Preparations for the first game of the 2016 preseason ramped up Monday as the Falcons took the field in Flowery Branch for another day of hard work in the heat
During his media availability on July 29, Matt Ryan told reporters that he and the offense are way further along than they were at this time last season. This has become a common refrain from the veteran quarterback.
Fully grasping Kyle Shanahan's offense took some time, but, having spent more than a year immersed in the scheme, Ryan is entering 2016 with a renewed sense of confidence.
He's not second-guessing decisions. He's not worrying about terminology. He and his teammate are communicating well. And he's able to focus on specifics rather than general principles.
Couple this progress with added depth, and there are many reasons to believe Atlanta's offense could be more effective than it was in 2015. Ryan certainly has faith that will happen: With a talented receiving corps, an offensive line that feels like it's coming together, a Pro Bowl running back and lots of options at tight end, he thinks the Falcons can score 30 points this season.
"I'm a little more experienced than I used to be, but I feel like I'm in a really good place. I feel like I'm throwing the ball better than I ever have," Ryan told Sirius XM Radio on Monday. "My body feels in really good shape. I feel really good being in the second year of this system; (I'm) very much on the same page as Kyle. And I'm really excited about what's in front of us."