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Monday, July 28, 2008
One-on-one with Atlanta's Matt Ryan

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
 
 Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
 Matt Ryan says he's more comfortable heading into training camp.

Got a chance to sit down and go one-on-one with Atlanta rookie quarterback Matt Ryan after his first camp practice Saturday morning in Flowery Branch, Ga.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

How are things going so far?

Matt Ryan: It's nice to have camp finally starting and getting into the swing of things. I feel a lot more comfortable coming into training camp than I did coming into minicamp. At the same time, I still have a lot of work to do.

The coaches have said the quarterback competition is wide open. What are your thoughts on playing right away?

MR: For me, it's just about when they tell me to go in and try to play. The thing about it is there's no right or wrong way to do it. If there was, everybody would do it a certain way. You just don't know what the right way to do it is. For me, I'm concerned with getting out on the field and competing and doing everything I can to play.

That's really all I can be worried about and concerned with. It's my job to try to make enough progress out on the practice field and in the preseason games to get myself on the field and not worry too much about long-term stuff. I've just got to get better from practice to practice.

How difficult has it been, basically being the face of this franchise since the moment you were drafted?

MR: Not too bad, really. I've tried to approach it the same way I did in college where I try to work hard and make myself as prepared as I can to go out on the practice field. In terms of taking care of media requests and things like that, I understand that it's part of the job. It's been busy. There's no doubt about that. But it's been fun. I know this may sound crazy, but it's actually started to settle down with training camp starting.

How much has (Falcons owner) Arthur Blank spoken to you about how you carry yourself off the field?

MR: We've had some very casual discussions and his basic message has been 'Just be yourself and understand that your actions represent not only yourself and your family, but this organization and teammates and make decisions that are in the best interests of everybody.' I don't think that's a difficult thing for me to do. In my past, I've made decisions that reflect myself and my family positively and that's the way I'm going to approach it in the future.