Continuity at QB Coach a ‘Huge’ Factor in Transition

Continuity at QB Coach a ‘Huge’ Factor in Transition

Jay Adams

Published July 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Ever since the Falcons called Matt Ryan’s name during the 2008 NFL Draft, Glenn Thomas has been on staff in Flowery Branch. Heading into his fifth year with the organization, now with the new title of quarterbacks coach, Thomas has already seen where his past with the franchise and quarterback Matt Ryan has helped ease the adjustment to a new offense.

Jay Adams: A lot of the talk this offseason has been about the idea that Matt Ryan has really bulked up and spent some significant time in the weight room. Have you noticed a change in him?

Glenn Thomas: Yeah, that has been an emphasis for him. It isn’t something necessarily that we have put on him personally. I think he feels that he would play good at a little heavier weight. Maybe from an endurance standpoint throughout the season, he’ll be able to hold up and take some of the hits and move around, maybe break a tackle here and there might benefit him. There’s some credibility to it increasing arm strength with a little bit of added bulk, but from what we see right now, he’s throwing it well. He’s always thrown it well — we know that — so that’s not the issue, but (strength) is an emphasis for him. When he gets his mind set on something, that’s what he’s going to do. As long as he feels like he’s comfortable with that weight and can play productively at that weight, then it sounds good to me.

JA: A lot of people don’t know that you’ve been in the building ever since Matt stepped foot into team headquarters. In this new position, how much does that continuity help both of you?

GT: Oh, I think it’s been huge. Hopefully, it’s helped (offensive coordinator) Dirk (Koetter) with the transition to the new offense. We talk the same language. We can revert back to years past — plays, situations. That helps Matt connect to a new scheme. Up in the meetings, Dirk’s like, “Well, how did we do this in years past? How do we coach this? What are the teaching points?” and I think (the continuity) makes that transition a little smoother that I know the coaching points and what Matt’s thinking, what he’s used to seeing, what he’s used to reacting to.

JA: How much does what you do change with the new position with, of course, the added responsibility of overseeing a position group, but also with a new offensive coordinator?

GT: I think that’s probably a big part of what my responsibility is: How do I convey to Dirk what Matt’s expecting, what he’s thinking, what he likes, what he’s good at? I think that’s a big part of what is expected of me being here for the last few years. It seems to be that it has been helpful to Dirk. It has been helpful in the transition. Dirk’s been great with the fact that he’s just removed himself a little bit and let me go and when he has something to interject, he interjects and we’ve worked good like that.

JA: Chris Redman has obviously been around the team for a while now. John Parker Wilson seems like he’s coming into a make-or-break time as far as competing for the No. 2 spot. How do you view both of those guys today?

GT: As you know, those guys have been together for several years now, so the room itself is awesome. Anything goes. They’re going to crack on each other and have fun and all that, but they’re supportive of each other. They understand the situation. Everybody’s trying to get reps and so forth. They’re playing good. Schematically, they’re helping each other for what to see — “If you make a mistake here, this is what I saw” — so they’re both, JP and Red, doing a good job of being supportive of each other, and they’ve been playing good.

JA: And how are you handling the fact that Chris Redman (born Aug. 7, 1977) is older than you (born Sept. 22, 1977)?

GT: (Laughs) Well, I’ll tell you, JP and Matt take care of that for the most part. Yeah, they probably give a daily reminder to Red that he is older and he’s got me by a couple of months. They take care of the dirty work for me.

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