Following up on the ongoing story
. ... This offseason Ryan has fixated on doing everything he can to make things right when the stakes are at their highest. The quarterback packed on five to seven pounds of muscle and dropped two to three percent in body fat in an effort to strengthen his core, which should help him as a passer. Ryan's build is not unlike Tom Brady's, and Brady underwent a similar transformation in his 20s. Reported by NFL.com
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the broader idea is simply to be in a better position to succeed come January. "If you're stronger at the beginning of the season, you can't not be in a better position at the end of the season," said HC Mike Smith. "You're gonna get worn down." Mentality's important, too, under a new coordinator in Dirk Koetter, with the hope being that the QB is more aggressive with more spread principles in the offense. Indeed, Rapoport added: "The Falcons want to play with guns blazing this season. ..." Rapoport went on to explain, there's some feeling at team headquarters that the Falcons have played tight in their three playoff failures over the last four years. And the club's coordinator hires of Koetter and Mike Nolan (on defense) reflect, at least implicitly, the idea that everyone needs more of a gunslinger mentality. And that might start with Ryan taking more risks downfield. ... All in all, this is just further evidence of what we've been hearing all offseason: The Falcons are going to be relying more heavily on Ryan than ever before.