FLOWERY BRANCH –Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who suffered a right knee sprain against Cleveland, will not play this week against the Cincinnati Bengals, Falcons coach Mike Smith said.
“He’s not responding as quickly as we thought,” Smith said. “We are going to rule him out for this week and hopefully get him back after the bye week.”
Cornerback Dunta Robinson, who suffered a concussion on the big hit he put on Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson on Sunday, will not likely be cleared in time to play against Cincinnati.
“Right now, Dunta is in the league concussion protocol,” Smith said. “He will have to go through it this week and we’ll have to wait and see if he’s cleared by an independent doctor. That’s where we are with him physically.”
Smith went on to address the play.
“I think that we all know Dunta, he’s been in this league a long time,” Smith said. “He’s a guy that plays the game very, very hard. That was a bang-bang play in terms of the contact. From my vantage point, it looked like there was no helmet-to-helmet contact. But it was a bang-bang play. I’m glad that both of those guys are going to be all right. It was a big time hit.”
Smith is not sure how the league will interpret Robinson’s hit. He could be facing a fine or a suspension. He was called for a personal foul on the play.
“It’s a very complicated rule,” Smith said. “It’s not just head to head contact. It’s contact with the shoulder pads or the arm or any part of the body with the helmet or neck area. Again, a defenseless player, I’m not exactly 100 percent sure how they want to say a guy is defenseless. But again, it was a bang-bang play and I’m glad those guys are going to be all right.”
Smith was careful and picked his words carefully when talking about the play.
“That was two guys moving very fast, going for the same thing and that was the ball,” Smith said. “It was a very, very explosive play. I know that the rules are for the players’ safety.”
Here are some of the other subjects that Smith touched on Monday during his press conference with the local media.
ON HOW THE EAGLES TARGETTED THEIR TOP 3 RECEIVERS 13 TIMES AND COMPLETED 13 PASSES FOR 255 YARDS AND THREE TOUCHDOWNS: “They were using a lot of max protection. When you are using seven-man and six-man protections, the players who are going to be targeted are going to be the wide receivers. They threw the ball effectively. We had a plan that we hoped to execute more effectively and we did not execute. . . they wanted to make sure they protected the quarterback and that’s why the balls went to the wide receivers in the game yesterday.”
ON THE THIRD QUARTER REDZONE TRIP THAT COULD HAVE MADE IT 21-14 IF THE FALCONS DIDN’T HAVE TO
SETTLE FOR A FIELD GOAL: “On one of the plays, one of our receivers got tripped up. He was probably going to be open, but he got tripped up. On the second pass play we had down there, there was a blitz and we had to throw it hot and we ended up being short from getting the first down. Again, we’ve got to continue to address this. . . We know that this is something that we have to get better at in terms of red-zone efficiency. It’s not where it needs to be right now.”
ON GETTING MICHAEL JENKINS BACK: “It was good to have Michael back. Michael made a big play there early in the game. He caught the skinny post and got the ball down into the red-zone. . . He played approximately 40 snaps in the ball game yesterday. ”
ON SLOW STARTS THIS SEASON: “We’ve got to start faster. Historically, since we’ve been here, we’ve started fast and have out-scored our opponents significantly in the first quarter. We are not doing it right now and it’s a thing that we have to continue to work
on. It’s not just the players. It’s the coaching staff. We have got to make sure we put our guys in the best opportunity to be successful and right now, we are not getting that done.”
ON ALL OF PHILLY’S MIS-DIRECTION PLAYS: “We have to be more sound in that area. It was not a good start to the ball game defensively, when on the second play of the game they run the ball for a touchdown on a reverse. It’s something we knew they were going to do. They were going to run reverses.”