Falcons owner: Ryan has qualities of a business CEO


Matt Ryan has yet to win a playoff game in four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, but Arthur Blank has complete faith in his signal-caller.

Check that: The billionaire owner has corporate faith.

“He’s grown as a quarterback," Blank told ESPN.com. “He’s grown as an individual. He’s obviously a great team leader. People recognize that and identify with him. He’s exactly what you would want in the CEO of a business. He’s the first to work and the last to leave. He works the hardest and studies. He provides all kinds of leadership on and off the field. I’m thrilled where he is."

Since entering the league as the No. 3 pick in the 2008 draft, Ryan has started 65 of the Falcons' 67 games. The team has gone 43-21 in that time during the regular season, but 0-3 in the playoffs.

Ryan and the Falcons' offense raised red flags in a wild-card playoff game against the Giants in which the unit failed to score a point in a 24-2 loss.

"I think the worst thing you can see in a leader whether it’s on a football team or in business, is to see someone say 'I’ve gotten as much as I can get and I’ll just keep performing that way.' " Blank said. "But you have an opportunity to grow throughout life, professionally as well as personally. I think (Ryan) has that mentality. It’s not just words with him. He really believes that. We’re fortunate to have him as our franchise quarterback and look forward to a long relationship with him."

Blank is right to keep his faith firmly behind his quarterback. At just 26 and coming off his best statistical season, Ryan is the type of player many NFL franchises would kill to have. And as far as any Falcons fans who point at the playoff struggles and think they have a problem at QB, just remember things could always be worse. Much worse.