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What The Opponents Are Saying: Ryan Praises The Raiders Pass Rush


Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan

The Oakland Raiders are gearing up to take on the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Falcons run a high-powered offense with quarterback Matt Ryan leading the way, along with wide receiver Julio Jones. Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn, along with Ryan and Jones, weighed in on the Raiders' talent.

Here's what the opponents are saying:

Head Coach Dan Quinn

Quinn shared his thoughts on Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio's decision to go for the game-winning two-point conversion.

"Honestly, I totally got his reasoning for it. When you're in that spot, I'm sure it was a decision he made well before the drive started and that's usually, as head coaches, where we're at. 'After we score here, we're going for two, we're going to win it right now.' It's very rarely one that's made just at the split of it."

The former Seahawks defensive coordinator opened up on what it will be like to see some familiar faces.

"You know what, lots of respect for those guys. I'm looking forward to seeing all of them. I had a lot of fun with Kenny [defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.] and Malcolm [Smith] and Bruce [Irvin], both in coaching and then just for those guys as teammates and being a part of it. Lots of respect for them, and I'll look forward to seeing them after the game for sure."

He also praised Raiders quarterback Derek Carr for his growth and maturity.

"No doubt, really an explosive day. Seeing the shots that the receivers took, the big plays that took place, we came away very impressed. The other that came away, we knew that he was a nice athlete."

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

Shanahan praised defensive end Khalil Mack and the Raiders pass rush.

"Their pass rush is always going, they get after the quarterback. They stripped [Drew] Brees, I want to say on the first third down, which caused a turnover that turned into points. They get after the quarterback as good as anyone in this league. I faced [Khalil] Mack a couple years ago when he was a rookie, and I thought even then he was one of the better players in this league, and he's only gotten better."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Ryan praised the Raiders stout defensive front and the weapons it possesses.

"Across the board to me:  they're a good defense, they're talented, get after the passer really well. You mention [Bruce] Irvin and [Khalil] Mack, those are two guys that are edge rushers and do a great job. They're pretty balanced across the board, they've got good players all over, and they do a good job within their scheme. Again, I think we're going to have our work cut out for us."

The Falcons signal-caller opened up about what makes defensive end Khalil Mack unique.

"I think his talent, his skill level is as good as anybody, but he's got the combination of really high-end talent, and an unbelievable motor. You're going to see him every snap, he gets after it every snap, and he's relentless whether it's run or pass. To me that makes him one of the more difficult guys to go against because some guys are really good pass rush guys, but maybe not as good against the run. Some guys are really stout against the run, maybe not the pass rush. He's one of the few combination type of guys that can really do both extremely well, and he plays hard."

Ryan acknowledged Raider Nation and the atmosphere they bring.

"It's a cool fan base, to go in and see how passionate their fans are. It's a tough place to play there's no question about it."

Wide Receiver Julio Jones

Fellow Alabama alum Jones praised the other Roll Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper for his play-making ability.

"Amari [Cooper], he's a fast, twitchy guy, quick guy. He's a great player, he's going to go out there [and] he is going to compete for four quarters. Typical training you get from Alabama, just leaving everything out there on the line and giving 100 percent."

Cornerback Desmond Trufant

Trufant shared his thoughts on the Raiders passing attack.

"They are very productive. They took some shots down the field, made some big plays and you could just see the energy and swagger that they're playing with. We have to come with it."

He also talked about what it'll be like facing Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper.

"I think he's making his own name. He's fast. He's quick. He plays the ball well. He's competitive. So, I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's going to be a fight."

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