Matt Ryan faces media questions on his future and the firing of Head Coach Dan Quinn.
On how he found out about the organization’s decision to depart from Head Coach Dan Quinn and what Quinn has meant to his career:
“I actually found out on Monday. I fell asleep early Sunday night, was tired, and woke up in the middle of the night on Monday, so I found out just on my phone. There was an email that had been sent out to all of us players. So, that’s the way I found out the news. What he’s meant to my career is he’s been a huge part of it.
I think we had a lot of success here during his time and obviously some tough times in the last couple of years, but some of the best football that I’ve played has been under Dan. I learned a lot from him in terms of leadership, in terms of what it means to be a good teammate.
He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever been around at cultivating interpersonal relationships and making sure that they’re developed and how important they are to a team. I learned tons from him. Really appreciated his time here and my time spent with him and certainly wish him the best with everything he has going for him going forward.”
On whether he’s worried the next head coach and general manager might think it’s time to rebuild:
“I can’t worry about that yet. It’s not like we’re making this transition, and it’s the end of December. We’re in the middle of October, and we have 11 games in front of us. Worrying about those things is going to distract us from, as a player, is going to distract us from what we need to do.
That’s prepare ourselves and get ready for the Minnesota Vikings this weekend because I’m sure they’re not all that concerned with how we’re going to rebuild or restructure our organization moving forward. They’re trying to get a win this Sunday.
I really believe, during times like this, as a professional athlete, you have to do a great job of compartmentalizing things and focusing on what’s in front of you, and keeping your focus very narrow. That’s the message I’m pushing to all of our guys.”
On recent comments that were made regarding his future with the organization:
“Well, forever, the line in the locker room has always been, ‘We rent these lockers. We don’t own them.’ So, you have to go out and pay that rent and earn your spot day in and day out. Regardless of whether you’re in Year 1 or Year 13 or wherever, that’s our responsibility as players all the time to go out there and perform.
That’s what we’re paid to do. I don’t worry about it. I understand where everyone’s coming from. I understand where I’m at in my career, but I also believe in compartmentalizing things and focusing on what’s in front of us this week and the job that I have to do. We have 11 ball games to go in this season. We have to find a way to get some wins and get back in the mix. That’s where our mindset has to be at.
It has to be different from what everybody else is kind of talking about right now. As players, we can’t control that. All we can control is our preparation and our performances week in and week out.”
On whether the players feel a responsibility for the decision to let Dan Quinn go:
“Well, ultimately, it comes down to performance and production. That’s basically it. Our performance and production wasn’t good enough. So, yeah, you definitely feel that responsibility as a team and as players on that team that you needed to do more, you needed to play better.
You’re disappointed that way, but it’s a performance-driven league, and as a whole, our organization didn’t perform well enough these last couple of years. We have to find a way to do it better. We still have a long way to go this season, so we can’t get stuck in this woah is me, dwelling over how we’ve started.
We have to find a way to win this week and change the narrative of everything we’re hearing from everybody else and focus on what’s actually important to this team and the group of guys that are going up there to play Minnesota on Sunday.”
On whether Head Coach Dan Quinn spoke to the team and his final message to the players:
“We had a Zoom call on Monday, and he got to speak to us at the beginning of the meeting. He’s always been so consistent and positive and optimistic. He was the same way in that. He kind of told us that his time had ended here, but we still have work to do, and wished us the best moving forward. He really just thanked us for the hard work that we’ve put in.
It’s a shame that you can’t do that one in person because of the situation we’re in, but I feel like sometimes those situations are much better in person than they are over Zoom. I look forward to whenever I get a chance to have dinner with him and just catch up to just tell him how grateful we are for his time spent here.”