When Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan woke up early Monday morning, he checked his phone and saw that his head coach Dan Quinn had been fired. Ryan said Quinn held a virtual meeting that day where he addressed his players for the final time.
Ryan and Quinn enjoyed a lot of success together over the last five seasons. Ryan was named the NFL's MVP in 2016 when the Falcons earned a trip to Super Bowl LI. The Falcons also went to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in large part because of the play of Ryan under Quinn's leadership.
"Some of the best football that I've played has been under Dan," Ryan said. "I've learned a lot from him in terms of leadership and what it means to be a good teammate. Really appreciated his time here and my time spent with him [and] certainly wish him the best with everything he has going for him going forward."
As far as his reaction to Falcons owner Arthur Blank's comments about Ryan's future with the franchise, he said he's only worried about what he can control and that is finding a way to win on Sunday. Blank was asked about Ryan's future as far as bringing in a new coach and general manager and here's what he said:
"Matt has been a franchise leader for us, a great quarterback, one of the leading quarterbacks in the last 13 years in the NFL. I hope he's going to be part of our plans going forward. But that will be a decision I won't make. Matt has the ability to play at a very high level even at this age. Whether that's going to continue or not, I'm not sure. I appreciate his willingness to consider doing that, and the level of what he's played for us for 13 years, which has been incredible. I will have to see, but again, that's going to be a decision at the end of the day that will part of it up to the player and part of it up to the coaching staff. Whether or not Matt can keep himself together, God willing he'll be able to do that, and play at the level that he's capable of playing at."
Ryan, 35, has been adamant in saying from a mental and physical standpoint, he feels as good as he ever as. And while he understands where the questions come from, he's focused on continuing to play a high level and helping his team win get its first win of the season.
"We rent these lockers; we don't own them," Ryan said. "We have to go out and pay that rent and earn your spot day in and day out. Regardless of whether you're in Year 1 or Year 13, that's our responsibility as players all of the time is to go out there and perform, that's what we're paid to do. I don't worry about it, I understand where everyone is coming from, I understand where I'm at my career. But I also believe in compartmentalizing things and focusing on what's in front of us this week and the job that I have to do. We've got 11 ball games to go this season and we've got to find a way to get some wins and get back in the mix. That's where our mindset has to be at."
Grady Jarrett and the Atlanta Falcons began preparing for their Week 6 match up against the Minnesota Vikings. Take a look at the best images from practice in this gallery, presented by Quikrete.