Sports

QB Ryan assumes teaching role as Falcons offense reloads following his first losing season

  • Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during an NFL football training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Flowery Branch, Ga.  For the first time, Ryan is trying to lead the Falcons back from a losing season, and he is without one of his top targets, tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has retired.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during an NFL football training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Flowery Branch, Ga. For the first time, Ryan is trying to lead the Falcons back from a losing season, and he is without one of his top targets, tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has retired. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

  • Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during an NFL football training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Flowery Branch, Ga.  For the first time, Ryan is trying to lead the Falcons back from a losing season, and he is without one of his top targets, tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has retired.  (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

    Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws during an NFL football training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Flowery Branch, Ga. For the first time, Ryan is trying to lead the Falcons back from a losing season, and he is without one of his top targets, tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has retired. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)  (The Associated Press)

  • Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) gestures during an NFL football training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) gestures during an NFL football training camp Tuesday, July 29, 2014 in Flowery Branch, Ga. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)  (The Associated Press)

Matt Ryan is expanding his leadership role to include teaching young players and other newcomers in his seventh training camp with the Falcons.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez has retired, receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White missed most of the offseason work and Ryan is adjusting to two new starters on his offensive line.

Jones and White are back for training camp, but still Ryan is throwing to some new receivers, including Devin Hester. He also is helping Levine Toilolo adjust to his new starting role at tight end.

Ryan's offense took a hit, at least for the day, when running back Steven Jackson left Tuesday's practice with a hamstring injury. Coach Mike Smith said the injury is not believed to be significant.

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