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Blank: Matt Ryan can get Falcons to the Super Bowl


Owners of non-Super Bowl teams speaking in the weeks after the big game are almost always talking about why their team did not get there, and how they can the following season.

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Earlier this week, Texans owner Bob McNair said that the team had pieces, but needed to draft a quarterback. He also said he'd like to be the first-ever team to play in a Super Bowl at its home stadium -- which means they need to get going in a hurry.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank was up next. And despite the massive second-half collapse of his team this past season, he thinks the Falcons are in line for a deep playoff run. He also thinks Matt Ryan is the quarterback who can take them there.

"Absolutely," Blank said, via "No question about it. But it doesn't take one player to get there. It takes a lot of players around him and having a lot of talent around him. It's going to take a lot of players to do that; offensively, defensively, and special teams. And it's going to take coaches and the coaching staff that will help support that."

Blank is one of the more involved owners in today's NFL and met with Ryan after this season. The Falcons started the season 6-1 but finished 8-8. Ryan had one of his least productive seasons in the NFL, dropping in touchdowns (21) and spiking in interceptions (16).

"I think some of it was related to the new scheme," Blank said. "I think some of it was related to bad decisions that he made. He had more turnovers at that position than we would like to have -- not that we would like to have any. But we had more in bad places and bad times of the game. So, I would say all that was a part of the discussion."

Blank realizes that Ryan is a quarterback who almost any other team in football would beg for, including the desperate Texans. But can he turn it around in a significant way? The Falcons were never able to reach the Super Bowl with a roster in its prime. Can they do so now?


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