The Falcons will face NFC South rivals the New Orleans Saints in their opening game of the NFL season this Sunday.
The Saints quarterback told reporters: "I've got a ton of respect for Matt Ryan. First of all, he's a winner. He's going into his sixth year now and he's led his team to the playoffs four out of five seasons. He's played extremely well both in the regular season and the post-season.
"He obviously has great command of that offense. I think he's a great decision maker. He comes across as just one of those highly competitive guys, great work ethic, loves football, tough, all the things you want in a quarterback.
"He's still very early in his career, only going into his sixth year. He seems like a guy who could play for a really long time. I'm sure there's going to be many opportunities for him and his teams to make a run at it. But, as long as we're in their division, we're going to be fighting for the same thing."
Since Ryan was drafted by the Falcons in 2008, the Saints and Falcons have each won the division twice.