Peyton Manning believes Matt Ryan will thrive after Colts transition
By Mike Luciano
Leaving any job that you’ve been at for 14 years is difficult. When you’re an Atlanta Falcons immortal and the best quarterback in franchise history like brand new Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan, parting ways with that organization could be even more difficult to manage.
For the first time in his career, Ryan will need to move to a new division, get used to an entirely new crew of receivers, and find common ground with a coaching staff that has no prior connections with him. Even for someone as grizzled and battle-scarred as him, that could be a tough adjustment.
Colts legend Peyton Manning is one of the few Hall of Fame-level quarterbacks who managed to succeed with a second organization, as he broke records with the Broncos and won a Super Bowl. If anyone is qualified to assess if a future Hall of Famer will thrive in a new environment, it’s him.
Manning believes that Ryan and Russell Wilson, who shockingly left the Seahawks for Manning’s old home in Denver, have the on-field and off-field skills needed to avoid the pitfalls that could sabotage them. Expect big things from Ryan in Indianapolis.
“I think Russell and Matt, they have high expectations for themselves,” Manning said at the Manning Passing Academy. “They want to work together with the team, get on the same page, and want to help the team win and do their part. So, I think both of them will handle that well.”
Peyton Manning thinks Matt Ryan will thrive with the Colts.
Manning believes that the Colts are “really close and have a lot of pieces,” but lacked that stable veteran presence at quarterback needed to help everything come together. According to No. 18, Ryan and Frank Reich “really hit it off” in the offseason. It seems like Ryan is ready to get back in the saddle for Indy.
He might not be an MVP anymore, but Ryan still has plenty of juice left in the tank. Ryan was just 32 yards shy of hitting 4,000 passing yards for the 11th consecutive season. With 20 touchdown passes despite an inconsistent running game and no Julio Jones, Ryan could cook in Indianapolis’ offensive structure.
Most GMs wouldn’t advise giving away draft capital for a 37-year-old that had a slight downward turn last season, but Ryan is one of those select few quarterbacks that should be able to leave his old friends in Atlanta behind as he tries to get the second half of his career started in blue and white.