- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons practiced together in the rain Tuesday morning, which made quarterback Matt Ryan feel right at home.
"I am happy that they brought the rain down from the Boston area," said Ryan, the former Boston College star. "It has been brutal the last two weeks, very hot. It was a nice change of pace with the weather."
Ryan then cautioned that with another practice on the schedule Tuesday afternoon, there was still a chance for the Patriots to "get a taste of a Georgia summer."
For Ryan, the joint practices offered the chance to get a taste of how Patriots quarterback Tom Brady approaches his craft.
"I watched Tom all through college and the biggest thing that you may try to emulate is his consistency," Ryan said. "He has a level of consistency that is evident year in and year out, week in and week out. That is the No. 1 thing I would try to do that he has done."
Ryan previously said he's studied Brady's footwork and how he keeps plays alive with a knack for sidestepping the rush. The two met last year for the first time and talked again briefly Tuesday morning.
Ryan didn't exactly need an introduction.
"It's impossible not to see him when you live in Boston, because of his star power," he said. "I've watched him from a distance and was impressed with how he has handled himself. He was always classy and did things the right way."
Now in his third season as the Falcons' starting quarterback, Ryan has settled in nicely to life in the NFL.
"He is looking great and has really improved," Falcons veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez said. "Just got to keep him healthy and the sky is the limit with him. It is just a matter of when and not if. He will be one of the best."