Some excerpts from Falcons coach Mike Smith’s post game press conference:
OPENING STATEMENT: “Tonight, obviously we didn’t play anywhere near the level we need to play if we are going to be the football team that we want to be. It is the preseason, but we still didn’t play at the level, in any phase of the game, that we want to play. We made mistakes in all three phases. There is a lot of hard work that we have to do and a lot of evaluations that we’ve got to make so that we can play better and improve as a team.
Some of things that stood out; we couldn’t get off the field on third down. They converted on some third-and-12s, third-and-14s. Actually, one of the touchdowns was on a third down-and-12. It was our Achilles heel in the previous season and it’s something that we’ve got to get fixed. With that, I’ll open it up for a questions.
Q: Coach could you talk about your offense’s inability to get into the endzone again?
A: We started fast, moved the ball and got on the plus side of the 50 and then we’ve stalled out in these first two games. It’s definitely something that we are going to have to improve on and something that we are going to have to address. In all three phases, we were not very efficient.
Q: What were you impressions of JPW (John Parker Wilson) in his extended play?
A: I thought that he did make some good decisions. He was 14 of 25 for 98 yards. The one interception right before halftime was a fourth down situation where he was just trying to make a play. I thought he made some pretty good decisions. That’s one of the things that we
wanted to do in this game was give him an opportunity to play against some of the (second stringers) before we put him in a mop-up situation.
Q: What do you think about the way Kroy Biermann is progressing?
A: Kroy had a big play. The ball was on the ground and we didn’t get the ball. It was a sack, caused fumble and we didn’t get the ball. It was a big play. I think he’s changed his body since he’s gotten here. He’s worked very hard with our athletic performance team and I think he’s going to continue to improve. I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Kroy in these first two preseason games.
Q: Is he pressing for a starting job?
A: There’s no doubt about it. Production is what’s it’s all about and Kroy is definitely making a statement with his play in these first two ballgames.
Q: What is happening to your defense on third downs?
A: Before watching the film, one of the things that I think is happening is that we are not converging on the football very well. . . We were breaking down and were too cautious. We weren’t playing with very good leverage. Those are all things that are correctable.
Q: Is the Corey Peters’ injury serious?
A: That, I don’t know. I have not had an opportunity to speak with the trainers or the doctors. I think we’ll have a much better feel tomorrow.
Q: Is their a common thread as to why the offense keeps stalling?
A: I don’t know that there is any real common thread. We’ve been looking at different things as far as what we wanted to do. Last week, we wanted to run the football. This week on our first two plays we were throwing the football. We have to figure out what we want to do. . . I think that when we have gotten in certain field positions we haven’t been as effective. You’ve got to convert on third downs. We had some makeable third downs. Some third-and-5s, some third-and-6s and those are really tilted toward the offense.
Q: Are you looking forward to seeing (Dunta) Robinson and (Peria) Jerry with the first team defense next week?
A: Yes, again we are on track for those guys to come back and play next week barring any unforeseen setbacks in the next couple of days. It’s going to be nice to see when we have our full complement of players out there. . . I know (Robinson) is itching to get back out there.”
Q: Is William Moore in that group?
A: Yes, we hope that William Moore will play. Most of the guys that we’ve been holding out, we’ve been targeting this third preseason game. That’s going to depend on how they respond over the next couple of games.
TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Friday, August 20 — No Practice.
Saturday, August 21 — 9:30 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. (closed to the public); 3:45 p.m. – 5:25 p.m. (closed to the public).
Sunday, August 22 — 9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (closed to the public)