Chester County QBs return to area
The quarterback room in Atlanta has a distinct local over-30 flavor.
Matt Ryan, 31, is from Exton, Pa., by way of Penn Charter.
Ryan credits what’s been an MVP-worthy season to 35-year-old Matt Schaub, among others. Schaub grew up in West Chester and played at West Chester East.
“Matt Schaub has been awesome for us this year,” Ryan said in a phone interview. “He’s absolutely another set of eyes. He helps so much during the week in terms of our preparation. He’s great on the sideline. He just understands from playing so much and having such a great career what it takes. He’s been a huge addition for us.”
The Falcons took Ryan, from Boston College, off the board with the third overall pick in the 2008 draft. He leads the NFL in most major passing categories this season, including touchdown passes, with 23. Ryan has a career record of 80-55 (.516) with the Falcons.
Ryan has completed 69.6 percent of his attempts with just four interceptions and a league-leading 119.0 passer rating. He’s 3-2 against the Eagles, including 1-2 at the Linc.
The Falcons took Schaub, who starred at Virginia, off the board in the third round of the 2004 draft. After backing up Michael Vick for three seasons, Schaub was shipped to the Texans. He also spent time with Oakland and Baltimore before returning to Atlanta for his 13th NFL season. Schaub is 47-45 (.511) as a starter, most of it with the Texans.
The third man in the Falcons’ quarterback room is another Matt.
Matt Simms is the youngest son of Giants Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms, and he’s a member of the Falcons’ practice squad. Matt played at Tennessee.
••• Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz wasn’t belittling the passing offense of the Falcons while trying to describe how some of Atlanta’s routes worked, during his weekly news conference.
But it was presented that way by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http:// atlantafalcons.blog.ajc. com/2016/11/12/schwartzcalls-falcons-route-combinations-schoolyard-backyardtype-concepts/).
The AJC blogger claimed Schwartz “was not very complimentary of the Falcons’ high-powered passing attack.”
What Schwartz actually said about the Falcons and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was interesting, not disparaging, as he intimated that Julio Jones and Co. have the freedom to improvise. You be the judge. To wit: “They’re a very disciplined offense when it comes to routes,” Schwartz said. “There’s some — I don’t want to say schoolyard — but some schoolyard, backyardtype concepts to their routes. Some get-open type of concepts. Some of those aren’t exactly quick passes. Some of those take a little bit of time. Get in, reverse your field, get back out. Those kind of things do give (the pass rush) a little bit of time to get there.”
One thing the AJC blogger cannot contest is how Schwartz hoopes to defend those routes.
“Our pass rush, our blitz package or a combination of both,” Schwartz said, “is going to have to affect that timing.”
••• For those who still aren’t sure why Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich call the plays they call, for the guys they play, there was another nugget this past week.
Reich was asked why the Eagles didn’t play wide receiver Bryce Treggs, a speedster who caught a 58-yard pass in a loss to the Giants, sooner this season.
Treggs joined the Eagles after their final cuts. He was buried on the depth chart beneath Josh Huff, the kickoff return specialist and special teams standout, who was cut for off-the-field issues.
“I think some of it is we got him late,” Reich said. “We worked the whole offseason with our other guys and then we got Bryce late. I’m not going to lie, I mean, I didn’t know much. We get the report from Howie (Roseman) and the scouts saying, ‘Hey, we like this guy.’ That’s why they’re bringing him in here. Let’s think about how we can use a guy with this kind of speed.”