Transcript: Matt Ryan Locker Room Interview

On the Atlanta Braves clinching a playoff berth at home last night:

"It's a good feeling. It's something we've done before and want to do again. It's a lot of hard work paying off, but it's kind of the beginning. They have a great opportunity to go out there, and this city is going to buzzing about it."

On development as a quarterback:

"Obviously, winning is what it's all about. We've done a good job of that so far. It's a fun game. It's fun to play. We've got great teammates and have good camaraderie. It's a fun team to be a part of."

On playing so well after a short week:

"It's something you get used to playing in the NFL. You have the Monday night game, you have the short week and you have to get yourself prepared. We're all professionals, and we know how to do that. I thought we did a good job of that last week."   * *

On the Panthers defense:

"They have a lot of good players on defense. DE Charles Johnson is a guy we've played against a bunch and is a very good player. DE Greg Hardy, another defensive end, is a solid physical player. LB Jon Beason is back. We've played a lot of games against him, too. He's talented. LB Thomas Davis is back and an athletic guy. He can make some plays and comes in in their sub package. He was out last week, but I expect him to be back. Another young guy, LB Luke Kuechly, has stepped in and played really well for a rookie. Then on the back end, you have some really talented guys in S Charles Godfrey is playing really well right now. Him and CB Chris Gamble are two guys we have to be heads up for."

On Panthers LB Luke Kuechly coming from BC:

"It's always good to see fellow Boston College guys doing well. I'm happy for him."

On having success against the Panthers:

"Sure, we've won six of seven, but they've all come down to the wire. They've all been games that have been tight going into the fourth quarter. We expect it to be the same this week. They're a tough, physical group that plays well, and they have an offense that is capable of scoring anytime so it's going to be a tough week."

On the Falcons defense playing well:

"Our defense is playing really well, creating turnovers and giving us short field opportunities. I've just been really impressed. I think the guys are flying around playing with a lot of confidence. They're playing like ball hawks in the secondary and just coming away with a lot of picks and a lot of fumbles. That's certainly helped us out the first couple of weeks."

On having success on the opening drive:

"I think good execution coming out of the gate. (OC) Dirk's (Koetter) done a good job of calling the plays and getting us prepared for those situations. That's one thing we've done well. There are other areas where we haven't been as efficient as we need to be. For us, the focus this week is to try and improve in those areas."

On the importance of starting division games:

"It's always important. Division games there is some extra there because you know these teams. You know the players and you've played against them very frequently. They know you and know your scheme, and they know your calls. These kinds of games come down to execution. That's what we need to focus on as players."

On putting distractions behind him and staying focused:

"I think one of the things we've done a good job of as an organization and as players is when you get in here it's time to focus on playing football and getting yourself prepared. We're also going to have each other's backs. We've got a tight knit group of players and guys are going to make mistakes. It's going to happen. Hopefully, we don't make anymore, but you have to have each other's backs. When we get here we need to focus on football and I think guys have done a good job of that."

On the referee lockout possibly ending soon:

"I haven't seen anything on it so until its official I'll wait to comment on it."

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