The entire Falcons roster has embraced the change that has taken place at team headquarters in Flowery Branch since the start of 2015, including franchise quarterback Matt Ryan, who enters his eighth year in the league.
When Atlanta's offseason workouts began this week, Ryan continued further connecting with new head coach Dan Quinn, while also making the most of his time learning from new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
" First and foremost, he has a ton of experience," Ryan said. "He's a young guy, but he has a ton of experience. I've enjoyed working with Kyle so far and Matt LaFleur, our quarterbacks coach, as well. I think there's been really good collaboration on the offensive side. We've got a lot of work to do, a lot of time and effort to put in. The first couple of days have been really, really good."
Arriving as the team's top pick in 2008, Ryan has played for two offensive coordinators in the NFL, Mike Mularkey (2008-2011) and Dirk Koetter (2012-2014). The team's signal-caller identified some of the similarities in Shanahan's scheme that resemble what he's been asked to do previously in Atlanta, including certain run schemes, play-action calls and other outside-the-pocket designs under Mularkey.
Voluntary workouts began this week and members of the media had a chance to see the Falcons back at work Thursday morning. Head coach Dan Quinn, QB Matt Ryan and CB Desmond Trufant answered questions in a press conference.
As for mastering a new offense, it always helps when you have teammates who have played in the specific scheme. Falcons wide receiver Leonard Hankerson played for Shanahan in Washington (2011-2013) and has been serving as a sounding board for Ryan, allowing him to learn further nuances of the offense.
During all of the studying, Ryan says the collaboration of his past experiences, combined with those of his coaches and teammates in the new system, has "probably been the best part," Ryan said; however, much of what the Falcons' high-powered offense will look like in the regular season is far from being determined.
"You'd love to have this idea of what you're going to do, but personnel dictates kind of how you evolve as an offense," Ryan said.
"We'll find out as we move forward what we are after the draft and as we get through training camp. We'll figure out who we're going to be. I'm sure some things will look different to everybody, and some things will look similar."