Falcons’ Matt Ryan on Patterson: ‘He makes a difference’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 21-14 win over the Jaguars on Sunday:

How did it feel to get the offense rolling today, you put up 21 points today?

Yeah, I thought it was a good day. I thought the offensive line played really well. We ran the ball, you know, tough, physical. I thought our running backs played well, which is what we needed, and I’m proud of those guys. They worked hard the last couple of weeks and I thought (they) set the standard for what they’re capable of doing. And I’m excited about that moving forward.

It was hard for us to see what you all are working with the run game other than they moved the splits out or got better angles, different tracks. What are some of the technical things they did other than block hard?

I’ve got to see it. I did my part on just making sure that the ball was in the belly, making sure they didn’t mess it up. So, I don’t know, we’ll take a look at what they did. The thing I could feel is just the intensity they were playing with. I felt like really good communication across the board from our guys, a lot of positive energy and a lot of intensity. And that was good.

What did it mean to the offense to get RB Cordarrelle Patterson back today?

That’s huge for you us. (Cordarrelle Patterson) has been such a big part of what we’ve done, both in the run game and in the pass game. He makes a difference and he brings an energy.

There’s no question the way he plays, the physical nature with which he finishes runs, finishes plays— guys feed off of that and I thought he did a great job today.

How tough was it playing musical centers for you today?

I thought both our guys did a good job. I thought Matt Hennessy did a great job. Drew Dalman did a good job. When both their numbers were called, they went in, they communicated really well. I’m happy for both those guys. I thought they both played tough.

Do you take on more responsibility when you’re doing something like that with two centers?

I mean, not really. In the pass game, in terms of protection, I’ve always got the trump card. So, we can make a call, and I can get us into something different. And in the run game, we have certain plays that come in that are canned or checked or whatever you want to call it. And we kind of dictate that. So, no, I didn’t do anything different. I thought Drew and Matt both did a nice job.

Does Head Coach Arthur Smith go to you and tell you, ‘Hey, I’m going to try this?’ Because, obviously, a center-quarterback connection is a fairly important one. Does Arthur bring that to you before he does it? Or say, Hey? How does that conversation go?

He told me during the week, ‘Hey, we’re going to evaluate what we want to do at all these spots. Be heads up for possible this,’ and it’s my responsibility as a player to make it work. But that was pretty much the extent of the conversation that we had.

And how different did you feel with this offense with Cordarrelle Patterson in there?

Well, it was better today. And, ultimately, that’s what we needed. We needed a better performance from all of us today. So, it was good today. And, you know, we’ll see where we’re at with the guys we have up moving forward. But I thought he played well.

I know it’s what you expected to happen, but what does it say about this team to respond with this performance after two tough weeks?

It’s what we needed. You know, I feel like we’ve got a good group of guys in the locker room. I really do, you know, guys that come to work with the right mindset every day and work really hard. I think there’s a lot we can improve on from today too and clean up for next week. But I’m proud of the guys. You hear a lot of positive things when things are good. You hear a lot of [crappy] things when things are bad. And I’m proud of the guys for having the right mindset to come in and continue to work and not hear all that stuff. And I think guys have done a great job with it.

Could you see that during the practice week, some signs that you guys were locked in?

Yeah, I thought the week of practice was really good and I thought guys were locked in. And it helps sometimes you get that little mini bye [week] after a Thursday night game, as ugly as it was that week. But a little bit of rest and a little bit of chance to recover and get some guys feeling good enough to get some good work on the practice field, I thought was a really positive thing. And [Coach] Arthur [Smith] gave us a chance to do that with the schedule that he set up.

You guys are heading into kind of the home stretch playing meaningful football. I mean, how important is that for this group that you guys continue to –

Yeah, it’s all you can ask for. At the beginning of the year, if you tell me we’re right in the mix in December, that’s where you want to be. And I certainly think our best football is still in front of us and we’re going to get there. But six games to go, right in the mix, December starting next week, like, sign me up. I’m ready for that and I’m excited about it. And it’s going to be a fun couple of weeks.

Arthur Smith mentioned his confidence in the run game even before today. Did you share his confidence? Did you think it was close or did you wonder?

I thought we were close. And I know it’s easy to say that when you have a day like today, but I feel like when you go back and watch it, there were a lot of things. ‘All right, if we can just be a little bit tighter, if we can hold up a little better on the backside here.’ And I thought we did that today. Obviously, we’ll look at it, [I’ll] have a better chance to see what we actually did. But I did feel like we were close and I do have belief in our guys up front both and both in the back field that we’re capable of moving the football like that.

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Atlanta Falcons schedule and scores

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Washington 34, Falcons 30

Falcons 27, Jets 20

Bye Week

Falcons 30, Dolphins 28

Panthers 19, Falcons 13

Falcons 27, Saints 25

Cowboys 43, Falcons 3

Patriots 25, Falcons 0

Falcons 21, Jaguars 14

Next four games

Tampa Bay at Falcons, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5

Falcons at Carolina, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12

Falcons at San Francisco, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 19

Detroit Lions at Falcons, 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26

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