Ryan has plenty of praise for Pats' front seven

Ryan has plenty of praise for Pats' front seven
September 25, 2013, 7:15 pm
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FOXBORO -- The Atlanta Falcons have weapons. There's no denying that. And quarterback Matt Ryan will do everything in his power to utilize each and every single one of them.

Whether it's Julio Jones, Roddy White, or Tony Gonzalez, the Patriots' defense will have its hands full.

Just as Falcons coach did, Ryan praised that Patriots defense in a conference call on Wednesday, and just as his coach did, he said their success starts with a strong front seven.

"I think they play extremely physical," said Ryan. "I think that’s one of the things when you turn on the film and you watch them, their front seven has been extremely physical. Their linebackers specifically have been really good in terms of their blitz scheme. They use a lot of single-man blitzes with their backers, but they’re so strong and so physical that they do a great job of creating pressure with that, as well as in the run game, shedding blocks and being able to make tackles one-on-one. I’ve been really impressed with their front seven and the way that they play."

Ryan is also impressed with Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, who he said is playing as good as he's ever played.

"We don’t watch a lot of film on the Patriots defense just because we don’t play them all that often –every four years – but we know Aqib really well from his time in Tampa in-division for us and having gone against him twice [a year]," said Ryan. "We know he’s a really good player. I think what I’ve seen from him with the Patriots early on is that he’s been physical. He’s playing at a really high level. We know he’s confident, we know he has a lot of trust in his own ability and has really good ball skills.

"I mean, he made a really good interception last week right before the half where he undercut and high-pointed the ball and made a great play. So we know he’s a good player, and I think he’s really helped their defensive backfield, for sure.

"He was very physical in Tampa as well," added Ryan. "He’s a bigger guy and has always been good at using his hands off the line of scrimmage. We have bigger wide receivers, and he’s always matched up well with them just in terms of being physical off the ball. I think he’s playing as good now as he ever has, but he’s always been a really good player."