Mike Smith elated with 41-7 smackdown of Cardinals

Falcons fans have plenty to cheer about on the way to a 41-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons fans have plenty to cheer about on the way to a 41-7 victory over the Arizona Cardinals during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons coach Mike Smith was upbeat during his post-game press conference.

He was clearly elated with the 41-7 beatdown the Falcons put on the Cardinals.

No one in the locker room wanted to be  on plane for New Orleans next Saturday with a 0-2 record.

Here’s what Coach Smith had to say:

OPENING STATEMENT: “Hey guys we talk all the time about starting fast, sustaining our level of intensity and our level of play for 60 minutes. We also talk about our ability to run the football and finish games. I thought it was evident today that we (followed) those three principles. I thought in all three phases of the game, we played well. With that being said, there are still a lot of things we have to get corrected. There were a lot of penalties. I think we had six penalties for 75 yards. Those are going to hurt you in close games. I was really pleased with    . . . the men out on that field and the way they responded today.  With that I’ll open it up for questions.”

ON JASON SNELLING: “What can you say about this guy. Over 180 total yards and three touchdowns. That just says a lot about the depth o this team . . . Not only running the football, but catching the football. I thought our offensive line opened up some nice holes not only for Jason, but for when Michael (Turner) was in there.”

ON TURNER: “When the score went the way it did there . . . we were not going to put Michael Turner back in the ball game. We decided to rely on Jason. Some of the things we had to do schematically, and formationally, we had to adjust because we only had two healthy running backs and one of them was the fullback Ovie Mughelli.”

MORE ON TURNER: “I don’t think it was significant. He was talking about going back in to the ball game. He was cleared to go back in. I don’t think it’s going to be anything significant. But I have yet to talk to the trainers. I have not had my post-game meeting with the trainers.”

ON THE DEFENSE: “I thought that our defense did some very good things. Again, we had an 8-man spacing issue. Again, when you give up an 80-yard run, it just absolutely chaps you. I know our coaching staff will get that corrected. We can’t be giving up those explosive plays in those situations. But all in all, it was good to see some of our young players play. William Moore in his first start, I thought that he was a very active player. He had that interception there (early) in the second half. That was a big, big series for us as a football team. . .  I was very pleased with the way William handled his first action.”

MORE ON THE DEFENSE: “Through the first two games and this is a long season, it’s a defense that is learning. Coach (Brian) VanGorder and his staff I think has done a very good job in bringing these young guys along. When guys have to step up, the next guy steps up and does a nice job. But you can not give up those explosive plays. They are going to come back and eventually get you. They got us last week and this week we were able to overcome it. . . They are flying around. They are a fun group of guys to be around and coach. They have done a nice job through the first two weeks. We still have to become more consistent if we really want to be the type of defense that want to be.”

ON THIRD DOWNS: “0 for 8 on third down efficiency. Again this has been a subject of discussion in this room at other times. It’s always something that in the offseason and through the preseason, the No. 1 emphasis of our defensive staff is to be efficient on third down. Win third down and limit your exposure to offensive plays. When you limit you exposure to offensive plays it helps your chances, it enhances your chances of being successful. We’ve done a nice job in these first two ball games.”

ON THE PENALTIES: “It is a big concern. We want to play penalty free. . . We had two unnecessary roughness calls. We are going to play on the edge. I have to see the tape in terms of if it was a flop or an unnecessary roughness.”

ON THE BEATDOWN: “We did some things that were more characteristic of the way we play football. In terms of the way our guys played on the offensive side. That is playing a very aggressive style. Playing a very physical style. We were the tempo setters in the game today. I think that’s very, very important for any team that is going to be successful. They have to set the tempo and control the tempo.”

ON JERIOUS NORWOOD’S INJURY: “I don’t know (what the injury) was. It’s looked like something on the lower leg. He came off the field and we’ll have our post-game wrap up in the next hour or so.”

MORE ON SNELLING: “There were concerns. I don’t know that they were doubts. We are very confident in Jason Snelling and his ability to run the football. We had a package in place. We always have a package in place that if we went down to one back and it happened to be the fullback, we have plays that we can run and the protections we can basically operate with in the game. It was a concern, but I never really felt it was going to be an issue running the football. I thought our offensive line was the star of the game the way they set the tempo.”

ON OVIE MUGHELLI: “It was great to see Ovie run the football. Ovie is a guy who spends most of his time leading a ball carrier through the hole. It was good that Ovie had an opportunity to run the ball.  I thought that he ran it very effectively. I thought that it shows that we do definitely have some depth on the offensive side of the ball as well.”

ON MATT RYAN: “Matt had three touchdown passes and a 117.3 quarterback rating. I thought that he operated more effectively. I thought that his accuracy was a little bit better in this ball game and when we asked him to do things in the no huddle sequencing he did a good job there. . . I thought that Matt did a very good job running the offense and operating within our offensive scheme.”

ON ERIK COLEMAN: “Coleman had a knee injury in the game last week and we made a game-time decision that he would not play.”

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238 comments Add your comment

Season Ticket Holder

September 19th, 2010
9:17 pm

Season Ticket Holder

September 19th, 2010
9:22 pm

I was very impressed with the performance of Jason Snelling. The offense line did an excellent job blocking for the run and pass. Getting the running game going took some pressure off of Matt Ryan. While Matt showed that he did not have the excapability of Vick, he did a good job of spreading the ball around. The defense played an outstanding game except for the one big play by Arizona. Go Falcons

Jesse

September 19th, 2010
9:31 pm

Uh… William Moore is a Bad As.

Jesse

September 19th, 2010
9:32 pm

And Matt Ryan is a great QB IF you have a running game. Without the running game he is an above average QB.

Milledgeville John

September 19th, 2010
9:36 pm

Congrats to the Birds! Great game!! It looks like we are getting in gear at the perfect time. Good luck next week. I thought Jason was dominant out there today.

waynelaster

September 19th, 2010
9:38 pm

Im not suprised at all, I think we get to Brees and win the game. Decoud will have a big day.

Reid Adair

September 19th, 2010
9:41 pm

I was impressed with the defense again this week. I think that side of the ball has indeed improved tremendously over last year.

SeenThisB4

September 19th, 2010
9:44 pm

Enter your comments here

SeenThisB4

September 19th, 2010
9:46 pm

Get to Brees?! Don’t let the koolaid go to your brain! The falcant defense is going to need binoculars next week, just to get a glimpse of Brees!

Saints 34 – falcants 9

PMC

September 19th, 2010
9:51 pm

Honestly I think this game began and ended with the domination the Falcons had on the line of scrimmage.

They give up a ton of weight but they crushed on offense. They smashed holes this week where nothing was there last week and they got down field too. I was very happy with the OL this week. I hope they can keep it up.

I still think we need more talent and beef on both LOS but overall. Man you had to love the holes that were being created today.

Falcon's Fishman

September 19th, 2010
9:52 pm

way to go Falcons. Great game…

PMC

September 19th, 2010
9:53 pm

Getting Babs back was crucial. I hope they can fix the gap control problems this week. I think some of it might just be that guys are flowing to the football and getting out of thier assignments. Hopefully it can be corrected quickly.

Freaky

September 19th, 2010
9:53 pm

Falcons showed some of their potential… next week will tell us a lot about their true abilities. I forecast Falcons 27 Saints 24

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
9:53 pm

We needed that. Great game, still wish I saw more of a deep passing game but Ill take the running game if it is that effective every week. This will give us confidence going into NO, we will run right through their weak defensive line.

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
9:55 pm

Babs is a beast, glad to see him back. What a difference he made.

PMC

September 19th, 2010
9:55 pm

I would say I was impressed by Snelling, but not really. That’s what he does. He played his game today. Caught it well, ran it well. When the line plays well Snelling is a really good back. He’s shown those flashes before so I’m not really super impressed today, I expect him to do that when he gets the chance. Hopefully he made himself some money today.

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
9:56 pm

Snelling is a beast, he’s our 3rd string RB, but really he’s our spell back. I know it was a shocker today when Norwood got injured, no one saw that coming did they?

Oregon Falcon

September 19th, 2010
9:57 pm

Did not see game, just the highlights which were indeed highlights. William Moore contributed, Matt Ryan’s 117 rating, and the defense.

Looks like we have ourselves the makings of a top notch NFL defense.

Suddenly, we need a reliable scat-back and it will be good to have Jenkins back, but all in all this is a team and organization that has built itself from the ground up. We have spped, depth and excellent coaching.

I am on the band wagon. Dimitroff and Smith, keep doing what you are doing, I know you will get us there.

Great game Falcons, and now we have the Super Bowl champs. I am looking forward to the first of two meetings this year. Can we do it once? Twice? I will be very happy with a split.

NRBQ

September 19th, 2010
10:13 pm

The lopsided score made it easy to laugh at those two fools announcing the game. They went on endlessly about what a great “unknown” player Snelling is. With a week to prepare, don’t they do ANY research?

GA ALL DA WAY

September 19th, 2010
10:18 pm

DL- You would have been all over the Falcons if they had dropped this one. Tell me something why is the NFL Network so ANTI ATLANTA? They spend hours talking about other teams but when the Falcons get a time to shine it’s like a three and out….

GA ALL DA WAY

September 19th, 2010
10:21 pm

Get Norwood up out of there! He is damaged goods at this point. Also, if Mike Turner doesn’t begin to perform on a consistent basis bench ‘em and start snelling at the number one.

Blake

September 19th, 2010
10:23 pm

I’d be worried If I we’re you SeenThis B4.I don’t think the Falcons are gonna come down there and lay down for Brees!

Sheree Whitfield

September 19th, 2010
10:26 pm

Is this where we can aks questions? I want to ax a question.

truth

September 19th, 2010
10:32 pm

Turner was performing very well. Like coach said he could have come back but way risk it. I want Turner and Snelling on this team. Fragilwood needs to be replaced. Alot of fast guys out there that can take his place.

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
10:39 pm

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
10:40 pm

Turner was averaging like 8 ypc

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
10:42 pm

smitty

September 19th, 2010
11:51 pm

JEEEEZ…that was an old fashioned a$$$ whuppin….glad to see the birds on the winning side. OLINE WAS JUST DOMINATING!!! I just can’t believe that Pitt front 7 is THAT much better that the Cards…Mularkey must have figured out what was wrong….very odd. Saints have got a beast coming to town next week….lets beat em!!!!!!!!!!!

Chucktown

September 20th, 2010
12:39 am

Lets not put the cart before the horse. The Falcons looked ok, I think the Cards were just really bad today. Over 100 yards in penilitys.You can tell they are missing Kurt.Everyone needs to lay off Norwood, you can’t do what he does so don’t judge.So on to the next game, NO are not the cards and the Falcons are not playing like NO quit yet. I don’t think NO looks at out team with fear in there eyes. The D looked better today, 23, 25, 28,95,21 looked good even JA looked better than 71 today.He was being doubled all day.He still holds the run game in check better than 71.Our O is not going to scare NO D we still need speed on O

Ann

September 20th, 2010
1:02 am

Michael Turner is playing like a guy who already has his millions in the bank and is putting forth just enough effort to get by and appear to be good. Watch the reruns of his plays…..he goes down easily and has no second effort. Watch Jason Snelling….the contrast in effort is startling. Jason runs through people to get extra yards. Last year Turner arrived in camp overweight and out of shape….he never got in playing condition….. supposedly because of an ankle sprain and now a mysterious groin pull. He should have more integrity than to take Mr. Blanks money and give a half hearted performance. Watch the film….its very easy to see. Its sort of like being on welfare or drawing unemployment….just claim the money and not work.

E43

September 20th, 2010
2:06 am

This team was put together well. all the way from matt ryan to matt bryant. Theres not a single person i would cut or trade. its just unbelievable how unhappy some fans are with our roster, it just seems like haters are being stuck in atlanta with guns to their heads being forced to watch the falcons.

Iron Head

September 20th, 2010
3:11 am

Ann please stay out of the comment zone. Did you watch the game at all? Turner was on track to rush for 200 yards until the groin injury.

Jake

September 20th, 2010
5:41 am

This go to all the falcons fans who said that we were terrible……..$#$% YOU!!!!

Big Ray

September 20th, 2010
5:49 am

Yes by all means, lets give all or most of the credit to the opposing team for losing the game, rather than us winning it.

Some fans, I swear…

Big Ray

September 20th, 2010
5:51 am

None of us can do what Norwood does? I beg to differ. I think any one of us could go and get injured in an NFL game after a single play.

Tell me we can’t outrun and juke people out on the way to a touchdown, and I’ll believe you. But until his butt stays on the field and actually makes a difference, I don’t wanna hear it. Great speed on the gurney does us no good. And the Gurney is where he seems to stay.

falcondawg

September 20th, 2010
6:54 am

Hey Big Ray, those are not “fans” who refuse to give credit to the birds for winning! They are just whiners who don’t know diddly about the game.

SeenThisB4

September 20th, 2010
7:03 am

Blake: What? Are you expecting Brees to lay down for the falcants? Hardly! The Saints will be ready for atlanta, and they won’t be pretending to be cardinals. The Saints whipped the cardinals when they had a Super Bow caliber QB. You can watch a little taste of what is in store for you sorry and slow defense on ESPN tonight.

GEAUX SAINTS! OUR TIME!!

SirReal

September 20th, 2010
7:52 am

Nice win against a team they were supposed to beat….our true test is next week in the Superdome…

Will the real Falcon team please stand up!

September 20th, 2010
8:33 am

Which team is this? The team that played like it did through 4 preseason games + @ Pittsburgh (2 offensive touchdowns total) … or the impressive offense that we all keep hoping, reading about and seeing glimpses of? Was it just the vaunted Pitt D that stymied the Birds O?

Defense looks less smoke/mirrors+bailing wire and perhaps like a legitimate D.

Next week’s game against NO won’t be a barometer … history has shown no matter how crappy of a team that NO or ATL fields in a given year, this is a rivalry that both teams play up to.

Will we see Jenkins back? Will Antone Smith (is he on the practice squad?) see some PT / back up Snelling?

Will we see the “consistency” that we hear coach Smith preach?!?

Go Birds!

Rev Blake

September 20th, 2010
8:35 am

First, great photo of the fans DLed. A good win today, but the Cardinals also played terribly. It was good to see Ryan spread the ball around. Snelling was no surprise to all true fans. We’ve all known for some time that he should be starting over Jerious “Mr. Glass” Norwood. Defense is looking better every week. Now, our offense needs to have consisitency in their play each week – regardless of who the competition is. Tough game next week, but the Falcons will be ready.

FrontRow

September 20th, 2010
8:50 am

Actually the Cardinals played pretty well however what they did best was get punched in the mouth.

Almost every snap, on both sides of the ball, the Falcons threw a haymaker. Most of them landed.

FrontRow

September 20th, 2010
8:52 am

B4 if the Falcons bring the same intensity then yes, Drew Brees will lay down. Seen it before.

FrontRow

September 20th, 2010
9:04 am

Rev those fans were doing the wave while the Falcons had the ball. A big no-no.

Snelling Fan

September 20th, 2010
9:10 am

The thing I love about this team is that when our starting RB gets hurt, that’s when your aZ$ is really in trouble.

nes

September 20th, 2010
9:19 am

All of us Falcons’ fans don’t have to worry about bad-mouthing Norwood this year, my guess is he’s done for the year! i can’t believe it myself, a hand tackle on his ankle and off the field in the INJURY CART! We all knew this would happen sooner than later as he has never stayed healthy for a season. Ok Antoine Smith, here is your chance to make a contribution with your speed, you’ll be activated from the Practice Squad this week and play against the arch rival Saints!
I was close on score, i guessed 34-13 good all around game by falcons, still i can’t figure out going no huddle with score 34-7! need to save that for close games!
One big problem is Ryan still looks at one receiver telegraphing his passes and almost had one picked off again. Also, Ryan doesn’t look confortable in the pocket either, seems to have a lot of indecision-hesitating on passing the ball. He needs to quit trying to be perfect and let the receiver make a play on the ball if closely covered. One game doesn’t make the season but shows us the Falcons the came to play against Arizona!
One more bigger problem is Mularky! He reminds me of the TV show: The Weakest Link! Offensively, just no fooling the other team and it showed again sunday, so lets just face it, we are going to have some losses from his play calling! Oh yea, Ryan threw one deep with score 34-7–(incompete) Way to go Mularky! Falcons beat the Saints next sunday after Saints play a rugged game monday nite against 49ers! Finally the scheduling is in our favor after last year’s fiasco. Always nice to see our Falcons win! makes mondays better!

WHO-DAT

September 20th, 2010
9:34 am

FROM THE WHO-DAT NATION: I know you all are having a hard time wrapping your minds around the words Superbowl Champions,but we are not satisfy and quite frankly, pissed-off due to the disrepect around the league and in the ATL, that ok because last year you heard WHO-DAT, this year its TWO-DAT (As in back to back Champs)see in the Dome. ITS OUR TIME!

robertussen

September 20th, 2010
9:44 am

glad i made the trip form charleston for the game. it was a blast. i also came for the buffalo game last year with about the same result. have to say it was about the most fun ive had all year. ill also try to make it to the NO monday night football game in dec. i love this team, but i have to say that sevendust butt rock song they recorded for the falcons is wack

robertussen

September 20th, 2010
9:49 am

no no no screw dat. you get no respect. stop living off a fluke year. remember 08 8-8. well thats not that far from 13-3 is it. so congrats on the lucky year but its over. stop living in the past and get ready for a butt whoopin next week cause frankly the drunk fans in NO deserve it. time to sober up and remember who the saints really are. get the bags ready!

Kurt

September 20th, 2010
9:52 am

I have to admit it, I agree with Ann on a few things. I am a Turner fan, but I swear he just doesn’t seem to have the burst or strength that Snelling does. If Turner can’t make the edge, he’s usually not gonna make any yardage, or even worse, he’ll be dropped for a loss. That just does not happen with Snelling. He busts through piles and he ALWAYS makes positive yardage. He does not tip toe at the line of scrimmage either. I know it sounds as if I’m bashing Turner, but I’m not. Just praising Snelling and pointing out a few observations. I hope that Jason starts getting more and more work because I feel that he makes our offense better.

robertussen

September 20th, 2010
9:53 am

smith is not on the practice squad. he made the 53 man roster, but was not one of the 45 active at the game