Atlanta, GA, United States (4E Sports) – Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan refused to criticize his teammates for not coming to his defense in last year’s season opener, adding he understands team owner Arthur Blank’s take on the incident.
During a radio interview, Ryan discussed the play during which he was hit by New Orleans Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro while sliding to the ground.
Earlier, Blank said during a radio interview that it bothered him that none of Ryan’s teammates got in Vaccaro’s face after the play on Sept. 8, 2013.
“And that play really bothered me, sincerely. It bothered me that none of our players, they all complained, but none of them went to the safety on the Saints and did anything,” Blank said.
“I understand,” Ryan said. “I know what [Blank] said. And listen: Nobody is more passionate about the Atlanta Falcons and cares more about the Atlanta Falcons than Mr. Blank.”
“And as a player, you love to have an owner that is like that. He cares. He’s committed. He’s willing to do, in my opinion, whatever it takes to win,” the quarterback added, saying he was made aware of Blank’s comments by the team’s public relations staff.
When asked if it entered his mind that no one had his back, Ryan responded “no”.
“We’re trying to go down and put points on the board. As a player and as a quarterback, you have to be so focused on executing and doing your job. And so for me, I didn’t worry too much about it,” he said.
The Falcons lost the game 23-17. Vaccaro was later fined $7,875 for the hit.
Based on video, offensive tackle Lamar Holmes seemed to be the only Falcon who said something to Vaccaro after the hit.