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Still standing: Falcons’ Ryan embraces elder statesman role

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) hands the ball to Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin...
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) hands the ball to Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) during the first half of an NFL football preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sept. 3, 2015, in Atlanta. (Source: AP/John Bazemore)
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 9:00 PM EDT
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(AP) - Matt Ryan feels like the last man standing with the Atlanta Falcons, not that it’s a bad thing. Ryan has nobody left from his rookie year of 2008 still with the team and he’s one of just four starters left from the Super Bowl team of 2016.

But as much as he misses departed teammates like star receiver Julio Jones, the 36-year-old quarterback takes pride in working with younger players. He says they push him to get better.

Jones’ offseason trade to Tennessee was tough on Ryan because of how much the two accomplished together. But Ryan also understands that NFL rosters turn over. He says: ``That’s the nature of this league.’’

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