in his career after the 2013 season (17). He also had a career-high five fumbles lost. His 21 turnovers contributed to the Falcons' 30 giveaways, compared to 30 takeaways.
Quinn said he has no plans to make any other changes to his coaching staff, meaning Shanahan will be back. Shanahan will have another voice on offense in assistant head coach Raheem Morris, who was moved from defensive pass game coordinator to work with the wide receivers. Shanahan and Morris have a tight-knit relationship, so it's safe to say Shanahan will listen to any input Morris offers, even though Morris doesn't have a wealth of experience coaching offense.
A large part of Ryan getting more accustomed to the scheme will be addressing needs on the interior of the offensive line, needing bigger bodies to protect him. The Falcons also need another wide receiver capable of beating one-on-one coverage, with the added attention top target Julio Jones has drawn from opposing defenses.
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