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Transcript: Falcons vs. Rams

Posted Sep 15, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after the Falcons' 31-24 win over the Rams on Sunday.

Head coach Mike Smith
Opening statement:

“I thought that was a hard fought football game between two physical football teams, and we were able to prevail.  We were able to make enough plays during the game to get the win.  We obviously have a lot of things to correct.”

On holding on to the lead:

“I thought the start was very efficient, we moved the ball well, and made a big play on defense, scored on defense.  Our third quarter performance was not up to speed.  We have to do a number of things better. We did not run the ball efficiently and put ourselves in some situations we don’t typically like to be in.”

On Matt and Julio’s performance:

“I thought they had a very good game.  Matt was (QB rating) 116 and I believe Julio had over 180 yards.  They made a couple of very good football plays.  Matt and Julio had a good game.”

On not running the ball due to the Rams defense:

“We ran the ball six times in the first half; we weren’t very successful at it.  The way the team tried to defend us is going to dictate how we are going to attack them and was going to open up some opportunities to throw the football.”

On the injuries that occurred during the game:

“Obviously, there were a number of players that did not finish the game.  I don’t want to get into any details.  We will have an injury report Wednesday, but obviously, there were a number of players that did not finish the game.”

On having to make adjustments with the amount of injuries:

“It put a lot of guys out on the field that normally would not have the number of snaps that they had.  It was compounded by using those backups or the guys that play on special teams.  It was tough; a lot of guys stepped up on both sides of the ball today that were called on.  Their role changed from the opening kickoff to the end of the game.”

On the Ram’s offense:

“We gave up some leverage on some plays.  That was a good offense.  That quarterback can throw the ball.  I felt like for their second timeout they did a nice job.  They will continue to get better as they have more experience.”

On Steven Jackson leaving the game:

“When you lose your running back for the game, it does change how you have to proceed.  A lot of it had a lot to do with how they were trying to defend us and I think it opened up some opportunities and we took advantage of those opportunities.  The lull in the third quarter was definitely a concern.”

On preparation for this week:

“It helps immensely.  I told the team in the locker room after the game, I was very proud of the way they approached this week. We played a very physical game in New Orleans and had a long injury report, and we had some guys who spent a lot of time with our athletic performance group and worked hard to get back up to speed.  The next man mentality is what the NFL is all about and I thought they did a good job.”

On Steven Jackson getting hurt on his touchdown play:

“Well, he didn’t play any after that touchdown.”

On the status of Steven Jackson:

“We will not have that injury report until Wednesday after practice.” 

On Osi Umenyiora’s performance:

“I thought Osi put some pressure on the quarterback.  We did not sack the quarterback in the game today, but I thought we had him uncomfortable. This is a guy who completed 71% of his passes last week.  I do feel like we put him off the spot.  He made some plays when he extended the snap.  I thought Osi did a nice job.  He scored a touchdown and any time a defensive player scores a touchdown, that is a big thing.”

On Julio Jones:

“Julio and Matt seemed to be in sync, seeing the defense the same way.  When you have your receiver and quarterback doing that, you have a chance to be successful.”

On kicking a field goal on the second down with 16 seconds left:

“It was part of the formula.  Sixteen seconds is the time to be able to spike a ball.  If the ball would have ended up in bounds, we would not have had time to spike the football.  We did not protect the quarterback on that previous play and did not want to risk not getting any points in that situation.  Our cutoff for a spike is 16 seconds.  You could throw the ball out of bounds but we did not want to risk having a play where the clock continued to run.”

On the lull in the third quarter:

“I don’t know unless I watch the tape if it was more mental or physical.  We didn’t play nearly as efficiently in the third quarter as we did in the first half of the ball game.”

On Jason Snelling:

“Jason Snelling has done that many times for us.  He is not a selfish football player and does whatever we ask him to do, whether on special teams or certain packages.  He made a couple of big plays for us.  The touchdown run was a very big play and he also had the third down conversion.  Jason is one of those guys who understands his role, but also understands his role can change just like that in the NFL.”

On how valuable Matt Bosher is and the plays he made:

“That was a big play.  It wasn’t quite the snap we wanted to have and he was able to get that out.  I thought special teams play as a whole was outstanding standing on the sideline.  There maybe is a different evaluation after the viewing of the tape, but he did a very good job punting the ball and I thought we did a very good job covering, we drew a number of penalties.”

On Matt taking a number of hits:

“Again, until I watch the tape I’m not going to be able to say that. My take on it is he was cleaner than he was last week.”


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