New Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith said he wasn't looking for a tie or a moral victory in his team's exhibition opener in Jacksonville, Fla.
Smith was looking for a quarterback, and rookie Matt Ryan from Boston College provided an impressive opening case that he can be the answer.
Ryan led an 11-play, 74-yard touchdown drive against Jacksonville's first-team defense in the Jaguars' 20-17 win over the Falcons Saturday night.
Ryan was 9 of 15 passing for 113 yards and a touchdown, earning compliments from both sidelines.
"He looked poised for a young guy and Mike has to be happy with his quarterback coming out and looking fairly sharp," said Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio.
Smith also noted the poise showed by Ryan, who entered the game after starter Chris Redman played only two series.
"I thought Matt passed the test in terms of poise and execution," Smith said. "I thought for the first time in an NFL game he was very impressive."
It's clear that Ryan, the third overall pick, is expected to start.
"I thought it was important for me to get out there and compete against a team we know is going to be very successful," Ryan said. "I thought it was a good start. I still have a long way to go."
Even Brett Favre isn't immune to some punishment at practice. The New York Jets new quarterback fumbled a snap from Nick Mangold yesterday morning and knew what was coming next: his first penalty lap. "He's one of the guys," coach Eric Mangini said. "You put the ball on the ground, you have to run. And that's the way, when we talked about it, he wanted it and that's the way I wanted it." So, there was No. 4 at his second practice with the Jets, jogging along the sideline with Mangold - to hearty cheers from the 4,000 fans there to catch a glimpse of their new quarterback . . . Browns wideout Braylon Edwards was running a sprint in his socks when fellow receiver Donte' Stallworth stepped on the back of Edwards's foot and opened a cut that required stitches and a night in the hospital. Edwards spent Saturday night at Cleveland Clinic and was released yesterday. The stay was precautionary and the injury isn't serious, Browns coach Romeo Crennel said.
Wide receiver Plaxico Burress said he won't practice with the New York Giants until his troublesome right ankle is healthy. "Of course I definitely want to be out there," Burress said after watching the morning workout at the University at Albany. "Like I said, Plaxico Burress has to take care of Plaxico Burress." . . . In other Giants news, the team waived defensive end Robert Henderson, their sixth-round pick, and safety Nehemiah Warrick, both of whom were in injured in Thursday night's loss to the Lions . . . The 49ers signed two-time Pro Bowler Takeo Spikes hours after waiving veteran linebacker Brandon Moore. Spikes is expected to start at inside linebacker alongside Patrick Willis, the reigning defensive rookie of the year . . . The Steelers signed veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich, who chose the former Jaguars starter over Daunte Culpepper. Pittsburgh needed a backup after veteran Charlie Batch broke his right collarbone Friday . . . Rams cornerback Justin King's rookie season is over before it started after he tore a ligament in his left big toe in Saturday night's exhibition game against Tennessee. He will require surgery.