Indianapolis – Sarah Ryan knew once she was Matt from their upstairs office in Atlanta.
The quarterback who has called Atlanta home for 14 years has just finished with a zoom call involving four members of the Colts.
Chris Ballard (General Manager), Frank Rich (Head Coach), Marcus Brady (Offensive Coordinator) and Parks Frazier (Pass Game Specialist / Assistant Quarterback Coach) are trying to build their pitch to Ryan.
After the call, Ryan went downstairs to see his wife, who knew that the first step in their NFL life was probably taking them to the Midwest.
“Their passion, their commitment, their professionalism, Chris’s responsibility for himself and for what he does, Frank’s sympathy for the situation I understand that you were in a certain place and did it that way, and never forget that it’s an incredible part. But this next chapter could be even better. It was a really great meeting for me and I had to sit down with my family and say, ‘What’s the most meaningful for us?’ All I knew was the roster they talked about, the confidence in the players that they were here, the confidence in the way they worked – the timing was right for me and I felt I needed to do it.
“My wife was like, ‘You look different.’ I knew then that we wanted to go. It took a while to really think about it and discuss it, and we came to that conclusion when we did. “
Two days later the trade became official and Ryan is now joining a team he knows a bit about.
Although Ryan has no previous connection to Rich, his nearly a decade and a half of running in the NFL has led him to hear a lot about his new head coach.
Ryan likes what he hears.
“I’ve always heard positive things,” Ryan says of Rich. “I had a teammate who was one of my coaches last year who was a teammate at the beginning of my career who worked with Frank in Philadelphia and was just excited about him – one of the smartest, most level headed people he would ever be around. This is definitely the review I got from the people I reached out to to talk about this and of course the reviews you got from every player on this team. So, I’m excited about it. “
In his 14 years, Ryan has faced the Colts 3 times, so his direct contact with this team is not very much.
But Ryan’s football junkie believes there is something special about the Colts.
“The thing is, you know the league really well when you’re in it,” Ryan said. “So, you know which teams are good and which teams may not be talented, what the rosters look like. You know who needs what position. It has certainly been well reported. So, we must have heard a lot about it. So, you know what the situation is around the league. For me, I have always said that I am committed to the company I was with, 100 percent. The situation changed. That is the reality of life and the reality of this business. When the situation changed, there was only one place for me to understand the landscape of what the league looked like again. I am very excited to come here. I see what this team has done and is building and improving over the last three or four years and really feel like you want to get to where I am. I’m really excited to be here. “
Despite having no previous relationship, Matt Ryan first appeared on 93.1FM WIBC, fascinated by Frank Rich.