Here’s what the players were saying after the game . . .

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is forced out of the pocket as he looks to pass against the Patriots during 1st quarter action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is forced out of the pocket as he looks to pass against the Patriots during 1st quarter action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

MATT RYAN

On the offense’s inability to score:

“When we come into these games, we don’t game plan a lot. We basically watch zero tape. It’s an extension of training camp. We are out there working on some things. Trying to improve on some different route combinations and stuff like that. We are trying out some different things that we worked on in the offseason. What we like and what we don’t like. What we are going to take to the regular season and what we are not.”

RODDY WHITE

On the offense:

“It’s just the preseason. The thing is, we’re going out there and we are just not finishing drives. We are moving the ball up and down the field, but are not cashing in with TDs. It’s just two games.”

SEAN WEATHERSPOON

On playing against New England:

“It was good to get out there today and go against a great offense. It was good to go out there and get that experience. I had Tom Brady throwing the ball in my direction. I can’t want to get in that film room and get coached up.  .  . obviously, we have to get off the field on third down because we played pretty good defense on the earlier downs. I know that’s going to be a big emphasis in the film room. We’ve got the right guys in here, we  know that. It’s the preseason, but you want to go out there and dominate.”

On starting at strongside linebacker:

“It seemed about the same, but it was a little different because of the alignments. You never know which side you might be going to according to the way we set the defense up. But other than that, I felt comfortable. It wasn’t too much of a difference for me.”

On the touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez:

“It was pretty good coverage, but I have to be more aware to play through the basket of the receiver instead of trying to get my head around to make a play on the ball. I could have done that a little bit better. That’s something that coach will coach me up on.”

MIKE PETERSON

On the defense:

“It definitely wasn’t up to our standards of Falcons defense. We had a chance to go up against one of the elite offenses in the league and use them as a measuring stick. So Saturday, we’ll go back to work.”

On stopping the run:

“They were able to run the ball; I tip my cap to them. They’re a pass-happy team, and I think everybody on the defensive side of the ball, everybody’s just thinking they’re going to throw the ball, throw the ball. Then, they come out and run it. Sometimes, it’s a shock to you. That’s not an excuse; it’s just great game planning and a great scheme by them.”

On returning players for Miami:
“It’s really big, getting the whole unit back. It starts (coming) together, and we start getting ready for the opener. That’s what it’s all about, being healthy for the opener and having all your guys healthy.”

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)

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

109 comments Add your comment

tjhook

August 20th, 2010
1:25 am

I am finally first!!

Nique

August 20th, 2010
1:32 am

I hear Mike, but that’s the exact same thing that the team said last year when we went up to N.E. & they ran the ball up & down the field on us! When are we going to realize that N.E. doesn’t respect our ability to stop their running game & right now, rightfully so! The next time we play them in whatever setting, we better not use this excuse again!!! Look for the run F. Taylor loves playing us right about now…& It was good for Spoon to get schooled & by a fellow rookie as well, to help him to humble himself & to stay in the books & tape! This game as makes me wonder how we let both Hernandez & Gradkoski go that late in the draft without us selecting one of them as Gonzo’s replacement??? Just something to think about.

tjhook

August 20th, 2010
1:33 am

Now that the privilege has been captured, ready to give commentary:

1) Mike Peterson was not impressive at all tonight. Was moved out of the hole consistently and it seemed that the linebackers and safeties are not on the same page when it comes to gap control.

2)Could someone ask if Trey Lewis has trade value. It appears that all of the defensive tackles have to be able to play both sides. Lewis is too pick to be a strong pass rusher and he was being pushed out of the play tonight (a failure to anchor or get low). He’s a good athlete but he needs to take guidance from Thomas Johnson – just occupy a space and shed the blocker when the runner gets close.

3) Finneran looked able but why is Mularkey seemed to be so intent on running West Coast sets? Our speed receivers are not that speedy – except Roddy and he was being manhandled at line of scrimmage. Also, if the passes are timing plays, why not take a page from Greg Knapp’s playbook and run some plays from a trips set. The Falcons’ receivers need routes that give them separation and space.
4) What does Falcon nation think about Blaylock and Baker’s performance tonight?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Atlanta Towing, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Here’s what the players were saying after the game . . . http://bit.ly/cV43G7 [...]

Chop Buster

August 20th, 2010
6:56 am

I don’t care if you’re experimenting or just running vanilla plays. You still play fundamental football, shed blocks, hold your gaps, wrap up and tackle. I just saw guys hitting with their shoulders and bouncing off, getting turned around on passes and just plain looking lost. Spoon has a lot to learn and looks like a typical rookie. Jackson is in is fourth or fifth year and he still cannot cover. Something is still going on with Matt Ryan. I don’t know if it’s nervousness or what but he doesn’t seem calm and decisive in the pocket. I hoped to see improvement in the team from week to week; but they looked worse this week.

waynester

August 20th, 2010
7:29 am

Our OL is still having problems vs. 3/4 teams and allowing too much pressure on the QB. I believe that’s the problem, Chop buster. We took a step back last night for sure. We wanted a measuring stick and we got the ugly stick….

JONESBORO SLIM

August 20th, 2010
7:52 am

Tell me if you agree …the OL looked good giving up no sacks…..it looks like Douglas is going in the slot next week

waynester

August 20th, 2010
7:58 am

SLIM
No sacks, but plenty of QB pressures..looking forward to getting Douglas back (hopefully) at full strength. Gotta agree with the criticisms of our kicking game– it’s about 50/50 hit or miss right now…

JONESBORO SLIM

August 20th, 2010
8:05 am

@waynester

OL held up well…Matt waiting for the receivers to get open…thats how I look at it

Season Ticket Holder

August 20th, 2010
8:06 am

Is it to late to sell my season tickets? The falcons were bad at all phases of the game. NE realize that Matt Ryan cannot throw deep so they kept 8 and 9 players within 7 yards of the line. I see several reasons why falcon’s coaches won’t call the deep route. 1. Matt has a weak arm. 2. The O line cannot pass block. 3. the falcons don’t have a fast receiver to run a fly route.

Every team the falcons face this year will copy NE defense and crowd the line of scrimmage. We will be lucky to go 8 and 8.

Sonny Sundown

August 20th, 2010
8:10 am

@season ticket holder

where do you want to meet to buy those tixs……..$40.00 each OK?

Russ the Wonder Dawg

August 20th, 2010
8:14 am

Was Bobo and Martinez calling the shots of this game?? HORRIBLE!!!

waynester

August 20th, 2010
8:14 am

$40–I’ve got $40–do I hear $45? $45–looking for $45–all in? All done?
SOLD! $40 to the man in front…..

BirdFanscout

August 20th, 2010
8:15 am

I only look at the facts. Preseason does not mean much. Most teams like the Rams win in preseason and end up losing in the regular season.

Now that this has been said, the 3rd and long defense has me concerned. If you are honestly evaluating this you will concede that this really started with Brookings and the 3rd and 16 in the playoffs. Now TD and Smith has changed players at all three levels on the DL, LB, and DB. He has a new DB coach. It must be said that they now have to look at scheme and the DC.

O G Falcon Fan

August 20th, 2010
8:35 am

That was just plain dreadful last night. I know it is preseason and it does not count or matter but DANG!!! that was sloppy all the way around.

JONESBORO SLIM

August 20th, 2010
8:35 am

I guess we’re the only ones who haven’t been to sleep….trying to put a new scheme together for next week………

Blue Fender

August 20th, 2010
8:36 am

Preseason means very little as far as records. Detroit was 4-0 in preason a few years ago and went 0-16 in the regular season. This was the same year that Indy went 0-4 and ended up 13-3. Preseason means nothing.

Falcon Red

August 20th, 2010
8:41 am

Yeah…nothing impressive at all last night. And seriously, can we do something about the kicking game? Didn’t we lose three games or so last year because of that?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 20th, 2010
9:00 am

tjhook — Trey Lewis has been the most impressive of the backup tackles. With Peters status up in the air, I think you want to keep Lewis.

EVERYBODY — Cheer up! It was the New England Patriots. It wasn’t like the Rams came in here and rolled them 28-10. This young team should be able to get better from the spanking the Pats put on them.

Season Ticket Holder

August 20th, 2010
9:11 am

@Sonny Sundown
Your pricing is right. Last night, the scalpers were selling the tickets for half face value. I have $79 tickets, which means that $40 is about right.

But if you wait a week, I may let you have them for less

Witherspoon

August 20th, 2010
9:12 am

LOL. Witherspoon got so burned on the TD pass he was looking the wrong way and didn’t even know where the ball was. It kind of reminded me of a Willie Martinez coached player. Here on out Witherspoon needs to stop talking and just play. I think his nickname should be “TOAST”.

Ghost of Season Past

August 20th, 2010
9:15 am

It seems like literally everything that went wrong in this game, plagued the team all last season.

The 3rd down thing: We dont really have blitzing linebackers, i cant rememebr the last time a LB had a sack… seriously… yet they still blitz and usually thats where some crossing route comes in and breaks us for 10+ yards.

Injuries: granted it wasn’t the “starting” line up because there are always people missing games I’m sick and tired of them trotting out the JV squad… would be great to actually be able to evaluate the starters.. hopefully in Miami well see that (ill be at that game)

Run Defence: looked bad… Stalled Drives: No Bueno… Settling for FG’s: sigh… Missing FGs: /facepalm …

Mukluks

August 20th, 2010
9:38 am

JJ

August 20th, 2010
9:46 am

Yeah preseason results don’t mean a good or bad season, but when your 1st string starters look this bad, it makes you wonder. usually when a team gets beat bad, it’s the 2nd and 3rd string that mislead the scoring.

Roddy White: "It's just preseason"

August 20th, 2010
9:48 am

More indication that this team is going to be in trouble. It was “just preseason” for new england also, but they kicked the falcons butts the whole game. Making a bunch of excuses after a preseason game—not good.

CapBuster

August 20th, 2010
9:49 am

It really makes me angry to see a receiver drop a pass and go to the sidelines grinning like a Cheshire cat and yukking it up with other players while we’re getting beaten! Where’s your pride?

And what was Jim Mora doing on the sidelines?

Tom Davis

August 20th, 2010
9:54 am

I don’t think Coach Smith is going to be around much longer.

Friday Linkage « control+ATL+delete

August 20th, 2010
9:56 am

[...] After the disappointing but altogether meaningless loss, D. Orlando Ledbetter tracked down some quotes. My favorite quote is from Roddy White, who said: “It’s just the [...]

Fred in Columbus

August 20th, 2010
9:56 am

The Falcons will learn from this and get better. So will the Patriots. Sigh…

Jimmy's Mora Jr

August 20th, 2010
10:00 am

Well…that was ugly last night. Only preseason but nothing was clicking. We are going to need a top notch kicker if we want to pull out some wins this year. Bryant was ok but we need great right now. The Burner couldn’t get any holes opened up. Matty Ice looked Iced for sure.
BTW: How did you like me in the commentator role last night on Fox???

Hawks fan

August 20th, 2010
10:02 am

FIRE THOMAS AND SMITTY! :twisted:

joe

August 20th, 2010
10:04 am

falcons place kicker will cost them 3 games this year and Baker may be the worst LT in the league!!!!

Mike Hampton

August 20th, 2010
10:06 am

I’m thinking about dressing up as Moore or Norwood for Halloween – I haven’t decided which one yet.

fish2774

August 20th, 2010
10:11 am

Smitty will be gone if he doesn’t part ways with Brian Van Gorder. Van Gorder doesn’t have the experience as a D-Coordinator to be in this league. He doesn’t know how coach these guy’s up. I think he still believe’s in Georgia running a college defense.

Michael Conner

August 20th, 2010
10:14 am

“Fire Thomas and Smitty!” “I don’t think Smith will be here much longer” I sure am glad you rocket scientists are not coaching the birds! Preseason is for finding problems and tuning up. If you’re so un-hyped on the Falcons, send me your tickets, quit calling yourself a fan and watch soccer or something! Morons, your bus is leaving…

MrHughes

August 20th, 2010
10:15 am

Guys, the performance was not great last night, but it was the Patriots. First, the Patriots and the Falcons clearly had different goals last night. The Falcons are evaluating what/who they will/won’t take to the regular season (see Ryan’s quotes). The Pats were clearly game planning and scheming. Remember the Pats were blown out of the water by the Ravens in the playoffs in one of the most embarrasing home losses I’ve seen in recent memory. New England has something to prove and are trying to erase that. The Pats treated it much more like a regular season game than the Falcons did. I’d rather make my statements in the regular season and playoffs versus pre season games. This will set a good tone and they can use practice time to work on the issues from last night.

Trey Lewis had some good downs last night. Matt Ryan’s arm strength is a concern. Turner looks very good. I have no issues with Spoon’s play. He was in position. That was a perfectly thrown ball on a well covered man. There was no too much that could have been done about that throw.

I have no idea why Fox hired Jim Mora. He should be coaching high school football somewhere. He’s the last person that should be talking about respect in a locker room. You have no credibilty there when you are riding shotgun in your players sports car, doing chest bumps on the sideline, and sniffing inhalants before kickoff.

CTK

August 20th, 2010
10:15 am

If you look at the play by play of the Falcon offensive plays with Ryan behind center, its not great, but not that bad. The first possession looks like they were trying to get the rookie RBs involved in passing plays. Second possession, was 3 and out, but we stopped them on their next possession too. The final possession with Ryan, they moved it well. The last throw was a good but Gonzalez let it bounce off.

The D was shakey in places but hopefully this gives them something to work with. Can’t wait to see our complete DirtyD in action.

Submariner683

August 20th, 2010
10:17 am

I’d hate to be in a fox hole with most of you guys. Negative upon negative. I do agree that the first teamers didn’t look good. The defense allowed way too many 3rd and longs to be converted. Exactly like last year where I believe they were last in the NFL at that. More frustrating was the 3rd and longs converted by the run. The 2nd TD by NE 1st teamers was a fluke. They should have never had the ball on what was a God-awful roughing the kicker call. If that were the regular season I would have lost my mind.

I agree that Turner and most of the receivers appeared slow. I did like the pass rush generated by the D-line. They got to Brady quite a bit and disrupted him and forced a fumble. If they can generate a pass rush like that in the regular season I believe the defense will at least improve on giving up the big plays.

Stu

August 20th, 2010
10:22 am

Man what a bunch of drywaller dimwits these posters are. Damm y’all are dumb. Leave and don’t let the door hit you bunch of chicken little panicky bed wetters. Bunch of freakin’ Obama voters. Little girls, go away. Football ignoramuses. Shallow headed drones.

PreyDawg

August 20th, 2010
10:23 am

Listen boys, DJ is right. This is way too much doom and gloom for this early. Some of you do raise some valid points though.

So many pundits brag on our O-line. But the individuals on this line are nothing like dominant. McClure is frequently overmatched physically and was last night. For a team that lives on running the ball. We frequently get stoned on running plays. Watch how often Turner has to stop and try to bust outside on what should be a play up the middle. And I am not talking about a designed cut-back play either.

We desperately need to go deep on some folk. But I thought this last year and it is still true. They dont want Ryan slammed in the chin. And Mularkey knows that is what will happen if Ryan has to stand back there long enough to let receivers get open deep.

Good observation from the guy who said Roddy got manhandled at the line. This is happening often, even going back to last year. Your #1 has GOT to come off the line clean. I thought Roddy, with his college wrestling background would be great at that. He is not.

These are my primary areas of concern. The 3rd down drop by Gonzo was a function of Ryan trying to get the ball out in 3 seconds. Douglas was about to come open. But Ryan has been coached that he doesnt have long so get the ball out of there before you get creamed.

Ryan still needs to look for that back out of the backfield more often. He did better at that last night but more improvement needed.

fish2774

August 20th, 2010
10:32 am

Get rid of Van Gorder and the weak defensive schemes. This isn’t UGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RockyMTNFalcon

August 20th, 2010
10:34 am

I know its only preseason, but our boys need to finish a few drives and get some touchdowns under their belts. It will do wonders for the 1st team offense’s confidence.

Abe the Fan

August 20th, 2010
10:45 am

I wonder how the Falcons would look if Norwood was as interested in getting on the field (and making a play) as he was in cheesing it up with Mora!

blord

August 20th, 2010
10:50 am

Let me temper this by saying this is preseason and so some of the lack of fundamentals is to be expected; however, we have a hard time getting out of our way sometimes. On the Taylor TD we blocked our own players which allowed him to get the score. Geeez that is a little embarrassing. I feel like we will at least stop the run during the season since we did last year. For some reason we just like to making Fred Taylor look like he is 23 again.
I thought Ryan played well. The pass over the middle was beautiful to Roddy and Gonzo’s drop was a nicely (not perfectly) placed ball. I sure would like to see our first team offense get into the endzone. Especially since our kicking situation doesn’t look secure at the moment.
I want to also say something about Roddy. He is our best WR which we all know. I would like to see him be more concerned with making catches and less concerned with getting calls. Yes he had someone on his back last night but the ball was still catchable and instead of focusing on that he was already asking for the flag. Sometimes you get calls in this league and others you don’t. You just can’t depend on getting them. He did this several times last year as well. The top receivers in this league make catches even in traffic and with defenders on them. This is what they mean by strong hands.
I do think we as fans have reason to be excited about the Beerman. He is a star in the making.
Don’t worry about Spoon yet. He got spanked last night but that is expected form a rookie. My problem is our vets playing like rookies.

blord

August 20th, 2010
10:53 am

fish2774 “Get rid of Van Gorder and the weak defensive schemes. This isn’t UGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Schemes were not the problem last night. Tackling and shedding blocks was! Every defensive scheme in the preseason is basic. You’re entitled to your opinion but I hope it is based on more than last nights game.

Eric

August 20th, 2010
11:01 am

@Stu – “Bunch of freakin Obama voters.”

That was classic man!!!!

As far as the game is concerned, the starters played ok. The score should have been 7-3 when the backups came in (the roughing call was a joke). The defense forced Brady and company into a 3 and out and Bierman made an impression for sure. MR had some nice passes and neither failed drive was his fault (TG drops a sure first down catch and RW was being mugged on a non-call interference). The O-line was pretty decent (Turner had some nice gains) and MR wasn’t sacked or really even touched. I think all these people wetting themselves need to chillax and remember that this is preseason…..

Pete

August 20th, 2010
11:01 am

The Falcons will ALWAYS be the same in these situations………..ALWAYS :
1) Pathetic defense on 3rd downs. Can’t stop any thing or any body.
2) They look good against average or mediocre teams and are a JOKE against a quality blue chip franchise like New England. Tom Brady was smiling all night thinking ……”This is like taking candy from a baby”. ZERO respect, zero fear of our Jr. League defense.
3) Offense……….Smart under the direction of Ryan but soft, no killer instinct. None. Nada.
4) Result : Looked like a high school team going up against UGA.

Tom Davis

August 20th, 2010
11:02 am

Weatherspoon looked like he played for Gtu. That’s how bad it was.

Season Ticket Holder

August 20th, 2010
11:15 am

Two preseason games and the first team offense has not scored a TD! The kicker was making 50 yard field goals during warm-ups, then he choked in the game. We loss several games last year due to a poor field goal kicker. It time to upgrade.

JONESBORO SLIM

August 20th, 2010
11:23 am

Its preseason ….think of it as “poker” you don’t want to show your full hand…..you don’t think Pittsburg and others team reps weren’t in the press box scouting…so remember “its preseason”