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Saturday, January 3, 2009
Atlanta's Ryan says he didn't hit "rookie wall"

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Ryan

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There's suddenly a lot of talk about Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan perhaps hitting the "rookie wall" at some point in the last few weeks.

He didn't look particularly sharp at the end of the regular season and he didn't look sharp in Saturday's playoff loss to Arizona. He was intercepted twice and sacked three times.

"It's a long season for everybody," coach Mike Smith said. "This was our 21st football game. I didn't really see [Ryan hitting the rookie wall]. I think you have to look at his body of work the entire season. I don't know if you can really break it down and evaluate here what he's done of late. I think you've got to take a look at what we've done throughout the entire season."

Ryan said fatigue didn't play any role in his performance and said he just made some poor throws and decisions.

"I felt fine,'' Ryan said. "I felt the same as I have all year."