Mike Smith post game: Weatherspoon has good start

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is flushed from the pocket and takes off running for a 5-yard gain on a quarterback keeper during 1st quarter action against the Kansas City Chiefs in the exhibition season opener at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) is flushed from the pocket and takes off running for a 5-yard gain on a quarterback keeper during 1st quarter action against the Kansas City Chiefs in the exhibition season opener at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 13, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Coach Mike Smith after the 20-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

STATEMENT

“I felt like we did some really good things on offense, defense and special teams. It was really good to get the win. I like the effort and I liked our intensity. I like the way that the guys played, but we made way too many mistakes. Those are the things that we’ll have to get corrected. In all three phases there were some positive things. I want to keep it all in perspective, this is the first preseason game. Anytime you win in this league it’s good for the guys. It’s good for the coaches. But we have to get back and watch that tape. We have to make corrections. We have to play better than we did this week, next week.

ASSESSMENT OF FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

“I thought that they did a very good job. We wanted to establish the run in that first series and I thought we were able to do that. Michael Turner, in the limited carries that he had, I thought he ran the ball with power. I thought that we were blocking very well. I think we only threw the ball two times on that first drive. We wanted to set the tempo of the  ball game by running the football. I thought that Matt did an excellent job as well. We made a couple of conversions in those first two series when we had third and long situations.”

ON THE PLAY OF ROOKIE DIMITRI NANCE

“I thought Dimitri Nance played well. He had some opportunities to run the ball and he runs the ball with power. He’s a very compact back.”

ON THE PLAY OF ROOKIE DOMINQUE FRANKS

“I thought Dominique had some very big plays. He had a really nice hit there in the flats. He had some tight coverage. He had an opportunity there in the fourth quarter for an interception.”

ON THE PASS BLOCKING OF THE OFFENSIVE LINE

“We did not give up any sacks in the ball game offensively. Again, I thought Matt did a nice job stepping up when there was pressure and he dumped the ball down. It was a very  positive thing to see that his pocket awareness is very good. When you don’t get the quarterback hit, you have to feel good about it.”

ON THE PLAY OF ROOKIE SHANN SCHILLINGER

“When the opportunity to make a play presented itself, he made the play. It was good to see him show some athleticism when he ran that ball back down there (29 yards) inside the 20 yard line.”

ON KICKERS MATT BRYANT AND STEVEN HAUSCHKA

“We wanted to rotate our kickers. We wanted to make sure that when there was an opportunity for a long field goal, we wanted to see what those guys could handle. I think we’re getting an idea of where their range is.”

ON ROOKIE FIRST ROUND PICK SEAN WEATHERSPOON

“I thought that Sean got a little baptism under fire. He didn’t get an opportunity to ease into it. He started as a (weakside) linebacker in this ball game. I that he did some good things.  I think you see his urgency. I think you see a guy who is going to be able to do what we thought he would be able to do, match tight ends and match running backs. I thought it was a good start for him. It’s going to be fun to watch the film and watch him play. I thought he did a good job on special teams.”

39 comments Add your comment

thunderbull56

August 14th, 2010
12:28 am

Special teams are vital.Weatherspoon,not so much.Names in excess of five letters is a challenge for us part time’rs.It boils down to this. Either you kicked, well ,politically,correct,ASS or not!

TLH678

August 14th, 2010
12:30 am

1st!! Alright start for Pre-season…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eric Blumberg and Frank Shock, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: #Falcons coach Mike Smith post game: Weatherspoon has good start. He also chats on Turner, Ryan, Nance and Schillinger- http://bit.ly/cE23Eg [...]

DR. FALCON

August 14th, 2010
1:03 am

I THOUGHT OUR ROOKIES HAD AN OUTSTANDING GAME. ESPECIALLY, WITHERSPOON, MEIER, AND SCHILLINGER. OUR DEFENSE IS GOING TO BE TOP 5! LOOKS LIKE SIDBURY AND BEIRMAN ARE READY TO STEEP UP AT THE OTHER DE.IT WAS GOOD TO SEE THE OL COME OFF THE BALL ON THE FIRST SERIES. NUMBER 33 LOOKS LIKE HIS OLD SELF DOESNT HE?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Atlanta Towing, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Mike Smith post game: Weatherspoon has good start http://bit.ly/bYXVHw [...]

realbirdofprey

August 14th, 2010
2:28 am

Does anybody know if curtis Lofton is ok??????

Resign or Resign?

August 14th, 2010
6:29 am

Lofton was only cramping-up

[...] Falcons running back Michael Turner catching a pass was a highlight of the pre-season opener…Falcons first-round linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had a strong debut….Falcons head coach Mike Smith liked that the way the offensive line protected the quarterbacks. [...]

phillip

August 14th, 2010
9:37 am

Wilson looked great last night. Made athletic plays, and moved the team.

Chop Buster

August 14th, 2010
9:44 am

It’s a good first preseason start. I would have been nice to see us end that drive with a touchdown–instead of a field goal. I have to give JA98 props…he is looking great in the DT position penetrating and getting in the backfield fast. Biermann and Sidbury are going to be much improved this year. I can’t wait to see our front four getting after the QB this year.

Falster

August 14th, 2010
10:36 am

I agree with most things posted here about some of our rookies like Weatherspoon, Nance, Schillinger, and Meier having a SOLID outing! I agree that JPW moved the team very well and displayed a high degree of athleticism! I was shocked to see JA98 gett’in after it hard! …and Sidbury and Bierman have spent the offseason along with Abraham working on strength and improved techniques and it is already showing! Sure it was a pre-season game and also the ‘1st” one but, was it just me or did Matt Ryan look erratic out there?

alanfalcon

August 14th, 2010
11:14 am

There should be no-doubters after the first preseason game!

The Falcons are blessed with a lot of young players that need to be evaluated, the starting offense is solid, the projected starting defense is solid, THE FACT IS, JUST AS IN THE PREVIOUS 2 YEARS THE ROOKIE CLASS IS SOLID, h$@# there isn’t enough roster room to keep them all, the practice squad will be full of future NFL players.
T.D. and Mike have once again come thru and shown their ability to judge talent and the two of them are blessed in having an owner that allows them to move forward and become consistent winners (Kudo’s to Mr. Blank).Wake up Falcon fans and don’t let the pre-season control your mind and outlook, we are on the way to a 3rd consectutive winning season and more.

Enjoy, believe and most of all support the team.

GO FALCONS AND GO SOUTHERN RUSH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hiramsaint

August 14th, 2010
12:06 pm

how can you say the starting offense is solid? no td’s against the 4-12 chiefs!!. the saints looked horrible against the pats but then i watched the ‘cons and fealt way better. your d did look good and improved and will no doubt be very good this year . i agree about a 3rd winning season in a row but i don’t know about the more part. congrats on the win and no major injuries. try to keep it that way thru the rest of the preseason

Sly Ty

August 14th, 2010
1:18 pm

Overall I was pleased with the Falcons Defense. JA98 looked, as Darth Vader would say, “Impressive…most Impressive.” Though be it a Pre-season game against a horrible team, the front 4 looks to be a handful. They looked good, even without Abe being the catalyst. THAT SPELLS BAD NEWS FOR THE FALCONS OPPONENTS!!!

SAINTS LSU

August 14th, 2010
1:21 pm

saints ( 13-3) falcons ( 10-6) panthers ( 9-7) bucks ( 7-9)

duker64

August 14th, 2010
1:42 pm

saints lsu you had better look again . do no think that yall will be 13- 3 or we will be 10-6. i know where we may lose 4 games but also think yall will lose atleast 5

waynester

August 14th, 2010
2:18 pm

So far, so good. I think Smith & Co. accomplished almost everything he wanted to see out of preseason game #1. Smitty said before the game that he wanted to see the young guys in 3rd down situations and red zone and although they didn’t take full advantage of all the opportunities inside the 20, they showed a great deal of improvement on 3rd and long–a much needed change. hiramsaint and his comrades have been ragging on Falcon fans for the teams “lack of depth”–well, last night should show the NFC South that Dimitroff has built quality depth with young guys in it for the long haul. Every team looks a little shaky in PS Gm1, but we all saw a lot of positive changes last night…..

hiramsaint

August 14th, 2010
3:00 pm

sorry waynester- didn’t see the depth. not hatin on y’all but didn’t really see it . i did see an improved d but it was against a 4-12 team so it’s really no measuring stick. thurs night should start to tell the tale tho. good luck against the pats and hopin’ for no injuries

hiramsaint

August 14th, 2010
3:02 pm

my bad – your qb depth looked really good. i’ve always thought redman should start over ryan and wilson looked pretty good too.

Sly Ty

August 14th, 2010
3:08 pm

As a Falcon fan it was good to see the Kansas City Chiefs. Seeing them makes me realize how good we have it right now. On that team, Michael Jenkins would be the #1 Receiver and JA98 is better than all of their D-Lineman. Thanks Smitty and TD, for not presenting us with a team like the following: Cleveland, Detroit, ST.Louis, Seattle and Buffalou.

SeenThisB4

August 14th, 2010
3:17 pm

@waynester:

C’mon man. You can’t hang your “quality depth” hat on the game last night. You were playing the chiefs, the 4-12 chiefs!. The chiefs outgained your offense on both the ground and air, even after they gave the ball up to you guys 3 times, once inside your 20. You played at home, and had almost 10 minutes more possession time, which is expected when you play a bottom dweller. To say that they should me “quality depth” is ludicrous.

Bottom line, some of your starters and back-ups looked kinda shaky, certainly not dominant, although Turner and Ryan both looked like they are ready and on top of their game. The only back up that looked ready was Redman, everybody else, not so much, plus they were going against the chiefs backups. Let’s see how the rest of your team does next week against a contender.

TheWad

August 14th, 2010
3:21 pm

hiramsaint- Redman better than Ryan? Have you lost your mind or are you thinkin` with that Bourbon Street mind again? Come out of the hazy funk and open your eyes! Love Redman and appreciate his tenacity at finally reaching a dream of staying in the NFL. But better than Matt Ryan? If he was then he wouldn`t have been available to the Falcons two years ago when we got him off the street. hiramsaint, put the keyboard down and back away slowly…….

waynester

August 14th, 2010
3:32 pm

Saint lovers
Last year is over guys–for all of us. KC isn’t the same team with the addition of 3 new coaches and one of the best draft classes in the League, nevertheless, I agree that the Pats will be a sterner test(as they showed ya’ll already). If you couldn’t see the play of JPWilson as greatly improved, you must not have watched him at ‘Bama. I never suggested that our 3rd/4th stringers were “dominant”–no one’s are–yet with the exception of a couple of penalty-killed drives they performed above the expectations of most(especially you guys). Just like ya’ll, we scrimmage the Pats next week before playing them so we’ll have a much better grasp on our real strengths/weaknesses.
Hiramsaint ‘preciate the good sportsmanship……

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

August 14th, 2010
4:32 pm

JA98 looked like a totally different player last night. He could be the biggest surprise of camp. Having him perform at a high level would be like adding an extremely solid player that we didn’t expect to have.

Some guys are late bloomers.

Big O

August 14th, 2010
4:54 pm

No one has said anything about the guy on defense who made the most tackles. It was not Lofton, it was Spencer Adkins with 6. Remember Spencer’s 40 time? It was less than 4.5, plus he has great strength. His size is almost identical with Lofton.

I too was very impressed with the new JA98. He looks bigger and stronger. Palmer81 looked good. Biermann also looked bigger and stronger with quickness.
You can get an idea of the rookies they wanted to see the most by who we saw first. Some didn’t show up in the stats but I know they will soon – like Safety Rafael Bush (4.45 speed), Harvey, and Wolf.

Arthur Blank

August 14th, 2010
5:09 pm

SeenthisB4 why don’t you waste your commenting skills on your own team. And stop blowing smoke !!!!!!!

SeenThisB4

August 14th, 2010
5:30 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter: There is an error on the falcant web-page.

Arthur Blank: I’m picturing me blowing a big cigarette smoke circle in your face! Enjoy!

GEAUX SAINTS! OUR TIME!!

Ken Strickland

August 14th, 2010
7:36 pm

Apparently our resident AINT fans chose not to see the AINTS gm against the Patriots. That EVEN SORRIER 25TH RANKED AINTS DEF demonstrated they were everything I said they were. The only way they were able to stop the Patriots was by calling a timeout.

It appears last yrs starting FS DSharper might start the season on the PUP list. Of your 4 top play makers from last yrs SORRY 25TH RANKED DEF, FS DSharper is listed as unable to perform, OLB SFujita’s and DE CGrant are gone, with only DE WSmith capable of being counted on.

If I was an AINTS fan, and had to deal with these prospects, I’d spend all of my time on a Falcons blog too.

Arthur Blank

August 14th, 2010
7:45 pm

@ hiramsaint. What are you blind. We had several starters & Key Players out of the game ie: P. Jerry, D. Robinsion, Peterson, Bryian Williams, M Jenkins, Norwood, W. Moore, and we look good. That my friend is depth is all about. You plug in the next man and still maintain and win. Doesn’t matter it was against the chiefs who should be much improved over last year.

AB

hiramsaint

August 14th, 2010
8:50 pm

@ab – anyone could look good against the 4-12 chiefs. lets see if all the guff talk and chest beating is going to happen after the pats game. @ken- you might want to take a look at casillas but since you can’t read and can only spout we’ll just wait ’till the 3rd week . to all the falcons fans [except ken] congrats on the win and good job on no major injuries. to ken- come eat my frumunda cheese

Ken Strickland

August 14th, 2010
11:43 pm

HIRAMSAINT-I can tell by your response to my last comments that the TRUTH HURTS. That SORRY 25TH RANKED EXCUSE FOR A DEF couldn’t stop our #3RB or #2QB last yr, even with our banged up OL. With a healthy OL, QB and RB, we’re going to whip the Bayou out of your DEFENSELESS AINTS in gm 3.

bigcalidawg

August 15th, 2010
12:50 am

Hiram……welcome. Typically, when opposing fans come in here, it is not civil, but I will welcome you. You are welcome back anytime (unless you are a Tech fan).

The most salient aspect of that game (to me) was how BOTH our offensive and defensive lines absolutely blew their opponent off the ball. You could see the D-Line re-establish the line of scrimmage a yard and a half deep into the backfield. Couldn’t help but notice that Jerry was in there. Hopefully, he can stay healthy.

By the time Turner hit his assigned gap, he too was a good yard and a half beyond the line of scrimmage.

I was very impressed with the hogs. It also looks like these Birds aren’t scared to lay hat. There were some licks gettin dished out.

I like the physicality of this team.

bsg

August 15th, 2010
3:49 am

@ hiram haha trying to look classy today huh? haha its all cool, i didn’t realize that the chiiefs are starting to load talent on there depth chart i mean just adding McCluster is a start.(im sure any of you saints fans who also like LSU all know what i’m talking bout! lol) they have nice quick running backs, a future star in the secondary in berry, and a verrrrry good returner in javier arenas. if they could get better in the o-line and draft a qb then they could be play-off bound soon- lol did i just say the chiefs could be playoff bound?? haha i think i need to lay off the sauce for a while

hiramsaint

August 15th, 2010
2:15 pm

bigcalidawg- whats a tech fan? to they have some sort of a team? ken our sorry d and team defeated you twice last year and as we will find out , again this year. you sure are pumped yet your starters could not find the endzone against a 4-12 team. they tried and tried to no avail. the pats will be a whole new ballgame and you may find some humility thurs. evening. good luck none the less thurs and i hope you get a flat tire this week ken… while doing 70 on 285

BigCaliDawg

August 15th, 2010
5:25 pm

Yeah, Arenas did pretty much get neutralized. I’ll take our punter over anybody in the league. He knows how to punt an “unreturnable” ball. Good to have. Arenas was not a factor.

Pecan,Tree

August 16th, 2010
6:41 pm

You guys , It,s just pre season -Evaluations . and play planning . I assure you the Falcons are on the up and up . The Game coming up with colts will move you a little more ,but you can not start to see The true concept of how they may be until the third and fourth pre game when the 1st teams (all of them) play together for a full Quarter or half . Remember last season didn’t they lose there first pre game and still finished with 9 wins , The Birds are better than last season so just wait and have some faith.
All you Saints fans The Birds are in the air ,so watch out you might get your eyes picked out this year.

GO FALCONS….!!!!!!

NFL News and Notes – August 14, 2010

August 17th, 2010
12:32 pm

[...] Falcons running back Michael Turner catching a pass was a highlight of the pre-season opener…Falcons first-round linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had a strong debut….Falcons head coach Mike Smith liked that the way the offensive line protected the quarterbacks. [...]

NFL News and Notes – August 14, 2010

August 17th, 2010
12:32 pm

[...] Falcons running back Michael Turner catching a pass was a highlight of the pre-season opener…Falcons first-round linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had a strong debut….Falcons head coach Mike Smith liked that the way the offensive line protected the quarterbacks. [...]

THREE & OUT  | IDPReport.com

September 14th, 2010
11:22 pm

[...] • It looks like Bob Sanders is done for the year with a torn biceps tendon in just the first quarter of play against the Texans on Sunday. It’s a sad thing to see his season end early for another year but this is a big reason why we value Antoine Bethea so highly in our rankings. • Kris Jenkins is also going to be out for the year after tearing the ACL in his left knee again, so the Jets will have to duplicate what they did last season playing without one of the best defensive tackles in the game. • Probably the worst injury week, especially for the IDP Report crew here that had Paul Posluszny ranked as our 2nd LB in tackle heavy formats, the Bills LB sprained his MCL and will be sidelined for the next two to three weeks. Get well soon Poz! • Capping off the injury report, Connor Barwin got his right leg rolled up on and dislocated his right ankle. It’s too bad because he was on our radar as a sleeper this year after only playing the defensive end position three years, as he was a tight end recruit at Cincinnati. Better luck next year CB! • Week one highlights and game balls go out to Patrick Chung who racked up a fat stack of 16 total tackles against the Bengals. The second year player has clearly adapted to the speed of the game. • One of our rookies to target in the IDP Rookie Top-50, Sean Weatherspoon, finished Sunday’s game with 8 total tackles and drew a lot of praise from head coach Mike Smith. [...]