The Indianapolis Colts have their new quarterback for the foreseeable future in Matt Ryan, and former executives and players at The 33rd Team have noticed plenty of reasons for the team to be optimistic that they “got this one right”.
The Team Needed A Change
The Colts struggled last season with the inconsistency of Carson Wentz. Comments made by teammates and coaches indicated a strained relationship between Wentz, the coaching staff and the rest of his teammates. This relationship was damaged enough for the team to move on from Wentz after a single season.
With a roster ready to compete right away, the Colts made the move for Matt Ryan, who had been with the Atlanta Falcons since 2008. Ryan, a former MVP who has led a team to a Super Bowl, is already top-10 all-time in passing yards, touchdowns and completion percentage. That kind of experience and consistency is something the Colts wanted at quarterback, and they’ve certainly got it so far this offseason.
Putting The League On Notice
Bill Polian, a former NFL General Manager, Team President, and current Contributor to The 33rd Team, has had nothing but praise for Matt Ryan's leadership, and his approach to the game. He even compared Ryan to Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
"He can still throw the ball. His head, his processing, his leadership – it’s off the charts. And he brings with him a gravitas that they have not had at that position since Peyton’s been there."
Polian isn’t the only former executive to notice Ryan’s leadership in effect. Former NFL General Manager and Contributor to The 33rd Team, Rick Spielman, noted Ryan has “already provided the team with much-needed leadership." Spielman also noted Ryan's arm still looks "as good as ever," and he was in command of the Colts' offense.
The Colts feel like Ryan can do things for them Wentz and other quarterbacks just couldn’t unlock in their offense. Ryan is pinpoint accurate, smart and can exploit the middle of the field—an area the team couldn’t hit with Wentz.
Michael Vick, a former Quarterback for the Falcons , the Eagles and the Steelers, believes the Colts’ offense can be “explosive”.
"One of the best things about Matt Ryan is that he's a great play-action quarterback," Vick said. "With that run game [led by Jonathan Taylor] and Frank Reich, I think they'll have some explosiveness downfield when they put it all together with those receivers'.
Ryan may be an older player, but the Colts believe he can still be highly effective for the next several years. If what we’re seeing in camp is any indication, Ryan and the Colts are in for a fantastic 2022 and beyond.
AJ Schulte contributed to this report.