ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- They almost never met. So Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford can thank four other NFL quarterbacks for Bobby Smith Authentic Jersey getting their friendship started. The Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions starting quarterbacks were not initial picks to the 2015 Pro Bowl. When Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady pulled out, Stafford and Ryan earned selections. They became teammates and, within a week, friends. Before the Pro Bowl, they would say "Hey" to each other after games, but that was it. The Pro Bowl gave them a week to learn they had mutual interests in golf and good food. That they lived close to each other in Atlanta during the offseason. Ryan's wife, Sarah, and Stafford's soon-to-be-bride, Kelly, got along, too. They started hanging out in Georgia, and "your typical bromance" -- as Stafford's brother-in-law and mutual friend Chad Hall described it -- began. "To be honest, it has grown quicker than any relationship I've seen," said Tyler Heyman, another mutual friendMonths after the Pro Bowl, Matt and Sarah Ryan were guests at Matthew and Kelly Stafford's wedding. The couples vacationed together and became frequent companions in Georgia. The Ryans fit in with Stafford's crowd easily -- a group accustomed to treating Stafford as just another friend instead of a highly paid NFL quarterback. It made sense. Ryan and Stafford shared a profession and a competitive personality. Their relationship has given two men playing one of the highest-pressure positions in pro sports an outlet with each other. They can relax together and, if need be, lean on one another. So can their wives, able to share the ups and downs of being http://www.officialdallasstars.com/Adidas-Brian-Bellows-Jersey married to the face of an NFL franchise. They can ask questions and seek out advice, as Stafford did with Ryan when he contemplated seeing a quarterback guru for the first time. "It's really significant, and there's a guy who's literally been in your shoes," Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said. "And for Matt Ryan, who's done it a little longer than Matt, he could ask, 'Has this situation ever come up?' 'You know, it has.' So you don't have to be a lot older to be a really good mentor, and I think teammates can be great mentors to another. "And I'm not saying Matt Ryan is Matt Stafford's mentor, but I'm just saying there is a partnership at the same position, and it's even true for guys like myself who are in a head-coaching position -- that I have some people that I lean on and can ask questions to that might not be on our own team. So I totally recognize that and I think it's cool that they have a good friendship going." Stafford didn't divulge much about the friendship -- saying there were more important things at this point -- but did say, "it's kind of nice to have somebody in the league that you can talk ball with in the offseason, all that kind of stuff." Some of that comes on the golf course. Outings became common, including one to the Frederica Golf Club on St. Simons Youth Womens JerseyIsland in Georgia. Both Ryan and Stafford can play. Considering their competitiveness, there needs to be something to keep it interesting, not unlike millions of other golfers around the world. "There's no 'just let's go to see our best score.' There's some sort of competition," Hall said. "I'm the same way. It's hard to go play golf with just going to play. There's got to be something on the line. "Matt Ryan, he's the first one to come up with the game. He's probably the head of it, but then everyone gets involved. There's something involved." It's the same competitiveness that's displayed on football Sundays -- including this week, when friends become temporary enemies as the Lions and Falcons meet, a pair http://www.officialsstlouisblues.com/Adidas-Chris-Pronger-Jersey of 2-0 teams looking to establish early division leads in the NFC.

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