In case you haven't heard by now, the Falcons have a new offensive coordinator. Gone is four-year coordinator Mike Mularkey, who accepted a head coaching role in Jacksonville following last season. In Mularkey's absence comes Dirk Koetter, the Jaguars offensive coordinator since 2007.
It remains to be seen what kind of impact Koetter will have on the offense and what they do on the field during the 2012 season, but quarterback Matt Ryan said on Tuesday the presence of a new voice leading the offense is beneficial, even after just a few days of meetings.
"I've enjoyed working with Dirk so far," Ryan said. "I think from just our meetings the last two days, I'm excited about it. I think he brings a different perspective from Mike Mularkey over the last couple of years. Sometimes when things are explained in different ways to guys, it seeps in and guys learn better that way. Hopefully, Dirk will provide that for us. I think he will."
Ryan estimates about 20 percent of Koetter's playbook is new, but said the differences in how Koetter will teach and install the offense could be beneficial. Ultimately, however, he said the true effectiveness of the new coordinator's playbook will fall on the shoulders of the players.
"I think as a player you have to learn the system and scheme as best you can, but your primary focus has to be on execution," Ryan said. "I think from a player perspective, our execution has to be better. It hasn't been up to the standard that we need to be at and that's what we're going to work on this offseason."
Because it's only been a few days since the Falcons have reconvened and no actual field work has occured, Ryan wasn't ready to say how aggressive Koetter's scheme is or discuss real changes, but he's happy to see Koetter is leaving some of the things in the old scheme that many of the players were familiar with.
Ryan describes the phase of installation right now as "rudimentary stages" and he's only just begun to dig into a playbook that he says is just as big and with just as many pages as the old one had.
Although he doesn't know all the differences and similarities at this time, what he does know is Koetter brings a new voice to the Falcons and he's happy to hear it.