Arthur Blank laments players' reaction to hit on Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank admits that he was unhappy with his players after they failed to react angrily to a hit on Matt Ryan in last season's opening match.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has admitted that he was unhappy with how his players reacted to a hit on quarterback Matt Ryan during last season's opening match against the New Orleans Saints.

Ryan was hit late by safety Kenny Vaccaro while sliding, an incident that earned the Saints rookie a personal foul penalty and a subsequent fine of almost $8,000 (£4,777).

However, Blank was more concerned with the lack of action his players took against the offender and believes that his coaching staff will demand a tougher attitude for the 2014 season.

"That play really bothered me, sincerely. It bothered me that none of our players, they all complained, but none of them went to the safety on the Saints and did anything. Not that they would start a fight, but just kind of put their finger in his chest and saying, 'That's not acceptable,'" Blank told 680 The Fan.

"[Assistant general manager] Scott [Pioli] said, when he was talking at dinner one night with [general manager] Thomas [Dimitroff], he said that really bothered him when he watched that game. That told him a lot about the mentality of a lot of our players.

"I think with [offensive line coach] Mike Tice, and [defensive line coach] Bryan Cox and Smitty [head coach Mike Smith] supporting that, I think you'll see a different attitude this year."

The Falcons ended the season with a 4-12 record.

Head coach Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons against the Cincinnati Bengals at Georgia Dome on August 8, 2013
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