I hope you have been watching HBO Hard Knocks. The third episode last night took us more inside the organization. I don’t know how you can not see who the clear leader of the this team is? It’s Matt Ryan he wants to win, and has the desire to be the best and throughout this episode its very clear that he has his teammates trust and they listen to him. Matt Ryan was extremely bothered by the team’s performance in last Saturday’s 32-7 exhibition loss to the Houston Texans and rightfully so.
In the locker room afterward, Ryan asked for each player to get their “mind right so we can go out there and have a good week of work and go play the way we’re capable of.” I left out a couple of “F” bombs.
The guy that steals the show is Defensive line coach Bryan Cox as he addressed his defensive linemen in the meeting room. He showed a picture of one of his daughters and told them to keep away from her. The message seemed intended for Theo Agnew, who befriended Cox’s daughter on Instagram. Then after Cox showed a picture of his 30-year-old daughter, nose tackle Paul Soliai asked Cox his age. “Forty-six,” Cox said. “I told you I started doing it young… when I was 10.”
Julio Jones looked as confident as ever, but talked about how he is still progressing mentally to where he’s not thinking about his surgically-repaired foot while running routes. Rookie Jake Matthews knew he was going to move from right tackle to left tackle moments after starting left tackle Sam Baker left last Saturday’s game against the Texans with a torn patellar tendon. Offensive line coach Mike Tice made as much clear to Matthews on the sideline when he said, “When you wake up tomorrow morning, you’ll be our left tackle. All right? So, get your mind right.” There will be a learning curve, but Matthews will be an pro-bowl and potential all-pro. We also learned that William Moore can rap or at least freestyle, in the training room. Can you freestyle?