Matt Ryan 'Unbelievable' in Colts' 1st Minicamp Replacing Carson Wentz, Says HC Reich

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 12, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JUNE 08: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs through a drill during the Indianapolis Colts OTA offseason workouts on June 8, 2022 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Veteran quarterback Matt Ryan has already impressed since joining the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.

"Matt was unbelievable, did a great job, great command—really, A-Z," head coach Frank Reich told reporters at the team's minicamp. "He did everything right—just great leadership, great play. I mean the whole way he took command, great collaborating as an offensive staff with him to kind of work in and nuance some of the things we do to kind of suit him and his style."

Ryan is in his first year with the Colts after a March trade from the Atlanta Falcons, where he had spent the first 14 seasons of his career.

The 37-year-old is set to be the fifth different primary starting quarterback for Indianapolis in five years under Reich.

The Colts made the playoffs in 2018 with Andrew Luck under center and in 2020 behind Philip Rivers, but both quarterbacks retired before the next season. The squad didn't fare quite as well in 2019 with Jacoby Brissett or in 2021 with Carson Wentz.

The passing attack has also wildly fluctuated in that stretch, ranking sixth, 30th, 11th and 26th, respectively, in passing yards.

Ryan brings some much-needed stability as a four-time Pro Bowler. The 2016 MVP topped 4,000 passing yards in 10 straight years before finishing last year with 3,968. He finished last year with a 90.4 quarterback rating despite losing perennial All-Pro Julio Jones before the season and having just five games out of second-team All-Pro Calvin Ridley.

It creates high hopes for the Colts offense, which already has exciting weapons in Jonathan Taylor, Michael Pittman and second-round draft pick Alec Pierce. Pittman has especially noted the difference with Ryan throwing passes.

"The ball is just right there, and you just turn and catch the ball. I mean, it just makes it easy," Pittman told reporters during OTAs. "Matt can pretty much put it wherever he wants."

The Colts finished short of the playoffs at 9-8 last year, but the upgrade at quarterback could make this a dangerous team in the AFC.