Q&A: Smith discusses the aftermath of the win over the Eagles

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, looks on as the special teams huddles during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, looks on as the special teams huddles during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

FLOWERY BRANCH — One his first full day as the winningest coach in team history, Falcons coach Mike Smith spoke to the media on Monday.

Opening statement: “As I stated yesterday, I thought we started really fast in all three phases. It was nice to have a sixteen play drive to start the game, and then defensively, to go out and have a three and out and have a very solid punt return where we flipped the field position and had the ball on the plus side of the 50 or thereabouts and go in and score again. And score on your six first possessions is the way you want to start the game. Guys, played against a very good football team yesterday. That team is one of the more talented teams in the National Football League on both sides of the ball. I thought the coaches did a great job with their game planning and the players went out and executed.”

On LB Sean Weatherspoon’s injury: “He did not return and Sean is in the training room, and we’ll have a more concrete idea of where he’s at after practice (Wednesday). He did sustain an ankle injury in the ball game and WR Kevin Cone also sustained an injury in the ball game yesterday, as well. We’ll have an update on those guys and WR Harry Douglas Wednesday after practice.”

On performing in bad weather yesterday: “The weather was through the first half of the game was relatively easy to deal with. There was no precipitation to speak of. It was windy. The conditions were windy and it was gusting, but there in the second half it did get a little tough. I thought our guys handled it extremely well. I thought it was a well-played game in terms of turnovers. There were no turnovers in the ball game. That was one of the things we didn’t do well defensively is we did not force any turnovers. We handled the weather conditions, and I don’t think we’re a dome team. I think we’ve got some mudders on our team that can go out and play in the elements as well.”

On the offensive line play against the Eagles: “I thought the offensive line did a nice job. There were two credited sacks. One was in a four minute situation where we told our quarterback if the route wasn’t there to go ahead and take a knee. We’ll let the clock spin down. That’s what we were trying to get done. We were just trying to run time off of the clock. The other one in the red zone was probably more schematically than anything. They covered the route well and we had to tweak the protection and we didn’t have a check down. I thought they did a nice job not only protecting the quarterback but also a nice job of run blocking. We got the run game going.”

On OG Peter Konz being ready: “Well, it was a situation where OG Garrett Reynolds had been dealing with a back issue and had been limited in practice. You know how backs can go. One minute you can feel good and the next minute you’re feeling poorly. Peter took the majority of snaps during the week and we felt like it was time to give him the opportunity to go in there and play. I was asked yesterday after the game how Peter played. After viewing the film, I thought he had a very solid game. It was a situation where you’re a rookie and you’re playing your first game and you’re playing against a defensive line that’s very talented. Cullen Jenkins is the starter, but they rotated guys and had different guys lining up against him and I thought Peter handled it extremely well.”

On whether Konz will continue to start: “I think that it’ll be a determined as we go through this week. I know this, we’ve got a guy that can go in and play in a big ball game that’s a rookie. That’s a positive thing.”

On being 7-0: “You may not believe this, but you’re on a week-to-week cycle in the National Football League. It really doesn’t matter what happened the week before. It’s all about the next game. That’s how you have to approach it. We’ve been fortunate to have a very successful season and played some efficient football. We’ve made some mistakes, so I’ve tried to not even think in those terms. It’s no different whether you’re 3-3, 4-3, 6-1, 7-0. Everybody else is going to concern themselves with it. We’ve got to make sure we’re preparing for the next game.”

On CB Robert McClain playing in 90 percent of the snaps: “It was a game plan thing and Robert’s been playing good football for us. First and foremost, when we’re going to determine what personnel we put out, that’s the game plan decision. We wanted to match or sub against certain personnel groupings. There were only two personnel groupings we weren’t going to play in our sub defense. I thought Robert did a nice job. He’s been very solid for us in the nickel corner, the inside corner.”

On taking the crowd out of the game early: “Very big plus. It was not nearly as loud. We anticipated it being very loud. We knew that if we could start fast we could potentially take the crowd out. You want to do that every time you go out on the road. I think this game more than any became very apparent that we had kind of negated their home field advantage in terms of the crowd. It got very quiet really after the first two series I don’t think we had any issues with having to go to a silent count. We were able to communicate most of the day.”

On the fans being loud this Sunday night against the Cowboys: “I have no doubt that about 8:15, 8:20 P.M. it’s going to be rocking at the Dome this week. Our fans are the best in the National Football League, and we’re going to need it because we need to get some procedural penalties and they’re the reason we get those is the crowd noise.”

On why WR Julio Jones always has big games on the road: “No, I don’t believe so. I think it’s basically how teams are trying to defend us. I don’t think it has anything to do with home or away. We knew we were going to get some one-on-one matchups with the type of defense that the Eagles played, and when we got those matchups we were going to have opportunities. It’s a great hookup with Matt and Julio on the nine route on the left side and then we had a nice hookup on a quick screen, and Roddy White threw an outstanding block. A legal block and I thought the officials did a nice job picking up the flag.”

On RB Jacquizz Rodgers playing well yesterday: “Jacquizz had a very good game. That was an outstanding run, I think it was a 32-yard run. He did a very nice job of eluding tacklers. It was blocked well at the first level and then we he got to the second level he made some people miss. He had a couple catches. One got called back, but he had a number of catches that helped us. I thought Jason Snelling made some plays, scored the touchdown. If you would’ve told me going into the game our first two touchdowns were going to be scored by Drew Davis and Jason Snelling then I would take that wager. That just speaks volumes of the depth we have on our football team. We’ve got a lot of guys that understand what their roles are and their roles are ever- changing. When they get an opportunity they have to take advantage of it and they’ve done that. It was nice to see Drew Davis come in and play like he did in his first significant amount of time playing on offense.”

On LB Akeem Dent getting limited snaps yesterday: “Different packages, yes. We were in our sub package the majority of the game. That’s the good thing about our locker room. We’ve got a great locker room. We don’t have eleven starters. I’ve said that from the very beginning. We are going to be very multiple in what we do on all sides of the ball, including special teams. It’s going to be dictated in how we defend people or how we attack people how they’re trying to attack us and it becomes a chess game.”

On the trade deadline: “In fact, I just came out of a meeting and I believe it’s moved again because of the hurricane. I think they moved it back a day to allow it to happen. Again, our focus and my focus is strictly on our preparation in terms of getting ready for the next game. I’m not sure how much activity is going to be across the League. That’s something I really don’t focus on, but I know it is coming up.”

On Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan: “Believe it or not, Rob, myself, and Rex all at one time were all in the same conference coaching college football. I’ve known Rob and Rex and we all coached in the Ohio Valley conference. They were some battles. Rob’s a darn good football coach. Got a great defensive mind. They’re going to base it out of the 3-4. It’s going to be very multiple. Yes, there is tinges of what Rob does is very similar to what Rex does. Rob’s done an outstanding job with the defense there in Dallas. Statistically, year in and year out they’re going to be at the top of the League. He’s a darn good football coach.”

On the young players getting more confidence every game: “I think our younger players with the more experience and the more plays that they play they get more confident. I really have to say our guys, and when I say our guys, the core group of guys that are the leaders in the locker room they work with the younger players and they talk to them about their experiences. I’ve said it many times and I’m going to say it again, I know it’s about winning on Sunday, but you win first in the locker room. You’ve got to have a good locker room. You’ve got to have a good team. You’ve got to have guys that like to have fun, because if you don’t have fun in a long day and there’s a lot of long days, it gets tough. These guys know when to snap in and when to snap out. When it’s time to go to work they go to work. For some of the things we do and how much fun we have, you might question about our maturity, but I don’t have any doubt how mature we are. When it’s time to play football and that ball is snapped and that ball is kicked off we’re ready to go.”

On the ceiling being high for QB Matt Ryan: “Matt’s having an outstanding season and he played very well yesterday. It may not have been his best statistical game in terms of number of yards passed for the season. He ran the offense as about as well as it could be run. I thought there was probably one throw early in the game that he would’ve liked to have had back. It was really the first throw of the game, but Matt is running the offense extremely well. He works great with Dirk (Koetter), he works great with Glenn Thomas. They have a great relationship. Again, we want it to be collaborative and Matt’s been a part of us putting this offense together from the very beginning. There are a lot of things that we are doing the same as years past, but there are lot of things we’re doing different. The way that we’re compartmentalizing. The way we’re putting things together is somewhat different, but he’s done an outstanding job thus far through the first seven games of the season.”
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65 comments Add your comment

lowdownjj

October 29th, 2012
6:55 pm

Get well soon SPOONMAN#56. Best game running the ball so far this year is the 1st one Konz starts…coincedence??

stauff

October 29th, 2012
7:03 pm

Mikey

October 29th, 2012
7:24 pm

A great win for the Falcons and all their fans. This team is improving immensely every week. If they keep up this pace of learning, they will be a force at playoff time. Great game by Konz and the O-Line. Baker also was able to contol the blind side with great integrity. WHAT a team! GO FALCONS! YOU ARE RISING UP!

Greg

October 29th, 2012
7:37 pm

We still haven’t beaten a team that has a winning record. Let’s keep our heads screwed on tight, Mike.

Marcus

October 29th, 2012
7:41 pm

Great win …. and I look forward to more. I can’t help but pull up the 2013 mock drafts, just to see what folks are projecting as our 1st round pick.
Lotta movement, but I think DE, OL, and TE are the most popular positions of speculation, with RB probably being 4th.

Decon

October 29th, 2012
8:10 pm

Hey Greg, guess what? Had those teams beaten the Falcons, most of them would have a winning record. They don’t have a winning record because they LOST to the Falcons. Oh and if you think Denver isn’t a good team, you’re highly mistaken.

waynester

October 29th, 2012
8:14 pm

Marcus
That’s wild–I was just looking at Walter’s and DraftTek, etc and noticed the same thing you did. Tyler Eifert the ND TE is getting a lot of looks for our first round pick (pick #32!!!) and a surprising number have us going with RB Marcus Lattimore. Both are need positions but the SC RB is doubtful after that gruesome injury last weekend. Alex Okafor, the TX DE is another that keeps popping up….Maybe we’ll trade up to #1 and take Jarvis Jones from UGA……

Getaway

October 29th, 2012
8:18 pm

Greg – I could have sworn the Broncos at 4-3, have a winning record.

phil

October 29th, 2012
8:33 pm

The present Broncos team would crush us…..

Very different bunch from week two.

If we meet in the SB, which we of course won’t, they will dominate with Peyton and that D.

Inshudder to think about it.

SAS

October 29th, 2012
8:59 pm

Phil…from Philly. Don’t hate buddy. Go Falcons

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:05 pm

phil…….You got a crystal ball?

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:08 pm

phil…….Call back when you know what you are talking about.

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:11 pm

The Broncos beat the Taints and now they are world beaters, is that what you are spewing there, phil?
Get real.

keith

October 29th, 2012
9:24 pm

Falcons need to add another Running back before the trading deadline if poss. ie.., Brandon Jacobs or Antonio Dixon. Also, could use a vet WR(Plaxico Buress). Make it happen GM.

lowdownjj

October 29th, 2012
9:42 pm

Peyton Manning threw 3 picks in the 1st half against the Falcons. He has thrown 1 since. Mike Nola had the all pro QB confused. And our D executed with style. RISE UP!Go Phil(lly). Bet even they got something for the AINTS

LOL at Phil

October 29th, 2012
11:06 pm

Take a Chill Pill Phil,,, LOL!!

DR. FALCON

October 30th, 2012
12:06 am

GREG, IT’S NOT OUR FAULT THAT THE OTHER TEAMS, WE’VE BEATEN DON’T HANDLE THEIR BUSINESS! GET A GRIP! LET’S ENJOY IT, MAN! I GET THE FEELING THAT, THE MINUTE WE SUFFER OUR 1ST LOSS, MANY OF YOU WILL CALL FOR SMITTY’S FIRING!

[...] Falcons From Other Great Blogs issue #1 By NFC South Daily Editor, on October 29th, 2012 Q&A: Smith discusses the aftermath of the win over the Eagles – blogs.ajc.com 10/29/2012 Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, left, looks on as the [...]

SawThat1nce

October 30th, 2012
4:49 am

Just wondering why anyone would think that the Falcons, “could use a vet WR”?

dean

October 30th, 2012
5:37 am

The 49ers will be one of the teams in the NFC championship game.

Stephen Jackson

October 30th, 2012
6:26 am

Trade for me.

old man

October 30th, 2012
7:15 am

The big surprise so far, the DBs: Robinson (improved, and making tackles), DeCoud (obviously improved), Moore (has never stopped improving), McClain (coming out of nowhere), and even Chris Owens (has looked good when playing, big play yesterday), Samuel (as advertised). With the loss of Grimes, it is ironic that this is the group showing the most overall improvement. I recall seeing only one coverage breakdown all year.

Sly Boarders

October 30th, 2012
7:42 am

I know the RB stable is full, but a Stephen Jackson, hungry for a title after all that losing in St. Louis, is very thought provoking. He still looks quick on the field, something I am sorry to say can’t be applied to Turner, and he can catch with the best of them. It would cost a 3rd round pick, but isn’t that what we paid for TG? That’s definitely paid off well.

Esquire

October 30th, 2012
7:43 am

phil
October 29th, 2012
8:33 pm

The present Broncos team would crush us…..
*******************************
We beat the present Broncos

Very different bunch from week two.
********************************
It’s the same team.

If we meet in the SB, which we of course won’t,
*************************************
So you don’t think the Broncos will make it ay?

Inshudder to think about it.
***********************************************
Inshudder, what the hell is that….?

Esquire

October 30th, 2012
7:54 am

Stephen Jackson
October 30th, 2012
6:26 am

Trade for me.
***************************************
The Atlanta Falcons have the second-lowest salary cap space in the NFL. With only $761,498 available in cap room how are they going to get a Stephen Jackson anyway. Bang your drum but you are wasting your time.

jerry

October 30th, 2012
7:56 am

Running Turner on 1st down is guaranteed to give you a 2nd and 8,9,10, or 11. On the few occasions that he does get 3-4 yards, he is almost always stood up and pushed backwards. hardly ever having his head pointed toward the opponent’ s goal line.

dean

October 30th, 2012
8:00 am

Unless I missed something, Dimitri has been very quiet lately.

I usually just read but...

October 30th, 2012
8:22 am

I give you KC and Carolina are bad, but, Denver has a winning record. SD and the Raiders would be 4-3 and the Skins would be only 1 game below .500 if they had beaten us. Just maybe the teams we play would be in better standings if they hadn’t lost to us. The “they ain’t played anybody” bull is p-ing me off.
Just saying

I usually just read but...

October 30th, 2012
8:24 am

Forgot the Eagles,.they would be 4-3 too IF they had won. They didn’t…So…

Esquire

October 30th, 2012
8:32 am

Falcons Offense
PTS 28.7 (5th) YDS 365.7 (13th) PASS YDS 270.7 (8th) RUSH YDS 95.0 (24th)
Dallas Offense
PTS 19.6 (23rd) YDS 383.3 (7th) PASS YDS 297.3 (3rd) RUSH YDS 86.0 (28th)

Falcons Defense
PTS 18.6 (7th) YDS 353.3 (20th) PASS YDS 216.9 (10th) RUSH YDS 136.4 (26th)
Dallas Defense
PTS 23.1 (18th) YDS 292.4 (4th) PASS YDS 187.7 (3rd) RUSH YDS 104.7 (13th)

Tony Romo has a 78.8 passer rating, 13 interceptions, 9 touchdowns. Cowboys have a -11 turnover ratio.

Matt Ryan has a 103.0 passer rating, 6 interceptions, 17 touchdowns. Falcons have a +10 turnover ratio.

Esquire

October 30th, 2012
8:33 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

g

October 30th, 2012
8:46 am

dled do you think that we are looking at the steven jackson for turner trade

Answer This

October 30th, 2012
8:51 am

Glad to see the NEGATIVE TROLL Phil on the blog…….he gives us balance! I knew that IF statement would start to sneak up. When Philly wins it will be IF, When other teams win it will be IF……..no credit to the Angry Birds……..silly little negative nancys! LOL.

Fan since 66

October 30th, 2012
9:00 am

Great win for the Birds! Well played on both sides of the ball. It’s amusing that all the national coverage is like being at a wake for the Eagles. Has nothing to do with the fact that we are a well-rounded team that performs well enough to win each and every week. BTW, Greg, the Broncos are 4-3, we haven’t played the Giants or the Cards yet, but other than that, there are only 12 other teams with 500 or better records. What would you have us do, ask to have our schedule changed in the middle of the season so we could beat some of them to prove we’re a good team??? Really dude, hope you don’t call yourself a Falcon fan. @ 8:22 (I usually) man you stole my thunder. We’re a big reason the teams we played aren’t 500. Go figure :)
Phil…why you such a hater man?
And finally…Keith…have you lost your friggin mind??? Really??? Buress??? COME ON MAAAN! Our guys can run circles around him, and why would we want to mess up the chemistry in the LR with Plaxico’s drama????
7-0 is great any way you look at it!
Oh…and btw, Go Falcons!

ItsMe

October 30th, 2012
9:00 am

And todays dumba** award goes to…drum roll please…bzzzzzzzzz…GREG! Everyone put your hands together for Greg. He didn’t have to work hard for the award but he sure does deserve it. Way to go!!!

The Big Fat Blogger

October 30th, 2012
9:24 am

Greg

October 29th, 2012
7:37 pm
“We still haven’t beaten a team that has a winning record. Let’s keep our heads screwed on tight, Mike.”

Denver, Kansas City, and the Chargers were all undefeated when we played them ;-)

mgm

October 30th, 2012
9:24 am

The Falcons will lose a game. They may lose several. But losing is a good thing for a good team. It exposes areas they need to work on. Makes them stronger. The bottom line is, position yourself for the home field throughout the playoffs and win in January. That is all that matters to this team now. Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance is a let down in my opinion. This team has all the talent, excellent coaching, and all they need is to exorcise some playoff demons.

submariner

October 30th, 2012
9:35 am

Visualize and attack, Bobby!!!!

General Bortswagger III

October 30th, 2012
9:52 am

Why doesn’t anyone ask him the tough questions…..Like:

“What about Jelly Bean?”

General Bortswagger III

October 30th, 2012
9:55 am

mgm
October 30th, 2012
9:24 am

The Falcons will lose a game. They may lose several. But losing is a good thing for a good team. It exposes areas they need to work on. Makes them stronger. The bottom line is, position yourself for the home field throughout the playoffs and win in January. That is all that matters to this team now. Anything short of a Super Bowl appearance is a let down in my opinion. This team has all the talent, excellent coaching, and all they need is to exorcise some playoff demons

_____————————-___________________————————–_______________———————–

OK…..That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve read so far today.

Losing is good? You don’t think they are aware of their weaknesses?

See, this is why owners and coaches should never listen to fans.

Whadda Ya Know?

October 30th, 2012
9:57 am

Someone on here (named Greg) is a parrot. Only repeats what he hears the ignorant media preaching…that we haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. Answer this…is it the Falcons’ fault who the NFL schedules them to play? Is it the Falcons’ fault that they beat a team and help them to a losing record? I don’t care if every team we play from here on out has a losing record as long as we beat them and keep marching closer to a Superbowl!!!

D man

October 30th, 2012
10:01 am

Our Falcons get NO RESPECT. I thought if we beat the Eagles who most of the critics were saying would beat our Falcons, we would get respect. Instead, most of what I have heard is how the Eagles played a bad game! REALLY??? Didn’t the Falcons play a great game on both sides to cause the Eagles to play a bad game. Before the first game, The Chiefs were supposed to compete for the division, then Peyton was probably gong to beat us then, there was no way we would go into San Dieo and beat the Chargers. After that we “should have lost” to the Panthers, RG3 and Oakland because we “played bad”. REALLY? This weekend, the Eagles would surely beat our Falcons because they have never lost after a bye week.

After we beat the Cowboys, it will be because of something besides the fact that we have the number 5 scoring Offense and the number 8 scoring Defense. Or besides the Fact that we have the third rated QB in the league, or beside the fact that we are second best at turnover ratio. No, the Falcons get no respect at all. Keep disrespecting media, we will just keep winning to spite you. :)

General Bortswagger III

October 30th, 2012
10:07 am

D man
October 30th, 2012
10:01 am

Our Falcons get NO RESPECT. I thought if we beat the Eagles who most of the critics were saying would beat our Falcons, we would get respect. Instead, most of what I have heard is how the Eagles played a bad game! REALLY???

———-___________—————–____________——————-__________———————-__________

OK….So what does getting respect mean to the Falcons? Does it improve their chances for a BCS berth? Does it matter if someone living in Colorado does not get to read page after page of glowing remarks about the Falcons? ow does it matter to you? Will you no longer follow and support the team because ESPN is not on a non stop Falcons parade?

Again…..Some of you fans just have no clue.

aint hater

October 30th, 2012
10:11 am

here are the facts..

Denver has a winning record

Oakland, Philly, San Diego, and Washington would all have winning records if they beat the Falcons. We are the reason teams we play don’t have winning records.

I usually just read but...

October 30th, 2012
10:24 am

Wortsbagger the turd. I guess you don’t get “RESPECT”
So to borrow from you,
“Again…..Some of you fans just have no clue.”

General Bortswagger III

October 30th, 2012
10:30 am

But I did nut resort to name calling.

Paddy

October 30th, 2012
10:33 am

Greg……..one thing you failed to mention about the losing records of the teams the Falcons have played. The partial reason is that the Falcons have beaten all those teams. Hard not to factor that in your equation.

Remarkable

October 30th, 2012
10:41 am

aint hater
True. We are the reason for the football season so many other teams are having!

Keeping it real

October 30th, 2012
10:49 am

The falcons beat the teams they have beat ,because of better coaching and game planing.Dallas is a better team than they showed vs the Gaints,the Cowboys got off to a slow start,and fell way behine in the game, but allmost came back to win.If we put presure on Romo,and cause him to hurry his throws ,and make mistakes it could be a long night for the cowboys,but if the Falcons give him time to stand in the pocket and make plays it could get enteresting.

Keeping it real

October 30th, 2012
10:57 am

Like coach Smith said,its about the next game!