What the players were talking about after the game . . .

Sporting all-new outfits for the 2010 season, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders gather for a group photo for fans on the sidelines during a timeout against the Arizona Cardinals. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Sporting all-new outfits for the 2010 season, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders gather for a group photo for fans on the sidelines during a timeout against the Arizona Cardinals. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Here’s what the players were talking about after the game.

TYSON CLABO, right tackle

ON SNELLING: “He starts for a lot of teams. We don’t feel like there is a drop off at all. He’s an outstanding tailback.”

JASON SNELLING, running back

ON BEING READY: “You have to prepare like you’re going to be the starter, otherwise you are selling yourself short.”

BIG WIN?: “It meant a lot. Getting a win and defending the Dome. It was important with us going into New Orleans next week. We needed to get this win after a tough loss last week. We bounced back and played Falcon football.”

ON BIG HOLES: “In the NFL, holes are not too big. But they were pushing the line of scrimmage, they were pushing guys back and there were creases. When you get a crease from a lineman, the running back has to do the rest.”

ON STATEMENT GAME: “We definitely made a statement. We just got back to the little things. Holding on to blocks, blocking down field and protecting our quarterback. We put everything together. It just shows that when we do that, we can be an explosive offense.”

OVIE MUGHELLI, fullback

ON HIS 5 CARRIES: “I have film of me from back in high school, showing that it can be done with me lining up seven yards behind the ball.”

Tony Gonzalez Day" - Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank honors tight end Tony Gonzalez with a pregame ceremony commemorating his 1,000th catch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Tony Gonzalez Day" - Atlanta Falcons team owner Arthur Blank honors tight end Tony Gonzalez with a pregame ceremony commemorating his 1,000th catch at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

ON THE RUN GAME: “We took it personally. . . We heard people talking about ‘What’s wrong with Mike? What’s wrong with the running game? Are the Falcons going to be able to run the ball like they use to?’ We knew that we could. We just wanted to show everybody else that we could.”

ON SNELLING: “Jason is a heck of a player. I’ve been saying that since his rookie year. Somebody said that he might hold out for a new contract before the next game. We might have a grievance on our hands. Jason is one heck of a back.”

CURTIS LOFTON, middle linebacker

ON THIRD DOWNS: “What we are doing is mixing up our coverages and blitzes. We are going a great job of disguising it. We are hitting them with speed and intensity.”

ON DEREK ANDERSON: “Whenever you are hitting the quarterback he’s going to get uncomfortable and guys are in position to make plays. You saw him, I thought he was really uncomfortable.”

DUNTA ROBINSON, cornerback

ON FITZGERALD: “Fitzgerald is never one of those guys who complains. He just keeps on playing. He just keeps playing hard. I think that’s why he’s as good as he is.”

ON THE SAINTS: “Now, New Orleans in the most important thing to us. We’ll have to prepare. We are facing the Super Bowl champions.”

RODDY WHITE, wide receiver

ON THE SAINTS: “We are going to be a confident football team going into to New Orleans.”

BRIAN FINNERAN, wide receiver

ON HIS TOUCHDOWN: “I felt great. Matt did a good job in trusting in me. When the play started I was questioning whether he was going to throw it up because there was a safety shading my side and the corner was off in coverage. The safety kind of bailed into the middle and he threw it up and gave me a chance to make a play. Hopefully, we can do that some more down the road. It felt great to get back in the endzone.”

ON THE RUN GAME: “We wanted to kind of shove the running game down their throats a little bit and see what we come away with in the passing game.”

WILLIAM MOORE, safety

ON HIS FIRST START: “It feels good. Unfortunately I had to go through the setbacks of being injured. I have to take that and use that as motivation and not get back to that point and take care of myself.”

ON THE 80-YARD RUN: “We have to eliminate those big plays. No defense is going to be perfect. We have to learn from those two big plays. Luckily we rebounded for that one today.”

TODD MCCLURE, center

ON BLOCKING: “It was just a mindset. A lot of people after that game last week, kind of doubted us and didn’t know if we had it anymore. We played with that little chip on our shoulders. It’s something that we have to do week-in and week-out. If we can run the ball that would take the pressure off of Matt. I think we had really good balance on offense today.”

00919 Atlanta - SNELLING TOUCHDOWN - Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling runs through a tackle attempt by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the first of his two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010.      Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

00919 Atlanta - SNELLING TOUCHDOWN - Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling runs through a tackle attempt by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the first of his two touchdowns during 2nd quarter action for a 17-7 lead at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

ON SNELLING: “I’d hate to be a defensive guy late in the game and see 44 coming at me with the ball, knowing that you have to stick your head in there and try to take him down. You saw a few times where there were four and five guys trying to bring him down and he was still pumping.”

TONY GONZALEZ, tight end

ON THE SAINTS: “It’s going to be real tough next week going in to see the World Champions, the Saints. Hopefully we can carry over what we did today to the game next week.”

ON THE PRE-GAME CEREMONY: “It was great. I almost started crying. Just having my whole family here, they’ve been there for me from the beginning. I was able to have my son her and my wife down on the field. It was just a great moment and I’m thankful for the organization to acknowledge me like that. I’m just humbled by it. It was great.”

ON THE OFFENSE: “I think we have to build on it. That’s a good defense. They have some great players. (Darnell) Dockett, (Adrian) Wilson, there are some good players on that side of the ball. For what we did today, we have to take it in stride and we have to realize that it’s not always going to be like that. We definitely have to take some confidence from it and build on it. The (offensive) line deserves a lot of credit for coming out here and playing with a chip on their shoulders.”

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

56 comments Add your comment

FalconUGAFan

September 19th, 2010
9:53 pm

Good game…even better pic! :)

west

September 19th, 2010
9:54 pm

falcons looked good; norwood is done here; defense continues to get better.

next week will be a great assessment of this team and season.

Season Ticket Holder

September 19th, 2010
9:55 pm

It was good to see the Falcon receivers helping out Matt Ryan. On the first touchdown, Roddy White ran a curl route to the right sideline. When he saw Matt struggling in the pocket, Roddy broke off his route and came across the middle of the field and back toward Matt. Ryan hit Roddy for the first TD.

The TD to Brian Finneran was high and headed for a defender when Brian leaped and made a spectacular catch.

Reid Adair

September 19th, 2010
9:57 pm

Great quotes. I certainly sounds like they’re in a great mindset for the game in New Orleans next week.

Thanks for all of the great coverage today, D-Led.

Vince Burchfield

September 19th, 2010
10:29 pm

Justdrove 5 hours back to the beach. Loved the game. Easily could have been 49 – 0. The dome was rockin. Go Falcons…beat aints

truth

September 19th, 2010
10:37 pm

Season..that pass was suppose to be high so only Finn couls catch it. Come man you should know better than that…I thought season ticket holders were smarter than everyone else.

ATL krusher

September 19th, 2010
10:52 pm

Great defense today, I loved seeing the picks..looking forward to next week.

dawgforlife

September 20th, 2010
12:28 am

I am really impressed with the defense…and I thihk it is better with William Moore out there. next week is the big test…the Falcons will absolutely have to keep pressure on Brees…and not make mistakes; but, I am looking forward to a heck of a game

DR. FALCON

September 20th, 2010
12:37 am

THIS IS THE FALCON TEAM THAT WE THOUGHT WE WOULOD HAVE COMING OUT OF TRAINING CAMP! THE BEST IS YET TO COME. GUYS LIKE FINERAN AND H. DOUGLAS HAVE STEPPED UP! WAIN UNTIL WE GET MIKE JENKINS BACK AND DOUGLAS CAN GO BACK TO THE SLOT! ON DEFENSE, GUYS ARE FLYING TO THE BALL. WE HAVE HAD A FEW BREAKDOWNS THE FIRST 2 WEEKS, BUT THOSE WILL BE CORRECTED! WITHERSPOON IS THE REAL DEAL!

reckingball

September 20th, 2010
12:58 am

Frank Wilson

September 20th, 2010
1:05 am

You wonder where the TV commentators get their information when they continue to ack shocked that Snelling can actually play. Where were they last year?
Brian Billick should know better as Mike Smith’s brother-in-law.
I hope Norwood can come back. He does get injured but he made it fine at Miss. State without being out all the time, so it may just be a “thing” for now.
I know this………. Nobody on our team or many others has the ability to “burn” like Norwood.
I predict if he’s not hurt seriously…….he’ll have a heck of a year. The coaches are not stupid. They’re sticking with him for a reason.

Iron Head

September 20th, 2010
2:57 am

The Falcons need to sure up the right side of the D-Line; if that means starting Jamal so be it. They can not continue to give up big running plays.

ajc pariah

September 20th, 2010
3:04 am

Frankie, frankie,frankie,please follow the slime trail back to where you and Hurtwood and the turfmonster ripped your brain out.Who hit him? Was it a consparircy?Norwood,gimme a Snelling any day.Pet the pets feed the Monsters.

Dr. Warren

September 20th, 2010
4:25 am

Good stuff, DOL.

Larry

September 20th, 2010
7:02 am

Norwood has NFL speed, NFL quickness, and a good attitude; Norwood, unfortunately however, wasn’t born with the body to take the pounding in the NFL.

Turner, who was born with such a body, is still in my opinion carrying about 10-15 extra pounds of fat that makes him a step slower than 2008 and more prone to injuries common to NFL skill position athletes. Two years ago Turner easily wins a foot race over Snelling, who has average NFL speed. From what I saw at the game yesterday, Snelling actually looked quicker than Turner! That’s what being 30 pounds overweight in 2009, 15 pounds overweight this season, and the associated injuries can do to a previously really good NFL running back.

Turner should be ashamed of himself for taking all of his most generous paycheck while not reciprocating with all of his dedication and commitment to conditioning his body for optimal performance. His fans and teammates deserve such!

falcon

September 20th, 2010
7:02 am

I hated to see Jerious go down on the first play, after he got us started with that nice KO return. We don’t win many laughers. It felt really good to dominate the opposing team. That’s exactly what we needed going in to New Orleans. I hope Michael Turner can play next Sunday.

SirReal

September 20th, 2010
8:09 am

Glad to see them get a win…but these were the Cards..NOT the Super Bowl Champs….we’ll be truly tested next week but its good confidence building work this week…if Ryan can do half of what he did and the running game and Defense show up….we’ll come out with an “upset”…even if we dont, the next stretch of the schedule is favorable.

PreyDawg

September 20th, 2010
8:22 am

D-Led,

Great photo. Great Cheerleader Uni’s. Most gorgeous Falcons Cheerleaders since 1980. And what do we get from FOX Sports?? Not one single shot of these lovely ladies for us poor schmucks stuck at home with Sunday Ticket!! Where can I register my complaint. Next time you see them please send my love.

PreyDawg

September 20th, 2010
8:25 am

Now to football. News Flash….Norwood is great….for about ten plays. Then he is hurt. It aint gonna change. Time to get a new speed back. Resign one of those guys from camp or something. I think Smith is on the practice squad.

The Burner might get a bit jealous of all the positive press Snelling got. He might go into New Orleans in a bad mood. New Orleans vaunted defense might find out what physical play really looks like. Then when Turner gets tired of pounding em, Snelling will come in and bloody their noses for em for awhile. I wanna see the Smart Aleck Sean Payton throw that headset.

@tlaNta fAlc0n

September 20th, 2010
8:42 am

that’s how you win on sunday go Falcons!!!

Falcon Red

September 20th, 2010
8:46 am

Yeah…it was great to see the whole team play well, but I especially liked to see Finneran back in the game! I think he gets a bad rap – maybe for his speed; but his height and his hands are important to this team!

PMC

September 20th, 2010
8:54 am

So basically this week I think as Falcon Fans our job is to continually question thier manhood in the running game and on the line of scrimmage. Worked pretty well after last week. Somebody talk about somebodys Momma.

PMC

September 20th, 2010
8:58 am

Psssst… Falcons Offensive Line…. NO one thinks you have it anymore and no one thinks you can block the Saints…they think yesterday was a fluke.

PMC

September 20th, 2010
8:59 am

God Bless you for the photo DLed. A Falcons Cheerleaders abs workout is surely to follow!

G

September 20th, 2010
9:32 am

Where is B4 and Hiram? Suddenly NO barely beating the Vikes doesn’t look all that impressive and losing to Steelers in OT doesn’t look that bad. Its amazing what one week can change. I don’t think NO will be able to take us down with a short week to prep for us.

Saints LSU

September 20th, 2010
10:00 am

your are playing the champs next week the the cards don’t worry about b4 are hiram

Saints LSU

September 20th, 2010
10:01 am

(NOT THE CARDS)

truth

September 20th, 2010
10:12 am

You mean the CHUMPS.

G

September 20th, 2010
10:15 am

The Champs of 2009. Not 2010 and will not be the champs of 2010. The Saints winning last the super bowl last year will not affect the game next Sunday. Saints LSU you should be worried about Patrick Willis knocking the eff out of Brees.

G

September 20th, 2010
10:23 am

To everyone that says Turner is too slow. Chris Johnson who is considered to be one of the fastest and best runnning backs in the NFL was held to 34 yrds on 16 carries by the Steelers D. No too much of a difference from Turners performance. The Steelers D is legit and so are the Falcons.

florida falcon

September 20th, 2010
11:32 am

@Vince Burchfield – Hey man, if you’re in the Pensacola area, we should hook up for a beer. I hate all the Saints fans down here. I drove up for the game myself. Great weekend with the wife. Started off at the Sun Dial in Peachtree Plaza (friday) then capped it off at the Dome! After the bill at the Sun Dial, it was waffle house and brown bagging it for the rest of the weekend! Go Falcons! Kudos- To the fans that brought all the noise! My voice is shot but it’s well worth it!

Ackshun

September 20th, 2010
11:36 am

Did anybody catch the Steelers at Tennessee? Maybe last week wasn’t as much about how bad the Falcons are as it was about how good the Steelers defense is. That being said not much heard from the “jumpers” this week. The Falcons man-handled a team that was in the playoffs just last year. And don’t give me that no Kurt Warner crap cause last I checked he didn’t play defense. Last year but for injuries and really really poor officiating, they Falcons would have beat the Saints (twice). This year 3 games in, they will leave no doubt!

Saints LSU

September 20th, 2010
12:32 pm

@ G we will see next week & all you falcons fan saints 3-0 falcons 1-2

Saints LSU

September 20th, 2010
12:35 pm

@ Truth your right from chumps to (champs) lol

wind, rain, oil, FALCONS

September 20th, 2010
1:01 pm

We have a smash mouth coach and our team reflects that. Very soon, perhaps this year, the Falcons will have one of the best D’s in the league. Keep drafting for defense TD, that’s what wins championships.

Did anyone else see Jamal Anderson knock the damnitt out of that guy on our sideline? WOW!!

Me

September 20th, 2010
1:49 pm

Good game Falcons…maybe more credit should be given to the Steelers D for week 1 instead of downgrading our offense. Either way NO will be a great test and while I believe(and hope) we can win as long as we show up and play a strong physical game it should bode well for the remainder of the season

Southgafalconfanatic

September 20th, 2010
2:05 pm

Brian Finneran gives 100% even with two wrecked knees.I was at the dome
and right before the snap I told my friends #86 in this corner jump ball, and when he caught the ball for the TD about 15 folks looked at me in disbelief. After 35 years of watching my team I know a little bit. Had a blast at the Terrordome . GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!This one is for Hank B. watching from Heaven.

F-Troop

September 20th, 2010
3:25 pm

Hate it for Norwood. But that’s life in the N.F.L.

Remember, Finneran used to catch Mike Vick’s missiles barehanded so Ryan would do well to trust this big target as a possesion receiver and closer in the endzone. Gonzalez and White are big money, but Finn is like finding a $100 bill in your wallet you forgot you had.

Snelling showed me what he could do late last year against the Jets and Bucs. Without him we definitely don’t go 9-7. But he’s doing a great job teaching Turner how to run hard to daylight.

Sam “drive killer” Baker better get a clue. At one point it was laughably pathetic.

The secondary will be tested this Sunday. Garonteee! Run and shoot all over. Brees has a quick release rifle that’ll kill you if you don’t hit him twice before halftime. Anderson was a joke, Brees will be tougher than a NYT crossword.

I think it’s up to Matt Ryan. He’s above average in smarts, got an OK arm, but even with the weapons he’s got I’m just not “feeling” his confidence is there. The Falcons could still be 4-4 halfway into the season if he’s not playing well.

NO1 PICK

September 20th, 2010
4:04 pm

The saints are the philie fans of the south

Falconfan

September 20th, 2010
5:05 pm

Lets go FALCONS!!!!! BEAT THE SAINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SAINTS LSU

September 20th, 2010
5:15 pm

@ Falconfan maybe 2012 not this year

reckingball

September 20th, 2010
6:30 pm

The saints and their fans should thank the Allmighty every night, that Brees felt sorry enough for NO, that he would pick the saints as his team.
And then they should pray that he stays healthy, the entire season.

hiramsaint

September 20th, 2010
7:03 pm

i’m always here G . actually reekingball , the saints and the fins were the only ones interested in him and the fins thought his shoulder injury wouldn’t let him play well. guess they were wrong.

Paddy O

September 20th, 2010
8:15 pm

SaintsLSU; I am predicting 21-17, Falcons. If we keep Who Dat under 20, we should win. How is your O line? Can we sack Brees at least twice a quarter? Not too worried about Bush, Dunta had a good game – should shut down Colston (less than 7 catches & 90 yards would be success). The key will be pressure & our run game. We man handled the Cards – if Turner isn’t hurt, he rumbles for 200 yards. Let me know how we do in Bayou (that’s swamp to GA folks!) land perspective!

oldestfalconfan

September 20th, 2010
9:11 pm

no big secret DEFENSE has got to show up.And if Falcons are going to go all the way they must get defensive line help they need to go shead and trade for a big time lineman now. Can you hear us Mr. D.

Frank Wilson

September 20th, 2010
11:09 pm

Regarding Jerious Norwood………..
I remember a back who ran the same, had the same spindly legs, and became a Hall of Fame ball carrier for the old Baltimore Colts. Lenny Moore.
Every time he ran the ball into a pile, I thought somebody would break his legs…………. but they didn’t.
Don’t give up on Norwood. If he was getting hurt because he was taking a beating that would be one thing, but his “hurts” seem to be freakish, one time things.
Give it a little time.

DR. FALCON

September 21st, 2010
12:55 am

HEY FRANK WILSON, TO HELL WITH NORWOOD! EVERY YEAR ITS SOMETHING WITH HIS LEGS! THIS IS NOT MISS. STATE. THIS IS THE LEAGUE! NORWOOD IS SOFT! WHENARE YOU PEOPLE AS WELL AS THE COACHING STAFF GOOING TO REALIZE THAT HE IS STEALING CHECKS FROM MR. BLANK YEAR AFTER YEAR. HAS NORWOOD EVER PLAYED A FULL 16 GAME SEASON? 15 GAMES? HE IS A SPOT DUTY PLAYER AND CANT STAY HEALTHY!I CAN SEE IF HE WAS A STARTER. BRING ON ANTONE SMITH! SOMEONE WHO CAN PROVIDE HEART AND TOUGHNESS AS OUR BACKUP RB!

ATLol

September 21st, 2010
5:12 am

It amazes me how little the highly paid announcers prepare for the games. This week’s example was incredibly irritating as Brian Billick continually “informed” us of what a surprise Jason Snelling was. Thanks for the “insight”..duh. How little preparation does it take to know the role Snelling played last year? Billick bragged about how much filmed he watched, how much he knew…what a clown.

ATLol

September 21st, 2010
5:16 am

I wonder why the broadcast team let Brian Billick go on and on without telling him that Snelling had more yardage last year than Tony Gonzalez? Either they enjoyed letting him make a fool of himself, or they are just as incompetent as he is. Amazing that these people pull down paychecks in this economy.

ATLol

September 21st, 2010
5:26 am

Ban Brian Billick. I wish there was a way to DVR the radio announcers in sync with the TV. That way fans from all the teams would not be subjected to Billick spilling his ego all over the game. I used to listen to Wes Durham and Dave Archer while the game was on, but that was before TiVo. There is always a trade-off.