OC Koetter doesn't give Ryan a pass

October, 29, 2013
10/29/13
8:10
PM ET
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was hard on himself following a four-interception outing against the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday.

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was hard on Ryan, too.

Ryan
Ryan
Koetter admired how Ryan owned up to his mistakes and spent "all day" going over film Monday to correct the errors. But Koetter expected better from the sixth-year quarterback.

"It's just uncharacteristic of Matt ... a couple of those throws he shouldn't have even tried to make," Koetter said Tuesday. "He's the first one to recognize that. ... I wouldn't expect it to happen again."

Ryan has nine interceptions in the last two seasons against the Cardinals. In Sunday's 27-13 loss, all four of his interceptions came in the second half.

"I think when you're behind and you're playing catch-up like we were in that second half, sometimes you try to make something out of nothing," Koetter said. "There were a couple of those that there was nothing to be made.

"Again, Matt's decision-making is one of his strongest points. Pressure is the toughest thing on any quarterback. ... When I say pressure, I don't just mean pressure of a blitz. That's part of it: pressure of being behind; pressure of getting hit earlier in the game. Just the buildup of pressure, he didn't play his normal game."

In breaking down the interceptions, Koetter said Ryan tried to squeeze a pass to tight end Chase Coffman that was picked off by Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington.

"That one, he was just playing ball," Koetter said of Ryan. "Two of the other three were just poor decisions on throwing it."

The final one was a fourth-down play where Ryan had no choice but to just heave it.

Koetter wouldn't use the absences of Julio Jones and Roddy White as excuses for Ryan's struggles.

"I think when you've played a long time with certain guys, you can definitely see some looks and throw the ball to a spot and know that they will bail you out of some bad looks," Koetter explained. "I don't think we can put those in [the last game]."

Ryan finished with a career-high 61 pass attempts, completing 34 for 301 yards and one touchdown. His passer rating was a season-low 47.2, one week after he posted a career-best 148.4 against Tampa Bay. He was sacked four times and hit 11 times.

Things won't get any easier this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, who boast a formidable tandem in Charles Johnson (six sacks) and Greg Hardy (five).

Vaughn McClure

ESPN Atlanta Falcons reporter

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