Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan joined Terez Paylor and Charles Robinson of the Yahoo Sports NFL Podcast to reveal what makes the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defenses click. Matt Ryan joins Yahoo Sports on behalf of the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.
TEREZ PAYLOR: You guys faced the Chiefs in week 16. Chiefs had four sacks and 12 quarterback hits in that game. You faced a little bit of pressure that week, man. I'm just curious, first of all, when you're facing Steve Spagnuolo, as a quarterback who's seen every pressure imaginable at this point in this league, what is it about the way Spags like to bring pressure that stands out to you? And I was also hoping you could give a quick scouting report on the Bucs defense as well.
MATT RYAN: Yeah, I think you talk about the Chiefs defense-- and I've played against Spags in New York, in St. Louis at the time when he was there. He's got an extensive package, so every possible combination blitz you can think of and they're willing to use them all. They're willing to bring anybody at any time from any spot of the field and just send it.
But the key to it is Chris Jones on the inside. To me, he creates just such good pressure. You have to account for him. You have to double-team.
And so they understand that, and they blitz according to that. They know that people are sliding protection certain ways, so they're gonna overload blitz from the other side to make you short. They're really good in that respect.
And then the Tampa defense, it's one of the better front sevens we saw all year. There's no doubt about it. Two linebackers that are as athletic, instinctual, physical as anybody in the league. And then a rotation of six guys, really, in the defensive line that are physical, really good against the run.
And another defensive coordinator in Todd Bowles that isn't scared to blitz at any time. And these guys stress you with talent, and they stress you with scheme. So both defenses are really tough to go against, and that's why they're playing this weekend. They've had great years.
TEREZ PAYLOR: OK, Matt, tell us about your partnership with USAA and the Salute to Service Award.
MATT RYAN: I'm fired up. Staying within the organization, our CEO Steve Cannon is the recipient of this year's Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA. So, basically, I'm just on here to give a big shoutout to my friend. Congratulations to Steve. It's well-deserved.
He's one of the best guys you'll ever meet. A West Point grad. Been unbelievably committed to helping veterans and veterans' families. Has done great things for our organization in creating events where families from the TAPS program come out, spend time with us. We get to know them on a personal level, stay in touch with them still to this day.
And that's a result of Steve's hard work and commitment to that. So congratulations to him. Really excited for him. Nobody is more deserving, and we're all really happy for him.