Matt Ryan is entrenched as the starting quarterback for the Falcons. He'll start his eighth season as the main signal-caller for the team when the Falcons open up the 2015 season next Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Ryan was 13-18 in the preseason for 210 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked three times, which is why the Falcons brought in guard Andy Levitre in a trade on Friday. Ryan will have two new guards, with Chris Chester on the other side.
Obviously, with Ryan being a franchise quarterback, much of the season rides on his shoulders. If Ryan gets hurt, Atlanta's season is likely to circle the drain.
But Ryan will have a new backup this season, as Sean Renfree beat out T.J. Yates and Rex Grossman as the number two quarterback. Renfree has spent the last two years on the practice squad. He was 26-36 (72.2%) this preseason for 237 yards, one touchdown and no INTs.
In contrast, Yates was 35-58 (60.3%) for 370 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. Grossman was 4-9 on Thursday in his only tryout.
Reports Sunday night had the Falcons bringing in Matt Simms for the practice squad. The 27-year-old Simms was in camp with Buffalo but was cut Saturday. The son of Phil Simms, Matt saw action in four games as a backup with the Jets the last two seasons.
The new coaching staff is obviously comfortable with Renfree as Ryan's main backup, but the fact remains Ryan's health is vitally important to the success of Atlanta's season.
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