He said that yesterday, during a conference call. Had it been Skype'd, you might have seen him rolling his eyes. You can hardly blame Ryan. He's kind of a big deal in his own right.
He was the No. 3 overall pick in 2008 after a breakout senior season at Boston College that put him in the running for the Heisman Trophy. He scored the PS2 NCAA Football 09 cover, and he was a candidate for the Madden 2012 video game cover this season (he lost a fan vote to eventual winner Peyton Hillis).
He's a big Nike and AirTran endorser - largely replacing Vick's high profile with those companies. In January, Ryan went to his first Pro Bowl, where, finally, he said he became acquainted with Vick.
He got the Pro Bowl nod largely because of Atlanta's 13-3 record. Six of those wins were fourth-quarter comebacks engineered by Ryan, games that cemented his nickname, "Matty Ice," which he earned in college.
But for Ryan, there always will be the shadow of Vick. There will be hundreds, maybe thousands, of Vick jerseys in the Georgia Dome stands Sunday night.
Ryan actually sighed when asked about his involuntary, everlasting connection to Vick, then, reluctantly, he answered:
"Um . . . you know . . . fate has a funny way of putting people in different positions. That's probably one of the reasons we'll be linked together."
Vick said yesterday he expects the Falcons faithful to greet him as they would any other enemy quarterback . . . which is absurd, because he is not. He is beloved in Atlanta, and despised there, too. But he is not anonymous.
Ryan does not know what to expect for Vick. More importantly, he does not, and probably should not, care.
"Honestly, I haven't really even thought about it," Ryan said. "Mike still has a lot of supporters down here, because he was extremely successful and a big part of what the Falcons did in the early 2000s."
True, but Ryan has been as big a part of an even better run. His career passer rating, 86.6, is better than any single year Vick had as a Falcon. Ryan has won at least nine games as a starter each of his first three seasons. Vick did that once in his five seasons as a Falcons starter.
As for the Eagles connection, it means little more to Ryan than having his immediately family and some extended family come to town. Only John, his younger brother, will not make it. John is a sophomore quarterback at Brown University.
Rest assured, John is the only other quarterback Matt cares about this weekend.