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Matt Ryan names four offensive players who've caught his eye

Matt Ryan believes a few of his teammates are primed to take the next step in 2020 based off what he's seen from them this offseason.

Ryan and his teammates were committed to finding a way to get extra work in this offseason when they could.


The COVID-19 pandemic has prohibited any players who aren't rehabbing from entering the team facility. So, even if it meant traveling to California, Ryan and his teammates were going to make it happen.

Former Falcons tight end Austin Hooper spent a significant amount of time working with Ryan ahead of the 2018-19 seasons. Wherever Ryan was throwing, Hooper was there. Hooper was extremely vocal about how much it helped his game and the numbers showed just that and clearly his former teammates took note.

Ryan has spent time working with wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage in various locations.

"Calvin Ridley, he's been working extremely hard," Ryan said. "He looks great, he's been putting in a ton of extra time this offseason. We've spent a ton of time together. Russell Gage has been amazing. He's a guy that I think feels a lot more comfortable after having played the second half of last season. He's in a spot where he knows his role and he knows how we're going to use him."

He's also worked with tight ends Hayden Hurst and Jaeden Graham.

"You mentioned Hayden, he's been traveling all across the country to make it work and to find a way to get together," Ryan said. "Jaeden Graham is another guy who has [been there] every time I [have] and ready to go."

And he's also been impressed with running back Todd Gurley and his ability to retain information in just the short time of working with one another.

"He looked great, healthy and ready to go," Ryan said of Gurley. "I was impressed with that. The thing that struck me the most though was how smart of a player that he is and his ability to retain information, to not have to circle back on things the next day."

Ryan said the key for the Falcons to be successful in 2020 will come down to scoring more points. The hope is the extra work Ryan and his teammates are putting in now will give them a leg up once the season begins.

The Falcons finished No. 13 in scoring offense averaging 23.8 points per game.

"In terms of what we need to do offensively, we're obviously going to have to score some points," Ryan said. "There's some great offenses in our division. We've got to focus on that, going out week in and week out and get touchdowns when we get in the red area."

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