METAIRIE, La. – For the past 14 years, the New Orleans Saints defense has had to go up against Matt Ryan.

The former longtime Falcons quarterback spent his entire career with Atlanta until this past off-season. He is now with the Indianapolis Colts.

New Orleans begins a new era of rivalry Sunday as they figure out how to defend the read option against new Atlanta quarterback, Marcus Mariota.

“For a long time in the NFL, you see much of it, so you didn’t have to work on it very often. I think now you’re seeing a lot more athletic quarterbacks playing in college and that’s transitioning back up to our league. You have to be fundamentally sound to be able to stop it,” said New Orleans Saints Head Coach Dennis Allen.

Mariota was most recently with the Las Vegas Raiders but spent the majority of his career with the Tennessee Titans.

“It’s difficult because they make you play 11 on 11 football. It’s a drop-back passer and you’re not worried about a run,” Allen said. “When you get an athletic quarterback in the run, some of the quarterback run game, you have to play 11 on 11, so that’s what it takes.”