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Transcript: Matt Ryan Interview


Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan says the team is focused on executing well during practice this week so that it can be prepared to take on a very tough Philadelphia Eagles team come Sunday

**On playing in a city that still supports Philadelphia QB Michael Vick:

**"I don't think it's difficult at all. I think we've had great support here the last couple of years. Certainly, Mike was a great player down here and did some fantastic things and is going to have support from people in this city. But I really feel like we've had great support the last three years that I've been down here and it's been a lot of fun to play down here."

**On seeing Vick's Falcons jerseys in the stands at the Georgia Dome:

**"It doesn't really even come into consideration with me. We've got a lot of things on our plate as a team and as players that we're not really concerned with those things."

**On playing his hometown team in the Eagles:

**"We haven't had a lot of success against them the last couple of years. Obviously, having grown up there, I was an Eagles' fan growing up. But I've been around for a number of years now at this point and I know how important and how difficult it is week-to-week, regardless of who the opponent is. For us at this point, our focus needs to be on preparing, doing what we need to do in the course of the week to give ourselves a chance to play well on Sunday."

**On the uncharacteristic play of the offense against Chicago:

**"When we look at what we did last week, I think we did a number of uncharacteristic things. We made a lot of mistakes that we don't normally make and that will be something that we'll have to address. I think we've got to improve on three turnovers last week. You can't do that against a good football team and expect to win. Those are areas that we'll address and get better at and hopefully be better at this week."

**On moving the ball downfield more often:

**"One of the things has a lot to do with who you're playing against. Credit Chicago last week, but that's last week. For us, this week, the focus has to be on executing during practice and being prepared so that when opportunities down the field come, we take advantage of them. I think if we run the football effectively and keep ourselves from turning the football over early and getting ourselves out of position, those plays will come."

**On Philadelphia's defensive additions in the offseason:

**"Their defense looks good. Watching them on tape, I think some of the additions that they have made have obviously helped obviously in the front four; the two key additions, they look solid and their physical. Then you look at (Philadelphia cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha) Nnamdi on the outside. He's a talented corner. I played against him a couple of years ago out in Oakland and we've played against (Philadelphia corner Asante Samuel) Asante now a couple of times up there. That's a talented bunch of guys, that's for sure. They're in a new scheme this year and doing some things differently than we've seen in the past so we're certainly going to have our work cut out for us."

**On whether there is added pressure knowing that only three teams have ever started 0-2 and won the Super Bowl:

**"I don't think so. Winning games in January and February, that's a long way from now. Our focus has to be on playing well this week and trying to take care of what we need to take care of this week. I don't think anyone else's focus in the locker room is any further than that."

**On the community's sense that this is a must-win game:

**"It's important for us because it's the next one on the schedule. That's the way that you have to approach it as an athlete and a player in this League, there's too many distractions out there that can affect your focus. I think your mindset needs to be right and I think the guys in our locker room will have that right mindset. I know mine is preparing as best as I can during the week and hopefully playing well on Sunday."

**On answering questions regarding Vick even after being an established quarterback in Atlanta:

**"I don't worry about it. That's the nature of the NFL right now. In the age we're in and the media driven sport we're in, you're going to answer some of those questions. It's part of the deal."

**On Philadelphia's defense being similar to Chicago's defense:

**"One of things is just keeping ourselves in a position where we aren't going to have to be throwing the football. I think it comes back to turning the football over early. We had two opportunities last week to extend drives and keep drives going in positive territory and we turned the ball over and that changes the landscape of the game. They are similar in some of the things that they do like Chicago and we'll address that. We'll get better from that and we'll be better prepared and ready to go this weekend."

**On whether the two new starters on the offensive line affected the pass protection:

**"I thought our new guys did pretty well. I really did. They played hard, they played physical. I think everybody on the offense made too many mistakes and those are things that we'll address and get better at. But I think those two guys up front did a good job."

**On the play of Philadelphia LB Casey Matthews:

**"He looks pretty good. He's out there communicating well. You can see him on film communicating well; getting the defense set. I think he's done a pretty good job so far."

**On Philadelphia's nickelback:

**"They've kind of shown a little bit of everything. There's so little tape within this new scheme that you have to prepare for maybe all three going inside. It could be Asante going inside. It could be (Eagles corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie) Cromartie inside. It could be Nnamdi inside, depending on what they're going to do against us. It's something that we'll feel out early, we'll get a chance to take a look at and react to accordingly."

**On the Eagles' front four compared to that of the Bears:

**"I think their front four is solid. They've got some guys who can rush the passer. They've got guys that are good and physical and stout against the run. It's another talented front four that we have to go up against this week."

**On Garrett Reynolds and his preparation for a starting role:

**"I thought Garrett did a great job this offseason. He was dedicated, worked really hard. But he's done that the entire time he's been here. His preparation was not just this offseason. I think from the minute that we got him here, he was preparing himself for the opportunity whenever it came along. That hard work and sawing away at it every day has really helped him out."

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