Q&A: Smith on Ray Edwards’ much-anticipated debut

 

 

 

Pittsburgh QB Dennis Dixon (10) finished 18 of 26 for 236 yards with an interception and had several other potential interceptions dropped. Um, he won't be starting this time around. - AP Associated Press

Pittsburgh QB Dennis Dixon (10) finished 18 of 26 for 236 yards with an interception and had several other potential interceptions dropped. Um, he won't be starting this time around. - AP Associated Press

 

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons head coach Mike Smith addressed the media after practice on Thursday.

The big news was that defensive end Ray Edwards doesn’t have his own play count for the Pittsburgh game. He’ll go as long as the rest of the starters, but will be monitored closely.

Edwards, who is set to make his debut with the Falcons, has recovered from a mysterious offseason knee surgery. (His second boxing match was canceled and we don’t know if he did it preparing before the second fight or if he did it working out or if he did it standing in line in Cincinnati waiting for some Skyline Chili or if he did it square

110812 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham, left, leaps up to celebrate his interception of Miami Dolphins Chad Henne with defensive end Chauncey Davis, right, during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 12, 2011.      Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110812 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham, left, leaps up to celebrate his interception of Miami Dolphins Chad Henne with defensive end Chauncey Davis, right, during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 12, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

dancing. We just know he had a “minor procedure.” We’ll get Woodward and Bernstein on it.)

The team is set to leave for Pittsburgh Friday afternoon.

Also, it was duly noted by the esteemed members of the Professional Football Writers of America, that Coach Smith gave the media a full injury report, even though he doesn’t have to until week one.

Here are the highlights from Thursday’s media briefing:

ON THE PRACTICE: We finished up our preparation. This is more for the logistics of putting our guys through the paces and the game planning. We’ve done some game-planning this week, but not nearly as much as if we were preparing for the regular season. I thought that the guys handled the week very well. Now, we just have to finish it off and go on the road. Which I think will be back-to-back road weeks for us. Early in the season, we have three or our first four on the road, so it will be something that we can learn from and set a routine.

ON MAKING THE CUTS: It is [a difficult time of the year.] This year with the 90-man roster. We’ve made a couple of moves prior to having to get down [to 80.] It’s always difficult because everybody that has been on our team right now has worked extremely hard. There are some tough decisions that we have to make. We’ve got to [cut] this roster down to 80 and then down to 53. There are going to be some tough decisions. This is an important game for a lot of guys. They may not get as many snaps as they’ve gotten in the previous preseason games simply because in the third preseason game we usually play our first-team a little bit longer.

INJURY REPORT: Corey Peters and Lawrence Sidbury will definitely be about. We are going to have some game-time decisions in terms of getting Akeem Dent, who’s been able to practice the last couple of days. We need to see if he’s going to be

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens has an injury hamstring. He will be a game-time decision.

Falcons cornerback Christopher Owens has an injury hamstring. He will be a game-time decision.

 available. Christopher Owens will be a game-time decision as well. Dunta Robinson will definitely not play. Robert James will play. He’s been cleared to go. We’re going to have some guys that have some bumps and bruises, but at this time of the year, everybody does. Our main goal is to see some better play from all three units.

ANY BACKGROUND INTEL ON DARRIN WALLS, WHY HE DIDN’T GET DRAFTED?: I don’t know the answer to that. We were very fortunate when the draft was concluded that Sunday that he was still out there. . . This year’s free agent class was different since we weren’t able to target guys and sign them the day after the draft. We were able to continue the process after the draft. I thought Thomas and his staff did a great job of putting the board together under the calm of a couple of weeks [of peace] instead of having to do that when you’ve just gone through a draft and you’re basically in a free

DYNAMIC DUO: How many sacks will Ray Edwards and John Abraham pile up this season? Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

DYNAMIC DUO: How many sacks will Ray Edwards and John Abraham pile up this season? Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

 for all for the college free agents. He’s been very impressive. On special teams, that’s where he first showed up. He’s going to get an opportunity to play some defensive snaps this week.

ON DE RAY EDWARDS: The situation with Ray is that Ray is going to get some plays. We have to make sure that we are smart in what we are doing. This will be his first exposures and if it’s going well, we’ll make a decision during the ball game. . . We’ve got an idea of how long we want to go, but that could change based on what happens in the early part of the ball game.

ON EDWARDS PLAY COUNT?: He has no different play count than anyone else.

ANXIOUS TO SEE EDWARDS? (We sure are!): I’m anxious to see all of the guys. As you get closer, we are now getting within 15 days of the season-opener. Everybody has a heighten excitement about going out and performing. This is going to be a big challenge and a good challenge for us. This is the team that represented the AFC in the Super Bowl last year. Year-in and year-out, this is a team that has sustainability. That’s what we’ve been talking about since we’ve gotten here, being able to sustain [winning] from year to year.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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39 comments Add your comment

LJ

August 25th, 2011
1:49 pm

Just wanting them to play well and come out healthy! Nothing more, nothing less.

rduck

August 25th, 2011
1:56 pm

agree LJ… hope to see the guys come out and play hard and smart. just keep the guys healthy. preseason games do not count towards the playoffs…

Don

August 25th, 2011
1:56 pm

DOL, I think that the word you were looking for in the “making cuts” paragraph was “pare,” vice “pair.”
You’re still the man.

D man

August 25th, 2011
1:59 pm

Hope he plays well. We sure will need him to rise up this season…

jgsbirds

August 25th, 2011
2:00 pm

why isn’t the game being televised in chattanooga, tn? this is a joke! we get all of the regular season games but nothing in the preseason. the fox affiliate shows the titans in the preseason. makes no sense–the titans are on cbs affiliate during the regular season so why not the preseason too. we used to get all of the falcons preseason games.

come on chattanooga!!!!

The Real Falcon

August 25th, 2011
2:27 pm

Preseason games are televised and produced locally only.
Get NFL network.

HJones

August 25th, 2011
2:35 pm

DOL, Why didn’t you ask him if it was going to be a all Michael Turner show on offense or will the Falcons call more explosive type plays?

"We finished up our preparation"...

August 25th, 2011
2:43 pm

…since when are you a member of the organization? Talk about a jock sniffing wannabe…

PMC

August 25th, 2011
3:07 pm

Proabably happened after he ATE some skyline chili DLed.

PMC

August 25th, 2011
3:11 pm

I’m interested to see if the OL specifically the new guard and the Left Tackle position can provide Matt Ryan a pocket long enough to throw some of these passes people are crying about.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 25th, 2011
3:28 pm

PMC — Now, I’m hungry for some Skyline.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 25th, 2011
3:29 pm

“WE” — I’m the 1st Vice President. Kind of like what’s his name, Biden.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 25th, 2011
3:34 pm

HJones — We asked him about Turner, but I pulled those questions because Chris Vivlamore is working on a big Turner story for Sunday. (We still need folks to buy the paper.) He gave the we’ll do what the defense presents dance.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 25th, 2011
3:36 pm

Don — Thanks. Not a problem.

bill

August 25th, 2011
3:37 pm

DOL
Can you get me two tickets to next year’s Masters? I need to monitor the bartenders.

tim

August 25th, 2011
3:39 pm

Prized free agent?? Not yet he’s not!

Jimmy Crack

August 25th, 2011
3:44 pm

We, it is always good to read carefully. That was the beginning of a quote by Coach Smith, who was briefing the media. The quotation marks are missing. If you knew DOL you wouldn’t have made your comment, he is not that type.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

Jimmy — Thanks. I didn’t know what “WE” was going off about. In our Q&As, we tell you who we’re talking too, so it’s just easier not to use quote marks and post quickly. Definitely not the sniffer type . . . ugly. I thought he was talking about the PFWA.

gaboi

August 25th, 2011
3:53 pm

DOL, never will I defend you again! HA

Die Hardy Birdie

August 25th, 2011
4:01 pm

D. Orlando, Do you think the pressure combination of Ray and John will actually help make a star out of Brent or Dunta? And do you think Jaquizz will be used a lot this year? I’m am definitely stoked for this season!!

GaVaHokie

August 25th, 2011
4:22 pm

Your photo caption on the main sports page says NFC champ Steelers.

senior falcon

August 25th, 2011
4:26 pm

Nothing is more pitiful than trolls et al that use a football blog to pick at language and punctuation usage. Get a life, y’all.

joe white

August 25th, 2011
5:03 pm

Amen lj i just need to see us have some success against a 3-4 defense and hope we can pick up our blocking correctly

Just Asking

August 25th, 2011
5:06 pm

Daren Walls was a heck of a player at ND.
Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwkGpeHIBhw

Just Asking

August 25th, 2011
5:07 pm

DARRIN WALLS, sorry!

RobbE33

August 25th, 2011
5:30 pm

Definitely, LJ! Let’s see them execute well and come home healthy. I’m weary of vanilla schemes meaningless results. While the Pats, Steelers and Chargers make preseason look easy, our guys play if close to the vest and merely evaluate. Ok, that’s valuable for the coaches and I get it but it’s extremely frustrating for the fans. Bring on Cutler!

PORTCITISAINT

August 25th, 2011
6:26 pm

I dont know why you guys are so happy about this year with all these high expectations you have from this unproven offense of yours, we will continue to treat you guys like our little stepbrothers, you guys will finish 3rd in our division, so continue to enjoy your 16 game seasons. WHO DAT

SeenThisB4

August 25th, 2011
6:34 pm

Ray Edwards?! LOL! Watch out falcan’ts! Your “missing piece” is going to “disappear” on the field!

Falconsrus

August 25th, 2011
6:46 pm

I thought you were our missing piece seen missing link?

Regina

August 25th, 2011
8:13 pm

Why are we still holding on to Christoper Owens. For the love of God, what is it that our front office sees in him. WE NEED A GOOD CB!!!!!!!!!!

CWag

August 25th, 2011
10:03 pm

Man…if they cut Quizz….i’ll leave it at that…he’s good!…better than the second string…third string…will be better than the first…if he gets the PT…

CWag

August 25th, 2011
10:03 pm

Man…if they cut Quizz….i’ll leave it at that…he’s good!…better than the second string…third string…will be better than the first…if he gets the PT…

mark

August 25th, 2011
10:39 pm

this sucks robinson hurt owens dosent get one we are in the same place as the year before the only true big time cb is grimes and he cant cover the whole field alone, we should go out and grab asante for a 2 rnd pick

Chucktown38

August 25th, 2011
10:59 pm

Dled don’t compare yourself to Biden, you are not doing your self any favors doing that.

ant man

August 25th, 2011
11:43 pm

John Abraham and Ray edwards will help, but thees last two games wil show where the real problems are: that right corner, and our niclke backs. I hate to watch it, but this is going to be the converation for the remainder of the season. Are there any answers?

We Dat say gon beat dem Saints

August 26th, 2011
2:58 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 26th, 2011
4:18 pm

Chucktown38 — Thanks for that politcal advice. (I’m just 1st VP of the PFWA. Just sayin.)

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 26th, 2011
4:23 pm

Die Hardy Birdie — The pass rush will help. The nickel back should benefit along with Brent and Dunta. I think Quizz will be eased into the operation.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 26th, 2011
4:24 pm

gaboi – Get back on the team. We need you!!!