Matt Ryan talked to the media today about the Bucs defense – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
On Wednesday afternoon, Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan joined the Tampa Bay media via a conference call to discuss the season opener against the Buccaneers. Below is a transcript of the call where Ryan talks about his relationship with former coach Mike Smith, cornerback Brent Grimes, among other topics. Each game week, PewterReport.com will feature a transcript from the opposing coach, or a player made available by the opponent during the mid-week conference call.
(On how he thinks former Atlanta offensive coordinator and current Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter will do as a head coach in the NFL)
“I think Dirk will do a great job. He was obviously here in Atlanta for three years. I learned a ton from him. He helped me a ton in my career. I think he – you kind of always know how somebody would transition. He just had the qualities that you would
Bucs HC Dirk Koetter and DC Mike Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
think a good head coach would have. I think he’ll do a great job in Tampa and I’m happy for him.”
(On what this game means to former Atlanta head coach and current Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith)
“I don’t know how he’ll feel – I can’t speak for him. I know that I have great respect for Mike. Obviously, more so than anybody, had the biggest impact on my career. He’s a hell of a head coach. He’ll be a great defensive coordinator. He’s going to be tough to go against this weekend, that’s for sure. But as far as the emotions, he’s a professional. He understands how to get those guys right week-in and week-out. I’m sure he’ll be very well-prepared to go against us on Sunday.”
(On how it impacted him when Mike Smith was dismissed as the Atlanta head coach)
“Well it’s tough. Obviously, we came in together. Mike got hired here in 2008 and I got drafted a couple months later. We were kind of connected at the hip for a long time together. Had a lot of great wins, a lot of fun, a lot of success. Learned a ton about leadership, about what it means to be a professional. [He] has really shaped the way that I view football. He’s a really, really smart coach and really, really keen on X’s and O’s. I learned a ton from him. So that part’s tough. Any time you have transition and things change, that’s difficult to go through. I really enjoyed my time with Mike and luckily, we replaced him with a great head coach in Dan Quinn. I’ve been very fortunate to play for two unbelievable head coaches.”
(On Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes, who played with Ryan in Atlanta)
“I know Brent is a great player. When he was here – he’s probably one of the most athletic people I’ve ever been around. His ability to cut, change directions, jump – he’s got unbelievable ball skills. We know exactly how good he is because we got to see him every day in practice. He can make some unbelievable plays. We certainly have a lot of respect for him. It’s a system that he probably knows pretty well. I think it’s similar to what he was doing under [former Falcons defensive coordinator] Brian VanGorder and a little bit of [former Falcons defensive coordinator] Mike Nolan, during his time here with the Falcons. I think ‘Smitty’ [Mike Smith] had his fingerprint a little bit on those defenses. I’m sure he’s comfortable in that scheme. We’ve got to be aware of where he’s at, there’s no question about it. They’ve got a lot of really good players on their defensive side. You talk about two really good linebackers and Gerald McCoy in the front four, who has been tough to go against for his entire career. I think it’s a very good defense.”
Ex-Bucs head coach Raheem Morris – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
(On the impact that assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Raheem Morris has had in his first season working on the offensive side of the ball)
“I think Raheem is a really good football coach. I think Dan [Quinn] showed a lot of confidence in him, moving him from the defensive side of the ball to the offensive side of the ball. I think it shows just how versatile Raheem is, his ability to connect with the guys, understanding offensive and defensive football at a really high level and also giving us a little bit different perspective on the offensive side of the ball. For him having been on the defensive side for so long and understanding how they game plan and they see things, it’s a good perspective to have for us. So I think he’s done a great job.”
(On opening the season with an NFC South opponent)
“Opening games are always – there’s a little extra buzz to it, for whatever reason. In the stadiums – even players, it’s your first time out there for real, so there’s always something to that. In division, it’s always big because they know us really well, we know them really well and I think always in those kinds of games, those kinds of situations, it comes down to players making plays. I think everybody will have their minds right on both sides and we’ve got to go out there and make as many plays as we can make to help us win.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
I can understand where he’s coming from, he was fought in too coach offense that was his job . Lovie smith did that & this man keeps paying his respects because he feels guilty he took lovies job away from him . DK you shouldn’t feel guilty . Hardwork pays off when someone puts in extra work and does a better job it’s kind of hard for management not too give that guy the reigns too the teams future . Lovie failed us fans time and time again and was emotionless and showed no care about this team or community . DK you at least have shown you want too be here and win time and time again . I’m not sold you love this TB community , but hey who does it sucks traffic everywhere people are rude and there is always someone on your butt waiting for you too fail or mess up . Everyone in Tampa wants what you have and will do anything too take it from you , but the community is still mostly a string community and very loyal and respectable . I’m just saying DK go out and win quit worrying about lovie smith he’s got a job the NFL didn’t work for him for multiple reasons we all know why . I’m sure he will be tuning it and watching your new Bucs defense on Sunday’s on his day off lol but it is what it is don’t sweat the small stuff .
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