When the Atlanta Falcons take the field at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 21 days for their home-opener against the Seattle Seahawks, Matt Ryan wants his team to be one thing: Disciplined.
Ryan has been pleased with what he's seen from the offense through the first couple weeks of training camp but as a 13-year veteran in the league, he knows there's still a long way to go.
"I think we've done a good job in the first couple of weeks," Ryan said. "We still have a long way to go for sure. But the effort, intensity and attention to detail has been very good. We need to keep that up so we're ready to go in three weeks from today."
While going out and stringing together good weeks of practice is certainly important, Ryan knows it's going to come down to the focus his team has on gameday. When asked what's the No. 1 thing he wants to see Atlanta's offense improve in this season, Ryan said success for the Falcons will come down to eliminating the self-inflicted errors that happened far too many times in 2019.
Between offensive holding and false starts, the Falcons recorded 50 penalties on offense for a loss of 364 yards last season.
"We have to be more disciplined," Ryan said. "Whether it's procedural penalties that knocked us off schedule, those are things that are not a lack of effort or anything like that, that's a lack of discipline. We have to remain incredible disciplined in terms of our mental output week in and week out."
Ryan has also been pleased with what he's seen in terms of comfort level for offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter in his second season in the Falcons' offensive system. Koetter said he’ll be a better coach this year because of his knowledge of the terminology and familiarity with his personnel. Atlanta's passing offense ranked No. 13 in points per game (23.8) and No. 3 in passing yards per game (294.6) under Koetter in 2019.
As the Falcons look to continue to improve in all areas on offense, the hope is with a healthy offensive line and the addition of running back Todd Gurley, the run game will get back on track. If Atlanta is able to run the ball more effectively, the passing game will surely benefit. The Falcons ranked 30th in the league in rushing offense last season averaging 85.1 yards per game.
"I think Dirk is doing a really good job for us," Ryan said. "There's a comfort level that comes from being in the second year of the system for him. Understanding the terminology and not having to translate it in his brain. It's just coming out. His teaching has been awesome this training camp. You can feel from a players standpoint how much more comfortable he is."
Take a look at some of our favorite images from Day 15 of AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp.