Matt Ryan was drafted third overall in April's draft not only because the Falcons desperately needed a franchise quarterback, but also because he was to represent a new era for the Falcons. With new coach Mike Smith and new general manager Thomas Dimitroff, the Falcons' administration was looking for a player to fill the void of Michael Vick, and also to help the fans move on after the Vick saga. In Ryan, they found all of these things. Ryan was the ideal player the Falcons wanted to represent and lead their franchise.
After Atlanta signed Ryan to a 72 million dollar deal, fans knew he must be the "real deal". However, one question still remains. Why spend that much money on a player that might not start? The fans don't want to see Chris Redman, Joey Harrington, DJ Shockley, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, or any quarterback other than Ryan under center for the season opener against the Lions. Ryan should be the Falcons starter, especially after he was 9 of 15 for 113 yards and one touchdown (a 25 yard strike to receiver Roddy White) in his first exhibition game at Jacksonville, a team that made the playoffs last season.
Sources indicate he has earned the respect of his teammates by his hard work and attitude. His teammates believe he can do the job. Forget that some say the offensive line isn't the greatest or that the team might not be good enough for a young quarterback to succeed. That's not true. With the addition of Michael Turner, along with mainstays Keith Brookings, Roddy White, and Michael Boley, the Falcons will surprise people. Why wait to start Ryan? Is he going to get better riding the bench with a headset on learning from journeyman Chris Redman? Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey's west coast scheme is designed to be easy for quarterbacks to succeed by throwing short routes that limit the time the QB has the ball. Which in essence, would be ideal for a rookie quarterback like Ryan.
Former NFL QB Kordell Stewart recently watched a Falcons practice and came away raving about Ryan and his knowledge of the offense. Ryan sounds like he's ready to be the starter and lead this team. He's the future of the franchise. The Falcon's future is now. Why wait?