Originally written on Grits Blitz  |  Last updated 4/14/12

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 18: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons lines up for a play during the first quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at the Georgia Dome on October 18, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

An internal debate I've had with myself for a while now is whether or not Matt Ryan can be an elite quarterback in this league and whether or not the Falcons can will a championship if he's not.

Can Ryan take that next step this season?

I had the TV on SportsCenter this evening, as I was writing an article for my college football site, and the four-letter network had some of their experts on talking about quarterbacks and specifically which ones would improve in 2012. Matt Stafford and Josh Freeman were both listed as guys that were on the cusp of taking the next step.

When the discussion turned to guys that were already household names and were good and were on track to be great, Chris Mortensen called out Matt Ryan as one of the guys that could be ready to make that next step. He mentioned the fact that Roddy White is at his peak and that Julio Jones would be coming into his own. 

Matt certainly seems to have put the time in the film room every year in order to be an elite quarterback. Now he's getting serious about his physicality as well. Will this be the year that Matt Ryan becomes more consistent and takes that next step into an elite quarterback in this league? That will be a major key to how far the Falcons can go this season.

What do the readers think? Is Matt Ryan ready to be an elite quarterback? If not, can the Falcons still take the next step if he doesn't? And off-topic for those of you who saw the segment; did the Easter Bunny dress Trent Dilfer in that ridiculous outfit?


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