Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Ashley Fox wrote a column today on the possibility of first-round pick Matt Ryan walking into the starting job this season with the Falcons. “If there’s one thing I learned growing up in that area it’s that you can’t worry about” expectations, Ryan said last week to Fox. “You can’t even think about it. If you do, if you get caught up in it, it can only distract you. For me, I certainly have high expectations for myself and what I want to accomplish as a player. You have to live up to those expectations, and that’s really the way I’ve gone about it.”
Ryan has a lot heaped on him in his first season with the Falcons, and that does not even include a whopping contract that pays his $72 million over six seasons. Some think that Ryan has the intangibles to be as good as a QB like Carson Palmer, others think he’ll flame out like failed QB’s Ryan Leaf or Rick Mier. As Fox rightly points out, one thing that Ryan has going for him today is the fact he’s signed and sealed, and will be in camp on time.
Atlanta wants Ryan to be the savior of the team, putting the awful 2007 season to bed, and owner Arthur Blank wants him to be the QB that puts the memory of Michael Vick to rest as well. Time will tell if Ryan is going to be able to do that.