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Quizzing Falcons teammates all part of Matt Ryan learning new system

Quarterback explains how he has learned Arthur Smith's system by doing

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Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Christian Blake #13 talks to quarterback Matt Ryan #2 during AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp at Atlanta Falcons Headquarters in Flowery Branch, Georgia, on Thursday August 5, 2021. (Photo by Kara Durrette/Atlanta Falcons)

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Matt Ryan has been through several play callers and scheme changes during his professional career, and is well versed on the best and most efficient ways to learn new offensive terminology.

As a general rule, the Falcons quarterback prefers to learn by doing.

"I'm more on the field with the guys, and that's just for me," Ryan said after Wednesday's Falcons practice. "I know some people do it that way [reciting it over and over in private]. I learn better doing it. Maybe that's why I wasn't so great in school all the time. I like running around and doing things."


The topic came up because Ryan's going through yet another scheme change with head coach/offensive play caller Arthur Smith at the conn. He says this transition is easier than most considering the similar concepts between Smith's scheme and others he has worked with.

While it may be easier, Ryan still likes to get the terminology down as fast as possible. He values getting receivers together for passing workouts before the offseason program begins, to help ease the transition once the full squad arrives for OTAs.

Ryan says all that practice and play-calling repetition working with the scheme is beneficial. Though he has scheme's langauage down well at this point, that won't stop him from proctoring surprise tests from time to time.

It seems Ryan's teammates had better stay on their toes.

"I quiz these guys all the time, just walking around the building," he said. "A lot of the quizzing isn't necessarily for them. It's for me, too. It's trying to remind myself, and I'm going to ask him to make sure he knows, too.

"I do that throughout the year, but that's how I do it on the field and buzzing around [the facility]."

Such active engagement keeps everyone on their toes, thinking during points of stress. That's a requirement in games, where checks and adjustments are made on the fly, in a flash.

It still might mean the rookies are staying away from Ryan for fear of being quizzed.

"I think some of the guys who don't know me like that might," Ryan said. "The older guys know I'm just making sure we're [all on the same page]."

The wide receivers and the Atlanta Falcons are back from Miami and preparing for the Browns in Flowery Branch on Day 19 of 2021 AT&T Atlanta Falcons Training Camp.

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