ON BEING DOWN 10: We had a lot of football to play. We’ve been down before. Just keep your composure and keep fighting. We understood coming into this game that it wasn’t going to be an easy win. We knew it was going to be a battle. A back and forth football game. We had to keep our composure.
ON THE HIT ON MACLIN: I saw him catch the ball. Last year, they said the receiver didn’t have time to see. He was a defenseless receiver. I saw him catch the ball. I saw him run, trying to get up field to score. So me as a defender, if I whiff on him, he’s probably is going to run around me and score a long touchdown. This is a physical football game. That’s the way I play. If don’t play that way, I wouldn’t make it in this league. I definitely didn’t think it was a dirty play. I’m not a dirty player. I don’t go out there and hit players illegally.
CHANGES IN THE SECONDARY: We’ll take all of the bodies that we can get. I think Kelvin [Hayden] and James [Sanders] stepped in and did tremendous jobs for guys that have only been in the system for two or three weeks. I think they came in and did an amazing job.
ON STARTING: It felt good to get out there with the guys, but I personally have a lot of work to do. That was my first extended action on the field this entire season. I only played one quarter in the preseason. I’ve got a lot of work to do. I need to get better week to week. Today I had a chance to go out there and put something on film.
HOW DID THE UNIT PLAY OVERALL: We played well. As a defense we take pride in taking the ball away from the offense. We did that today. There are things we still need to improve on, but we are getting better.
ON KELVIN HAYDEN’S INTERCEPTION: I had some pressure on [Michael] Vick. I had to break down so as to not let him break the pocket. He stepped up and Spoon had a good hit on him when he delivered the ball. Kelvin made a great play.
ON HIS BIG RUN: I scooped it and was trying to score, but I got caught.
ON PLAYING SOME NOSE TACKLE IN THE 30-NICKEL: It was fun. I definitely respect our defensive tackles, going against three guys, it’s 3 against 1 when we are in the 30 defense. I got a little bit of push inside. It was fun. Everybody tried to do their job and that’s what we did to win the game.
ON THE UNIT’S OVERALL PLAY: We made some big plays. That’s what we thrive on. We wanted to give our offense a short field. That’s the name of the game.
HOW TOUGH WAS IT IN THE TRENCHES: We just had to fight and claw for everything that we got. We are lucky that we put some drives together at the end and we came out on top.
ON THE LATE DRIVES: Going to the no-huddle really like helped us get a rhythm. Throwing the ball and running the ball. That definitely helped down the stretch.
ON SPRINGING TURNER ON THE 61-YARD TRAP PLAY: Matt [Ryan] saw the look and called a great play right there. Tyson Clabo and Garrett Reynolds really blew open a huge hole. It was one of those plays you’ll always remember.
ON THE DEFENSE: They got so many weapons, you knew they were going to get something. But I felt like some of the stuff, we gave them. They came out and we played hard. We knew it was just going to be one of those fourth quarter games. We had to keep our composure.
ON RAY EDWARDS’ RUN: He was rumbling and stumbling. I was over there by him when I say him pick it up. I tried to turn around and block Jackson, but he’s fast. Ray came up with a big one.
ON CHASING AROUND VICK: I grew up playing video games with him. It was nothing like being out there. When he runs, you have to get on your horse. It was fun though.
ON BEING DOWN 10: We just wanted to score. We wanted to get it in and score a touchdown. We just had to score.
ON PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT GOING 0-2: We weren’t panicking. We just knew we had to put a drive together. That was the biggest things. We were sitting around looking at each other and saying, hey when we get this ball back we have to put a drive together and score. We went and did that and I was happy.
ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE: We’ve got some young guys in there, but it’s always tough. They are trying to figure out the game. This is their first year. There were a lot of things they were doing, line stunts and things like that to try to confuse us.
ON TONY GONZALEZ: The old man was balling.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog