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As star quarterback Matt Ryan prepares to lead his Atlanta Falcons against the Denver Broncos in a potentially great Monday night football matchup, Ryan can only feel like he’ll be looking in the mirror somewhat.

Growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs, Ryan wanted to be like Peyton Manning in every facet of his game. Ryan was in seventh grade when Manning was drafted as the No. 1 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998.

Some 14 odd years later, Ryan is a star in his own right, but still would love to be like Manning. Ryan shared his thoughts via NBC Sports.

“I remember watching him at Tennessee. Unbelievably talented,” he said. “Then when he got into the NFL, he was carving people up and has been doing it for a long time. It’s fun to play against the very best, and he’s obviously one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

“Every QB watches him. You have to be your own player. But in terms of watching him at the line of scrimmage, what he’s done historically for a long time, you try to bring some of that into what we’ve done in the no-huddle. Certainly, I think everybody aspires to be where he is.”

Ryan is aware there can only be one Peyton Manning, but if he continues to make strides, he’ll soon inspire a young seventh grader of his own.

Glenn Erby is a NFL writer for FootBasket. He also owns the NFL blog, Tha Cover 2. You can read more about him over there. Follow him on Twitter @thacover2.


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