Falcons coach Mike Smith: Biermann pushing for starting spot

Falcons head coach Mike Smith walks the sidelines in a 28-10 preseason game loss to the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 19, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons head coach Mike Smith walks the sidelines in a 28-10 preseason game loss to the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 19, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

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

John Abraham, making a tackle in the  28-10 preseason game loss to the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 19, 2010, could have a new starting across from him at defensive end in Kroy Biermann. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

John Abraham, making a tackle in the 28-10 preseason game loss to the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Thursday, August 19, 2010, could have a new starter across from him at defensive end in Kroy Biermann. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

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)

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87 comments Add your comment

florida falcon

August 20th, 2010
12:34 am

Ouch, we got spanked!

LawdhamMercy

August 20th, 2010
1:04 am

DOL I heard ya on ESPN today. Can ya sound a little more exciting?

Negatives
First I’d like to say the play calling was predictable. I was at the game and I’m not sold on Ryan. Everybody’s saying he’s the next Peyton or Brady, but he made some bad decisions. Twice Roddy was open on crossing routes and he didn’t even look his way. Hey tried forcing passes to Roddy on a 3rd down play when Tony was in a mismatch with a 5′10″ midget corner. Would’ve been an easy reception for the TG. The defense is not wrapping up at all. 2nd Qtr Fred Taylor bounce off a poor Spoon tackle. I’ll give him a break on that and the TD by Hernandez(rookie mistake). Other than that I don’t like Weems in the starting line up, he’s just too small. We need a position reciever out there opposite Roddy. M.Bryant won the kicking competition? Can we get another kicker? I’m really worried about the kicking game as well. All in all it only preseason. These are some young guys, so I’m not going to make too much out of this.

Positives
HD looks good, except the first play they called for him set him up for a knee shot. Thank goodness the corner wasn’t trying to hurt him, cause he could’ve easily gone down from his first catch. The OU corner looked good in coverage. I watched the Beer Man sack and strip the ball, while the rest of the team stood around and watched. He’s a beast. The defense played OK. They just need a little more confidence. It would help if they play with more aggression and be more proactive when hitting their gaps. They could’ve easily stopped those 3rd downs. The secondary looked good even though we gave up a couple plays.

Summary
With all the mistakes and positives I still believe we’ll be in the Superbowl this year or next year. We have some good young talent at all positions, and we’ll be very competitive. We just gotta stay healthy and keep working hard. Good job tonight men, keep up the good work. It’ll pay off.

Gooosh

August 20th, 2010
1:09 am

The Bad:
-I know it’s a preseason game but Weatherspoon looked awful today. He pulled a Houston (right position/terrible awareness) with that TD catch on Hernandez and he could of easily made a tackle that would of prevented the Patriots on a 3rd and long. I have high hopes for him and the rest of rooks, hopefully they pull thru.
- Speaking of Rooks, I hope Meier(sp?) and Peters are okay.
-Overall the defense looked pretty abysmal but the injured crew should help next week.
- They’re were a couple of key drops that should of caught that would have extended drives.
-Dimitri Nance with that fumble, that really doesn’t bode well when Smith highly values ball security overall any other attribute.

Nique

August 20th, 2010
1:16 am

Thant game was horrible!!! We didn’t look good in any area, Kroy & Douglass coming back were really the lone bright spots!!! Spoon continuously got schooled by A. Hernandez, our 1st team offense can’t score TD’s, we couldn’t tackle, cover, anything!!!! Everyone’s so concerned about our passing D, we might wanna rededicate ourselves to stopping the run bc we will see a ton of Mendenhall week 1 with Big Ben out! & then on top of it all Matt Braynt IS NOT THE ANSWER AT KICKER!!!! So for everyone who was telling me that i should ? their decision to cut the other kicker bc we should trust they know what they’re doing, i’d like 2 hear from ya’ll now……..To miss kicks the way he did on his second attempt today, completely unacceptable!!! The man is kicking 50% on the preseason, we NEED another kicker to go where we wanna go!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 20th, 2010
1:27 am

LawdHamMercy — I thought I was pretty perky today on ESPN!!!!

Creaky

August 20th, 2010
1:39 am

DOL any way you slice it the bird’s looked bad in all phases of the game, however I thought maybe they were a little more vanilla than New England, Am I just wishing or did anyone else see it that way?

Nique

August 20th, 2010
1:46 am

D-Led

Can you please find out if we are going to begin actively pursuing some competition for Bryant now since they believe Houskia wasn’t the answer? We have to have a more consistent kicker than Bryant & hitting from 50 & under consistently inside a dome isn’t to much to expect! Especially when there are a # of kickers who do it out in the elements! PLEASE FIND OUT 4 US FANS!!!!

oranjucejonz

August 20th, 2010
1:48 am

@LawdHamMercy,I Have been called negative and told im not a true fan because i have said on several different occasions that im not sold on Ryan.The guy is a nervous wreck in the pocket and if TG isnt open he really goes into panic mode.He doesnt go through his progressions and he throws the ball out of bounds way too much.I truely believe that the game is too fast for him which may explain why we rarely throw passes more than 20 yrds downfield.Everything is short over the middle or out in the flats.Im starting to rethink my 12-4 prediction

Creaky

August 20th, 2010
2:01 am

Never mind,it was just a feeble attempt at trying to see the glass as half full. Oh well it’s just preseason anyway.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ATLHOMER, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Falcons coach Mike Smith: Biermann pushing for starting spot http://bit.ly/bSBuGn [...]

LawdhamMercy

August 20th, 2010
3:51 am

@DOL LOL…Just messing with you DOL. You’re the best Falcons beat writer we’ve had in a long time. I was glad to hear you on ESPN.

@OJjonz I was about to pull my hair out tonight. He doesn’t look good at all. I’m trying to see what the experts are seeing. I sat behind him, so I saw what he saw and there were open recievers. Unfortunately as you stated he didn’t go thru his progressions fast enough. I watched Cool Tom Brady, and he moves his feet as he goes thru progressions really fast. Matt just stands there and hopes TG is open.

@the rest…I’m trying to be optimistic here. I don’t want to judge by our preseason performance. Last year there were teams that stunk it up in preseason and went on to the playoffs, so this is not the time to worry. With all the talk of Ryan in the off season, I expected more from him at least.

willie g loves football

August 20th, 2010
5:23 am

I told you all the pats would mop up on the falcons , the pats will be in super bowl this year the falcons will be fishing and playing golf come playoff time they are not any good, you can read all you want on how good you are YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME , THE FALCONS ARE NOT ANYGOOD week one pittsburg will make them look like rookies.

[...] offense struggled to find the end zone…Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann is pushing for a starting job…The Falcons’ defense was picked apart by the short passing [...]

waynester

August 20th, 2010
8:03 am

willy g
you were right! I mean, you only had a 50/50 chance of picking last night’s winner….if you can pick the SB champ based on a preseason game get off this blog and on a Vegas gambling site immediately! Pats are definitely a playoff calibre team but so are the Falcons….

newgafatboy

August 20th, 2010
8:37 am

“bierman pushing for a starting job” he has more sacks in one year, than JA since he’s been drafted. how is he NOT the starting right DE?

ENDZONE: Matt throw the ball to it. i dont think i have even seen you try a shot at the endzone, plus why is it on every pass play our recievers are always standing still, can Matt not hit a reciever in stride?
DECOUD: two words man, “wrap up” , but you weren’t alone. i love seeing you guys blow up recievers and running backs, but in the red zone you have wrap up brother, especially with running back that are bigger than you are.

Saints LSU

August 20th, 2010
8:52 am

now are you guys gonna be the NFC south champs like everybody ( ESPN & ETC ) don’t think so the saints has a better team now you know why the saints has a better team from the game last nite with the pats the falcons can”t stop the run

SeenThisB4

August 20th, 2010
8:59 am

Well, I think both the Saints and the falcants are glad the patriots are in the AFC. Just like last week, Brady looked to be on top of his game and ready for the season to start, I mean he looked like he’s on a mission. Wes Welker looks like he’s back 100%. Solid young defense. They will obviously be in thick of things over in their conference.

They kind of remind me of one team in the NFC: The New Orleans Saints!

GEAUX SAINTS! OUR TIME!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Nique — I’m definitely looking into that. He was declared the winner last week. He pushed a couple to the right in warmups, too.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 20th, 2010
9:05 am

Lawd — Thanks for your very kind words.

newgafatboy — We’ll, he just keeps making plays. I think Abe likes him, too.

DJ

August 20th, 2010
9:07 am

The defense looks violent at times. What happens when the game plan is to get after the QB? Beer Man SLAMMED Brady to the turf but the Saints road refs musta been there because next thing you know Brady was getting a second chance for no reason.

And all of the Jamal Anderson haters got a taste of what it’s like for JA to be out of the rotation. Yeah, he is the main run stuffer.

All in all, the Falcons have played 2 games where the plan seems to be “don’t get hurt”.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 20th, 2010
9:10 am

willie g — It was the Patriots. It wasn’t like the Browns came in rolled them. Hopefully, the young team was just taken to school by the perennial playoff contenders.

Saints LSU — I’m getting close to kicking you Saints people out. Just because I can!

Joe Horn

August 20th, 2010
9:10 am

SeenthisB4 The last Monday of December when the Falcons are leading the NFC south and putting a beating on the Saints come visit section 334 Row 1 and 2 so we can throw your dumb a$$ off the second level of the dome.

D-Led block this A-hole he screws up your blog everyday.

SeenThisB4

August 20th, 2010
9:10 am

Remember it preseason.

alanfalcon

August 20th, 2010
9:14 am

I don’t think that anyone on this blog understands what the Falcons are all about in the pre season games, pay attention and look at what the coaches are looking at as far as roster spots, line rotation for the defense, back up db’s (corners), back up receivers and running backs. The decisions made in the next two weeks will be made based on need and abilities-BE PATIENT AND WATCH IT ALL COME TOGETHER-by the way, did you see anyone on the sideline crying or having a wo be me attitude? Its not about the score except the scorecard that the coaching staff is keeping on the sideline so that the decisions made in the next two weeks will have some merit for now and the future.

GO FALCONS, GO SOUTHERN RUSH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joe Horn

August 20th, 2010
9:15 am

D-Led. Who is going to step up to WR#2. It seems like every passing play is to Roddy, then Matt Ryan’s check down is to the TE, usually Tony G. I like Matt Ryan and Mularky but both seem to get tunnel vision. What is your take on the passing game?

jb

August 20th, 2010
9:21 am

Same old Falcons.

Falconidae

August 20th, 2010
9:24 am

So, DLed, do you think practicing with NE gave them an edge in the game?

And are the Falcons missing Jenkins that much on O?

nhe

August 20th, 2010
9:25 am

I really see the problem with the offense as more of a function of the play calling and Mularkey’s offense than it is Matt Ryan.

Mularkey had a lot of success his first year with the Falcons, but last year, defenses realized that Mularkey doesn’t look to stretch the field, and they starting pinching – causing Ryan to have to throw into tighter spaces. That has carried over to this pre-season. Yes, Ryan is not seeing some open receivers, but the bigger issue is that Mularkey’s play calling and formations are not creating space for his play makers to work in.

Also, we need more speed at our skill positions to create space. If Norwood can’t play, we’ll need to find a scat back off the waiver wire, because the two rookies we have in camp are too much like Turner and Snelling. Having HD back should help, but Mularkey has got to call plays that get HD into space.

Finally, we have to wonder if the reason that Mularkey doesn’t stretch the field is because he doesn’t think Ryan can make the throws. I think we’d all agree that’s time to find out. Take the training wheels off of Ryan once and for all and lets stretch the field. It is too early to call Ryan a bust or a noodle arm, as he really hasn’t been given the chance (or the encouragement) to air it out.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Daniel Walker and Nicholas Martin, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Falcons coach Mike Smith: Biermann pushing for starting spot http://t.co/2B0OguE [...]

Flowery Branch, Georgia

August 20th, 2010
9:44 am

.
.. Nesbitt for Heisman
.

Joe Tess Fish House

August 20th, 2010
9:45 am

Wow…..Offense sputters? Would have helped to have TO in the line up instead of overspending on a player that won’t play until who knows. Way to go Mr Blanks.

D-Bird

August 20th, 2010
9:53 am

Okay Falcons Bloggers! I left the Dome last night in disgrace! It was down right awful. How can you raise ticket prices every year to attend the games, but the same poor performance is what we have to endure every season. Mr Spoons, I must say you were welcome to the elite of the NFL last night. Mr Spoon how does it feel to be spoon fed. Please work on your pass coverage and earn your money. Offense, no touchdowns in 2years durning the preseason. R u serious! Cold Ice Matty it starts with you. Clean Birds can we please get it together before the season opener. Dan hopefully you can shine a little light on what we all had to endure last night in the Dome.

Friday Linkage « control+ATL+delete

August 20th, 2010
9:55 am

[...] where Biermann has stripped the quarterback, and the coaching staff is starting to notice. In his post-game press conference, Coach Mike Smith talked about the possibility of Kroy earning a starting job in [...]

Friday Linkage « control+ATL+delete

August 20th, 2010
9:55 am

[...] where Biermann has stripped the quarterback, and the coaching staff is starting to notice. In his post-game press conference, Coach Mike Smith talked about the possibility of Kroy earning a starting job in [...]

D-Bird

August 20th, 2010
9:57 am

Mr Spoon was spoon fed last night. Welcome to the NFL! Please work on your pass coverage or it’s going to be a long season. Mr Bierman Thank you for stepping up. You are a beast! Jamal Anderson you got to be taking note on hoe to play defensive end. Opps my bad your now a D tackle.

Mike Jay

August 20th, 2010
10:03 am

The seasson is over! We might is well not even play anymore games this year. We should cut Matt Ryan, Spoon and half the team and just start over. Is there any way we can become an expansion team again?

Hamp

August 20th, 2010
10:42 am

Last year I screamed from the rooftops that mularkey’s play calling is suspect. He is a wonderFUL coordinator until we reach the read zone and then it all disappers. What the hell is wrong and why can’t we score it is pathetic.

3 and out + red zone = missed field goals = losses GET IT FIXED!!!

Joe Tess Fish House

August 20th, 2010
11:02 am

Sorry guys I promise I wont write anything else. I know that I know nothing about sports. And football is way over my head. Why would anyone want a problem like T.O. . I am just another sports moron. Im gonna go watch “Dancing with the stars”, that more of what I am in to.

Juggs & Buns Magazine

August 20th, 2010
11:05 am

Hamp you’re an idiot. Explain to me how Mularkey was responsible for Gonzalez dropping that pass on third down?

North FLA Falcon

August 20th, 2010
11:16 am

I would not call it a “drop” from Gonzalez on 3rd down. Ryan hit him in a good spot. TG had to turn his body, and he had the ball but the defender got a hand in there and knocked it loose. Great defensive play, give the Pats credit on that one. ** We need a reliable kicker, a nose guard/run stuffer, and a deep threat receiver.

oranjucejonz

August 20th, 2010
11:22 am

@@Joe Horn,Not sure what team you’re watching but Roddy seems to be the number 2 receiver,TG gets most of the passes thrown his way,,,,I agree that Mularkeys play calling sux but its up to Ryan to go through his progressions and he simply doesnt do it….

ctfalconsfan

August 20th, 2010
11:41 am

Just awful last night..

I’m very concerned as we are basically at the same place we were last year.

- Offense moves the ball but can’t score 6! Take a shot at the end zone!!! we keep trying to get closer and closer and basically we give ourselves a smaller field but that goes to no deep threat for ATL we have to spread our opponents defence out and this run and dunk passes aren’t putting points on the board.

- Defense? Get off the field!! Last year worst in league on allowing 3rd down conversions and looked even worse (is that possible) last night. 3rd down after 3rd converted. That ran on us and they passed on us. Decent pressure on Brady but that’s about it…

BigTimeTECHFan

August 20th, 2010
12:29 pm

Falcons need some linebackers
Lofton not going to cut it.
Spoon does not look that good yet.

BigTimeTECHFan

August 20th, 2010
12:30 pm

Aslo hope somebody cuts a good WR so we can pick him up before the season.

DJ

August 20th, 2010
12:33 pm

@d-bird that’s why we give those tickets away. I would rather see players on the bubble making mistakes in August. Too bad you pay full price for those games.

Maybe next year we get one back.

screg

August 20th, 2010
12:58 pm

whats the deal with that udfa rookie kicker we signed? garret lindholm? why isnt he playing in any games?

alanfalcon

August 20th, 2010
1:07 pm

Full of cry babies once again, what is wrong do you just not understand the pre-season and what its all about??????????????????????????????????

alanfalcon

August 20th, 2010
1:08 pm

What in the world, maybe you’ll need to call a baby sitter the next time the Falcons play, go up and quit crying. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

alanfalcon

August 20th, 2010
1:10 pm

Please find a little league team that your knowledge my be more intuned with, you’ll sure don’t understand the PRO game.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Big O

August 20th, 2010
1:14 pm

This is the PRE-SEASON! Everybody needs to take a deep breath, relax, and get busy with their wife’s do-list. Do we have confidence in Coach Smith or not? I do. He will get the most possible out of what he has to work with. DO we doubt the Falcons will be very competitive in every game they play? I’m certain they will be very competitive and win many. But I don’t expect a Superbowl. I expect – - perhaps 10-6 which will be great. Superbowl? I’m not expecting it, but obviously I’ll get more entertainment from the Falcons than what I normally get if they win the Superbowl.

But I do know I would not want Coach Smith’s job for anything because it’s got to be similar to a first wave Marine assaulting Iwo Jima. I have the utmost admiration for him.