DULUTH, Ga. -- Matt Ryan is just like the rest of us. After watching Sergio Garcia win The Masters on Sunday, he had an itch to get out on the golf course.
"I think everybody kind of has the golf bug after watching The Masters and the finish they had yesterday," Ryan told 11Alive while on the course of TPC Sugarloaf for a charity event for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Ryan was soaking in some of the final days of vacation out on the course. On April 17, he and the rest of the Atlanta Falcons will report to their training facility in Flowery Branch to begin workouts. After a season that included the highs of winning the NFC title, and the lows of giving up a 25-point lead in Super Bowl LI and eventually losing to the New England Patriots, Ryan needed some time away.
"After a season every year you want to disconnect and kind of recharge the batteries," Ryan said, who traveled to a few different places during the offseason including Mexico. "For me, golf is one of the ways to do that. Spend some time with friends and relax and kind of compete a little bit too."
It's safe to say Ryan never lost that drive to compete, even after the devastation of blowing the Super Bowl. If anything, that drive has gotten stronger.
"We all feel like we've got some unfinished business," he said.
Ryan knows there will be the questions surrounding the Super Bowl, the calls made, and the decisions he and his teammates made on the field in Houston for the next several weeks as the preseason training gets underway. He said the loss took a little bit of time to get over. At least when talking with him, it doesn't seem to have changed him in any way.
"Obviously the season didn't end the way we wanted it to. But there are a lot of positives, too. We played really, really well. Competed, came out the way we wanted to, just didn't get the result we wanted. I'm optimistic, though. We've got a good, young team. A lot of guys who do things the right way, and that should bode well for us moving forward," he said.
One of the things he's most excited about is working with new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. The Falcons announced two days after the Super Bowl that they were hiring the former Alabama offensive coordinator who only coached during the national championship game. Their former offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
The Falcons have said that they plan to continue running Shanahan's system. Ryan, who is now on his third offensive coordinator since getting drafted by the Falcons in 2008, seems confident in Sarkisian.
"I've gotten to know Sark the last couple of weeks just talking with him on the phone. That's one of the things I'm most excited about, getting to work with him and get on the same page so that we're ready for when the season kicks off in September," Ryan said.
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