INDIANAPOLIS – Sarah Ryan knew once she saw Matt emerge from the upstairs office of their home in Atlanta.
The quarterback who has called Atlanta home for 14 years had just gotten done with a Zoom call involving four members of the Colts.
Chris Ballard (general manager), Frank Reich (head coach), Marcus Brady (offensive coordinator) and Parks Frazier (pass game specialist/assistant quarterbacks coach) were on the call trying to make their pitch to Ryan.
As soon as Ryan got downstairs after the call and saw his wife, she knew that the first move of their NFL lives was likely taking to them to the Midwest.
“Their passion, their commitment, their professionalism, the accountability Chris has for himself and what he does, the empathy Frank has for my situation of understanding you’ve been in a certain spot and done it one way, and don’t ever forget that. It’s an incredible part of it, but this next chapter can be even better, it was a really, really cool meeting for me to take and I had to sit down with my family and say, ‘What makes the most sense for us?’” Ryan said. “I just knew with the roster that they talked about, the belief in the players that they have here, the belief in the way that they do things – the time was just right for me and I felt like I needed to do it.
“My wife was like, ‘You look different.’ I knew kind of at that point that was the direction we wanted to go. It took some time to really think it through and discuss it, and when we did we came to that conclusion.”
Two days later the trade became official and Ryan is now joining a team that he knows a bit about.
While Ryan had no prior connection to Reich, his near decade and a half run in the NFL has led to him hearing plenty about his new head coach/play caller.
Ryan likes what he’s heard.
“I’d always heard positive things,” Ryan says about Reich. “I had a teammate, who was a coach of mine last year who was a teammate earlier in my career that worked with Frank in Philadelphia and just raved about him – one of the smartest, most levelheaded guys he’ll ever be around. That’s certainly the review I got from the people that I reached out to talk to about this and certainly the review you get from every player I talked to on this team. So, I’m excited about that.”
In his 14 years, Ryan has faced the Colts are 3 occasions, so his specific relationships with this team isn’t too immense, compared to the two previous QBs in Indy (Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz).
But the football junkie in Ryan believes there’s something special with the Colts.
“Here’s the thing, you know the league really well when you’re in it,” Ryan says. “So, you know what teams are good and what teams might not be as talented, what rosters look like. You know who needs what positions. It’s certainly well reported. We certainly hear about it a lot. So, you know kind of what the situations are around the league.
“For me, I always said I was committed to the organization that I was with, 100 percent. The circumstances changed. That’s just the reality of life and the reality of this business. When the circumstances did change, again, understanding the landscape of what the league looked like at that time, for me there was only one place. I’m so excited to be here. I’ve been watching what this team has done the last three or four years and building and getting better and really feel like it was the kind of place you’d want to come in the position that I’m in. I’m really excited to be here.”