2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Ryan excited that Koetter staying with Falcons

    2013-01-03 04:39

(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.)
By GEORGE HENRY
Associated Press

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Quarterback Matt Ryan is enjoying his best season in five years with the Atlanta Falcons.

So it's no wonder Ryan was delighted to hear that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter won't be leaving to take a head coaching job with another NFL team.

``The thing I think everybody respects and likes the most is that he trusts our guys to go out there and make the plays,'' Ryan said on Wednesday. ``He's not afraid to be aggressive. It's been fun.''

Ryan has worked just one season with Koetter, who has signed a contract extension to stay with the team through 2014, and the results have been impressive for the NFC's No. 1 playoff seed.

Roddy White and Julio Jones each have over 1,000 yards receiving. Tight end Tony Gonzalez leads the team in catches, and Ryan is having his best season as a professional.

The only drawback has been the substantial decline in production from running back Michael Turner, but Ryan credits the coach's game plans and play-calling in helping the Falcons (13-3) enjoy a bye week before they host a divisional round game Jan. 13.

``I think he does a great job of putting all of our guys in position to succeed,'' Ryan said. ``He changes it up and puts different guys out there at different times.''

Koetter's name surfaced this week as a head coaching candidate in Cleveland, Kansas City and Philadelphia. The Falcons moved to re-sign Koetter after his interview with Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt on Tuesday.

Atlanta coach Mike Smith declined to give details of the developments involving Koetter and other job offers.

``I don't want to really get into any of the details,'' Smith said. ``Dirk is going to be here with us. He informed me of that last night. We talked at length. That's where we're at right now.''

Koetter, who spent the previous five years as coordinator in Jacksonville, oversees an offense that ranks second in third-down efficiency, seventh in scoring and fewest sacks allowed and eighth in total yards.

Much of the Falcons' success offensively has been credited to the numbers produced by Ryan, White, Gonzalez and Jones, but Koetter doesn't rely solely on his stars.

Everyone seems to get some action because Koetter has five potential receiving targets on the field for nearly every snap.

Relatively anonymous players like receiver Drew Davis, tight end Michael Palmer and offensive tackle Mike Johnson have caught touchdown passes.

Some personnel groupings include reserve running backs Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling on the field for the same play. And opponents don't know if White, Jones or even Gonzalez will line up wide, in the slot or in the backfield.

``Using all your guys keeps everybody motivated, gives everybody something to prepare for each week,'' Koetter said last week. ``I think our high this year was 32 personnel groups. We usually average in the low 20s with many different combinations of guys. It's fun for the guys and lets the coaches who have different parts of the game plan be creative in how we use our guys.''

Koetter's hiring last January got a mixed reaction.

He had overseen a balanced attack during his first four years with Jacksonville as the Jaguars ranked 13th in total offense, seventh in rushing, fifth in third-down conversions and first in fewest interceptions.

But Jacksonville all but collapsed in 2011 as rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert struggled and the Jaguars finished last in total offense and in yards passing. Their 15.2 scoring average ranked 29th.

When he arrived in Atlanta, Koetter wanted to earn the trust of his new players quickly so he went out of his way to keep his playbook simple.

``I think one of the biggest things that helped throughout the situation was him adapting to the terminology and a lot of the concepts that we had used and kind of the one guy changing for the mass as opposed to the mass changing for one guy,'' Ryan said. ``I think guys respected that and really appreciated that.''

---

Follow George Henry at http://www.twitter.com/georgehenryAP

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Matt JonesMay 20 02:15p

Washington Redskins RB Matt Jones said that he loves the offense and has a chip on his shoulder after not being used properly while in college. 'My college career [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 20 08:53a

Updating a previous report, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) is experiencing numbness in his right ring finger. He hopes to avoid surgery through rest and rehab, and no [ More ]

Derek CarrMay 19 06:13p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has a right ring finger injury that could be surgically repaired. A return for training camp is still achievable, however, according to a source.

L. WashingtonMay 19 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR L'Damian Washington (undisclosed) was waived/injured Tuesday, May 19.

Shayne GrahamMay 19 03:03p

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham was released Tuesday, May 19. Subsequently, free-agent WR Lance Lewis (49ers) was signed.

Joseph BarksdaleMay 19 02:23p

Free-agent OT Joseph Barksdale (Rams) will sign a one-year deal worth $350,000 with the San Diego Chargers, according to a source. The deal also comes with more than $1 million in incentives available.

Tom BradyMay 19 01:43p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will continue to appeal his four-game suspension, despite owner Robert Kraft saying the team will not appeal the discipline levied against them.

Jed CollinsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Tyler CluttsMay 18 03:32p

Dallas Cowboys FB Jed Collins was released Monday, May 18, and FB Tyler Clutts was re-signed to an undisclosed contract.

Lache SeastrunkMay 18 02:42p

Tennessee Titans RB Lache Seastrunk was released Monday, May 18.

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 17 08:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo's quick decision making and accuracy fit well with New England's playbook that includes quick-rhythm passes as part of the foundation, and Bucky Brooks [ More ]

Zach HockerMay 17 04:42p

The New Orleans Saints have signed free-agent PK Zach Hocker (Dolphins).

Joseph RandleMay 16 07:32p

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle has the skills to lead the team's backfield in 2015 but he'll need to work on his off-field issues, according to Jon Machota of [ More ]

Matt CasselMay 15 07:52p

Buffalo Bills QB Matt Cassel is likely to enter Week 1 of the season as the team's backup quarterback, in the opinion of The Buffalo News' Vic Carucci. He [ More ]

Santana MossMay 15 07:12p

Free-agent WR Santana Moss (Redskins) is not ready to hang up his cleats and retire this offseason. 'I'm a free agent right now, you know how they do [ More ]

Robert TurbinMay 14 05:32p

Seattle Seahawks RB Robert Turbin (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason, according to sources. No timetable was disclosed for his recovery.

Tom BradyMay 14 03:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has officially appealed his four-game suspension.

Greg SalasMay 13 02:23p

Free-agent WR Greg Salas (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions Wednesday, May 13. Financial terms were not disclosed.

John ConnerMay 13 12:03p

Free-agent FB John Conner (Jets) signed with the Buffalo Bills Wednesday, May 13. FB Corey Knox was waived to make room for him.

Tom BradyMay 13 10:03a

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady's four-game suspension could be reduced significantly, and possibly overturned, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Brady has put together a renowned legal team to appeal his suspension.

D.J. SwearingerMay 12 05:22p

Free-agent SS D.J. Swearinger was officially claimed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tuesday, May 12.

Fred JacksonMay 12 03:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Fred Jackson may not make the final roster if the Bills end up keeping only three running backs, according to Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. RB LeSean [ More ]

Lance MooreMay 12 01:23p

Free-agent WR Lance Moore (Steelers) signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions.

Justin BlackmonMay 12 11:02a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was denied reinstatement by the NFL this offseason, according to The Associated Press' Mark Long. It's unclear whether Blackmon failed a drug test or [ More ]

Joseph RandleMay 12 10:42a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle could see the bulk of the carries as the season weighs on, in the opinion of beat writer Todd Archer. Archer pegged Randle for [ More ]

Jimmy GaroppoloMay 11 09:42p

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to start while QB Tom Brady serves his suspension for 'DeflateGate'. Brady was suspended four games by the National Football League [ More ]

Tom BradyMay 11 07:12p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will appeal his four-game suspension, according to his agent.

Tom BradyMay 11 05:52p

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has been suspended four games for his involvement in the deflated-football incident in the AFC Championship. In addition, the Patriots will lose their [ More ]

D.J. SwearingerMay 11 04:12p

Houston Texans SS D.J. Swearinger was officially released Monday, May 11.

Carey SpearMay 11 01:22p

Cleveland Browns PKs Travis Coons and Carey Spear will compete for the kicker job this offseason, and the competition is wide open at this point, according to special teams coordinator Chris Tabor.

Garrett HartleyMay 11 01:12p

Cleveland Browns PK Garrett Hartley was released Monday, May 11.

Kyle ArringtonMay 11 10:32a

New England Patriots CB Kyle Arrington was released Monday, May 11, according to a source. The team left the door open for him to return.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group