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Transcript: Matt Ryan Locker Room Interview


**On the matchup with the Lions:

**"When you take a look at Detroit, it's a good defense, a really good front four. They've got some talented guys that they just keep rotating in. They're solid against the run, solid against the pass and have a really good pass rush. They've got a secondary who's playing with a lot of confidence right now. This is a good football team."

**On whether last week's win resulted in the team rediscovering their DNA with the running game:

**"We were able to establish that last week. Mike (Turner) did a great job. Our offensive line did a great job. It really helps an offense when you have the ability to do both and play-action off that run game. It was good for us last week and hopefully we'll be able to establish that run again this week."

**On Detroit's success against the pass:

**"I think it's a couple of things. First off, I think they're playing with great effort. When you turn on the film and you watch these guys, they play relentless. Their pass rush has been good, been very good, and they've been forcing quarterbacks to make not very good decisions so that's going to be important for us this week, to make good decisions in the pocket. When it's not there, it's not there, understand that there are going to be some three-and-outs against a good defense like this. But just hang in there and keep battling the entire 60 minutes."

**On combatting the noise at Ford Field:

**"I think it's loud up there. You've seen a number of procedural penalties from opposing offenses at Ford Field. We play in those type of situations a couple of times a year, in some loud environments and we just have to be on top of our game plan, prepare the same way that we do every week when we're on the road and be on top of our communication with our hand signals in the huddle as well."

**On how WR Harry Douglas affected the game:

**"Harry made some big plays for us last week, specifically that third and 12. That was a great route and great catch by him and one of the differences in that football game. I was really happy for him. He stepped up and played really well for us last week. I think he's capable of doing that every week. Harry's a talented guy and gets some good matchups and I think he's been doing a great job for us and I think he'll do a great job this week."

**On his throw to Douglas on the third and 12 situation:

**"It was a big play in that game. In that drive, in that situation on third down, that's kind of the difference in this League. It's whether or not you make those plays and it was a good thing that we made that play."

**On what it says about the depth of the team to have Douglas step up in the absence of WR Julio Jones:

**"I think it's good. There's going to be times throughout the grind of the NFL season that there's going to be guys down and you need some of those other guys to come in and step up. Harry, he's been that guy around here for a while. He's come in and quietly done a great job for us so it was big of him to step up last week."

**On how the schematic changes on the offensive line affects the play calling on offense:

**"I think we've executed better. I think I've done a better job of understanding protection and knowing when to get rid of the ball and get the ball out of my hand. I think we've done a better job with our backs and our wide receivers, as well as our offensive line. I think the biggest thing is execution and, certainly, our coaches have done a great job of scheming week in and week out to try to get us best protected."

**On whether it is important to enter the bye week with a win:

**"You never want to go into it with a loss, that's for sure. But I don't think we need to put any extra weight on it than we would any other week. Right now, this is the most important football game in our season and that's a mindset that we have week in and week out. I think when you approach it that way, it allows you to stay in that narrow focus that so many guys in our locker room have. It allows us to just prepare and play the way we know how."

**On TE Tony Gonzalez needing four more catches to move into second place on the all-time receptions list:

**"First of all, it's an unbelievable accomplishment. It's a testament to how good of a player he is, how hard he has worked for a long time and how talented he is. It's just fun to a part of those types of things as a player, especially for such a good person off the field too. Tony is a great guy and does a lot to help other guys in the locker room personally as well as professionally. He's been incredible for my career. He's taught me a lot both on the field and off the field and I'm certainly glad we got him a couple of years ago."

**On the advantage for a quarterback throwing to a receiver the size of Detroit WR Calvin Johnson:

**"Calvin's a great player. There's no doubt about that and his size is certainly a weapon for him. He's made some unbelievable plays this year but I think our defense will have a good scheme and hopefully will know where he's at snap in and snap out."

**On whether what Johnson is doing this year is what the offense envisions for WR Julio Jones:

**"It's tough to say. I think it all depends on how it shakes out. We'd love that production, absolutely. I think you'd take that from anybody. Calvin's one of the unique talents in this league."

**On Detroit DT Ndamukong Suh and what he has done to quarterbacks this season following the play:

**"You can't worry about that stuff too much. You know going into each week, it's going to be a physical grind for that 60 minutes. You can't pay attention to what guys are doing after the whistle and those type of things. You've just got to keep playing and I think guys will keep that in mind all week."

**On the play of their safeties, Amari Spievey and Louis Delmas:

**"Their safeties have done a good job. They've been aggressive against the run, coming down and making some good plays. They're physical. They're actually some of the better cover safeties you'll see. In man-to-man coverage, they do a good job so I've been impressed with both of those guys."

**On the group of young quarterbacks emerging in the league and how he has evolved into a mentor for those players:

**"It's a little bit strange to be 26 and be somewhat old. But it's fun to be a part of. I think there are a lot of young, talented quarterbacks in the League right now. It's a unique fraternity, for sure. There's only 32 of these spots in the world and there's only 31 other guys who, at this time, know what you're going through on a week-to-week basis. It's fun to be a part of. We keep in touch. I got to know Matthew Stafford a little bit after he left Georgia. He's represented by my agent so I've gotten to know him and seen him at a number of things. It's neat to kind of be a part of that."

**On whether he has spoken to Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert and Minnesota QB Christian Ponder:

**"I've texted with Blaine Gabbert. We got to meet him down in Jacksonville when we were down there this year and I've talked to him for a little bit. He's a good kid, he really is. I think he's got a lot of potential. He's got a good head on his shoulders. I haven't talked to Ponder yet but I know (Minnesota Offensive Coordinator) Billy Musgrave up there will do a good job with him and he's in good hands."

**On whether it helps the offense playing a scheme similar to Detroit's in the Philadelphia game:

**"There are some similarities for sure. There are some similarities between what Philly does with their wide-nine technique and what Detroit is doing, so I think that certainly helps. We know some of the things that we do well against it, so I think it's a benefit for us."

**On the play of Suh:

**"He's a very good player. His effort is there snap after snap. He plays relentless. That's kind of the M.O. for the entire defensive line. They play hard, they play physical and they play through the whistle. He's doing a great job."

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