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Jake Matthews: We don’t look at it as a rebuilding year

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Mike Florio and Mike Golic look at what position the Atlanta Falcons are in this year and the different ways they could go when it comes to possibly drafting a quarterback.

On paper, the Falcons don’t exactly look like contenders heading into this season.

The team finished 7-10 in 2021, ranking 29th in total offense and 26th in total defense.

And now longtime quarterback Matt Ryan has been traded to the Colts with Marcus Mariota getting signed, ostensibly to be the team’s new QB1.

Despite that, veteran left tackle Jake Matthews said at the start of the offseason program on Tuesday that he’s feeling quite positive about the upcoming season.

“It’s exciting what we got going on here,” Matthews said, via Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m really optimistic about what’s going on and the thing we’re building. We have high expectations for ourselves, there’s no doubt, this year. We don’t look at it as a rebuilding year or anything like that.”

If the Falcons have anything going for them, it’s that they play in the NFC — which projects to be much less competitive than the AFC in 2022. Still, the club will have to make plenty of improvements to jump the Saints and Buccaneers for a chance to compete for the division after finishing in third place last year.