INDIANAPOLIS – Matt Ryan is hoping to make it three for three.
In each of the last two offseasons, the NFL has seen established, Hall of Fame quarterbacks leave the only place they’ve called home in professional football and reach the game’s pinnacle immediately at the next stop.
From Tom Brady moving to Tampa Bay (from New England) and Matthew Stafford moving to Los Angeles (from Detroit), it’s now Matt Ryan moving to Indianapolis (from Atlanta).
Ryan has obviously thought about this in closing a 14-year chapter in Atlanta, and now being the quarterback of the Colts.
“The roadmap looks really good,” Ryan says. “What Matthew Stafford did in LA last year, making that transition, playing so well and what Tom did, I saw that firsthand in the division the year before.
“Hopefully we bottle up some of that momentum and we can make a push here.”
Stafford is actually someone Ryan spoke with as it became clearer that his days in Atlanta were coming to a close.
Ryan was the first quarterback chosen in the 2008 NFL Draft (3rd overall). Stafford was the first quarterback taken in the following draft (1st overall in 2009).
The two have become close over their long run in the NFL, and Ryan reached out to Stafford before joining the Colts.
“I’ve known Matthew for a long time (and) he’s been a great friend for a long time,” Ryan says. “I think you lean on guys like that, on different guys that have gone through transitions to talk to them about some of the things that come up. I think you can learn a lot from guys who have done similar type things before you. He’s certainly navigated it really well last year.”
Of course, the Ryan to Colts situation isn’t directly comparable to Stafford and the Rams, or Brady and the Bucs.
The Super Bowl infrastructure—particularly at the most important positions on a football team—around Stafford and Brady was at a much more ready to win now standpoint than the Colts.
Ryan would push back on that though.
“I really believe we can (win it all),” the 37-year-old Ryan said back at his opening day presser with the Colts. “I think this roster is built really well. They’re sound across the board, built with really high character football players, guys who work hard. It’s amazing to me in sending a bunch of texts and talking to some guys yesterday just back and forth, how much they care about winning. In every one of their first text messages, it was about winning. That’s unique. It really is. That fires me up. I hope we can like I said, ride that trend that’s been going on and make it work for us.”