Transcript: Matt Ryan Locker Room Interview

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**On having back-to-back road games, with Seattle being 3,000 miles away:

**“It’s just one of those weeks where you need to get back and focused and put that one behind us. I think we’ve done a good job of that. It’s always difficult to go out to the west coast. This is a tough place to play; loud stadium, great environment and a defense that plays really well at home so we’re going to have our work cut out for us. But we just need to focus on what we do daily and prepare as best we can to put ourselves in a good situation to play well on Sunday.”

**On whether the team is still trying to find their identity:

**“In a certain sense, yes. I think we, in the past, have been physical and we’ve protected the football really well and those are some things that we haven’t done well this year. So that’s something we’d like to do better. I think we know who we are. We just have to play that way and hopefully we can do that this week.”

**On the players on Seattle’s defense that present the most challenges:

**“I think (Chris) Clemons, their defensive end, does a great job. Fast off the ball, good in pass rush. (Marcus) Trufant is a good corner, a solid guy, been around for a long time; a savvy vet. Understands patterns, understands reading patterns, footwork. He’ll jump some things. (They’re) a good solid defense and a defense that I think plays really well in Seattle.”

**On the formula for success on west coast trips:

**“Smitty has done a great job of putting us in a good position to be prepared for these trips. It takes a toll on your body going out there and trying to stay fresh but the way that he sets up the schedule and demands us to stay focused, he always has us ready to play. We just kind of trust in his system and try to buy into it.”

**On the impact of Seattle’s crowd:

**“It is a loud place. The way that the stadium is set up, that sound kind of stays on the field. Our communication has to be really good. We’ll have to be on top of it. We’ve done a great job in situations like this .We play in New Orleans which is loud every year. You kind of get used to those types of situations. Our communication just needs to be really good.”

**On whether he takes a run-pass balance into account when calling plays at the line:

**“Situations dictate what you’re going to do offensively. Certainly, how a defense is going to play you kind of dictates what you call when you’re at the line of scrimmage. We certainly look to run and throw the ball in those situations. It just depends on a number of factors.”

**On whether the offense was limited in the second half against Tampa Bay due to the deficit:

**“I think the two games we’ve lost, we’ve kind of put ourselves in a tough position in the first half. We turned the football over, being in the position where we’ve been behind. Against good football teams, when you do that, you kind of shoot yourself in the foot and you have to play a different way in the second half. We just need to clean those things up, protect the football a little bit better, hopefully start out a little bit faster and be able to maintain that balance throughout the game.”

**On whether the playbook shrinks when playing from behind:

**“Absolutely. When you’re down, there are really only so many things you can do. We’ve been successful in coming back and fighting through those types of situations, but you can’t consistently put yourself in those situations and expect to have a different outcome. You’re playing against good opponents and when you turn the football over and get behind early, it’s tough to continually come back from those type of deficits. We just need to clean those things up. Quit turning the football over as much as we are and be a little more efficient at the start of the game.”

**On how he feels after taking some hits on Sunday:

**“I feel good. Body feels good and I think our guys up front are playing hard. We’re going to continue to get better at all phases.”

**On his Atlanta Braves hat:

**“I’ve got the hat on for a reason. We’ve got to win tonight. (Braves pitcher Tim Hudson) Huddy needs a win. I got to know Tim a little bit since I’ve been down here. I wish those guys the best of luck tonight. My fingers are crossed and hopefully we get a win and a Cards loss and then the Phillies and Braves can play sometime later in the playoffs.”

**On Seattle safety Kam Chancellor:

**“(He’s a) good player. A young guy who has done a good job coming in and learning this defense. I think he’s aggressive. Both of those guys are aggressive. They’ll come down and be physical. That’s kind of the M.O. about this defense. Good player.”

**On the offensive line:

**“We just need to execute a little better and that’s what it comes down to. Our guys are playing hard up front. We just need to execute a little better, myself included. The ball needs to come out. You can’t keep hanging on to it back there, at some point the ball has got to come out. I think I need to be better. I think those guys up front will get better. We’ll do all that, but it’s a joint effort.”

**On his Friday meetings with Mike Mularkey, working with the script:

**“Usually, I meet with Mike on Friday afternoon after our practice ends. It’s not even just the script. It’s going through the entire game plan and talking about things we’ve felt good about during the week at practice, things we didn’t feel good about. Taking some things out and then talking about situations that are going to come up throughout the game and how we want to handle those things; having a plan before we get into it and trying to play the game mentally on Fridays together. It’s been something that’s been successful for the last three, four years that I’ve been here and I think that it’s something that’s of great importance.”

**On being introduced to the script in college:

**“We did a little bit more in college. We played in really a west coast type system in college and that’s kind of a big part of that offense, having a good first 15, top 20, changing your personnel groups and doing some different things. I think that helped me when I came down here.”

**On if having a good script helps tell you something about the defense:

**“Absolutely. Mike (Mularkey) has done a great job since we’ve been here of throwing different formations, different personnel groupings, different stuff at them in the first 15, to kind of see how they’re going to play certain things and give you a real good indicator of what you’re going to see for the majority of the day. We’ve been a team, historically, that has started off fast. We just need to do a better job of that than we’ve done so far the first three games.”

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