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Panthers DT Gerald McCoy will be ‘difficult to go against’ for Falcons QB Matt Ryan

Gerald McCoy, Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have a new defensive tackle this season in Gerald McCoy. Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan definitely isn’t going to underestimate him.

In an interview with Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Ryan talked about the rival Panthers and the elite defensive lineman they added this offseason.

“Gerald McCoy went from being a problem in one place to being a problem in another place,” Ryan said. “Different problem for a different team. He’s a great player that’s been added into an already great defense. He’s going to be difficult to go against, that’s for sure. He always has been.

“Absolutely he’ll be a test for [Lindstrom], he along with Kawann Short. The whole group that they have, that’s going to be a strong test for our interior guys.”

Matt Ryan is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL – and has been around for 11 seasons now. You don’t have as good of a career for as long as he has without elite awareness of those around you.

For Ryan sadly, one of those people who will be around him now is Gerald McCoy. With McCoy in Carolina now, Ryan has to worry about him twice a year.

McCoy has been in the NFL for nine years (all with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). In those nine years, the defensive tackle has 54.5 sacks. He’s been to six Pro Bowls and been First-Team All-Pro once.

That all adds up to making him a very dangerous man. It also doesn’t make it any more fun for Ryan and the Falcons that he’s joining an already solid group on the Panthers.

It’s safe to say Matt Ryan has some healthy respect for Gerald McCoy. It’s also pretty safe to say McCoy has earned it.