Check that: The billionaire owner has corporate faith.
âHeâs grown as a quarterback," Blank told ESPN.com. âHeâs grown as an individual. Heâs obviously a great team leader. People recognize that and identify with him. Heâs exactly what you would want in the CEO of a business. Heâs 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. Iâm 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.
"I think the worst thing you can see in a leader whether itâs on a football team or in business, is to see someone say 'Iâve gotten as much as I can get and Iâll 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. Itâs not just words with him. He really believes that. Weâre 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.