Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Matt Ryan, T. J. Yates have crossed paths before

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his new backup, T.J. Yates, have crossed paths before.

We all know about the game on Dec. 4, 2011, when Yates led the Texans to a 17-10 victory over Ryan and the Falcons in his first NFL start.

He got a lot of help from his offensive line, which shoved the Falcons defense around Reliant Stadium for most of the day. Arian Foster had 31 carries for 111 yards and Ben Tate chipped in with 41 yards on 11 carries.

Yates completed 12 of 25 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t throw an interception.

Ryan completed 20 of 47 passes for 267 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Yate received a lot of help from the Texans’ defense which shut down the Falcons’ rushing attack. They held Michael Turner for 44 yards on 14 carries.

But their paths crossed before that game.

“He came up here (to Flowery Branch) one time,” Ryan said. “He went to school with (former Falcons offensive coordinator) Mike Mularkey’s son. I remember him coming up to practice here, probably before his senior year.”

Ryan recalled the meeting.

“I meet him, I remember that he came out here and that he’s from Marietta,” Ryan said. “We talked and I followed him when he went down to Houston. I thought he played well and he won a playoff game. I know him a little bit.”

Ryan and Yates reunited when he visited the team facilities after the trade to take his physical, meet the coaches and pick up his playbook.

The two will have to build on their relationship when training camp starts after Yates was handed the No. 2 quarterback job with the release of Dominique Davis.

“I haven’t had a chance to meet all of the guys really,” Yates said. “I saw Matt (Ryan) and one of the other players. I’m ready to come in and do whatever I can to help this team out.”


Date                                                      Practice Times (public availability)

Tuesday, July 22                                Rookies report

Wednesday, July 23                          Veterans report

Friday, July 25                                    Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, July 26                              Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, July 27                                 Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, July 28                               Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Tuesday, July 29                               Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Wednesday, July 30                        Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

Thursday, July 31                              Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Friday, August 1                              “Friday Night Lights” at Archer High School (Lawrenceville)

                                                            6:45 – 9:10 p.m. (open to the public)

Saturday, August 2                          Practice 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. (open to the public)

Sunday, August 3                             Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Monday, August 4                           Combined Practice w/Tennessee  3-5:30 p.m.                                                (open to the public)

Tuesday, August 5                           Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

Wednesday, August 6                    Practice 3:30 – 6:05 p.m. (open to the public)

Thursday, August 7                         Pregame Walkthrough (No Media Availability)

Friday, August 8                                Falcons vs. Miami Dolphins

                                                                Georgia Dome

                                                                7:00 p.m. ET – CW69

 Saturday, August 9                          Practice 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. (open to the public)

 Sunday, August 10                           Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

 Monday, August 11                         Practice 3:30 – 5:50 p.m. (open to the public)

 Tuesday, August 12                         Practice 10:00 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. (open to the public)

 Wednesday, August 13                 Combined Practice w/ Houston Texans (Houston, TX)

Thursday, August 14                       Combined Practice w/ Houston Texans (Houston, TX)

Friday, August 15                             Pregame Walkthrough (No Media Availability)

Saturday, August 16                        Falcons at Houston Texans

                                                                NRG Stadium

                                                                8:00 p.m. ET – CW69

 Sunday, August 17                           Players’ Day Off (No Media Availability)

Monday, August 18                         Practice 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (closed to the public)

                                                                Break Camp


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.