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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Posted Oct 3, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after the Falcons' practice on Thursday, Oct. 3.

Head coach Mike Smith
On Steven Jackson:

“The injury report will be coming out.  He did not participate in practice today.  We’re not going to rule him out at this point in time.  He is working hard to get back, so we will have to see how the rest of the week plays out.”

On William Moore being fined for his hit in the game vs. the Patriots:

“Again, I am not going to comment on League matters.  That is a League matter and I don’t think it is appropriate for me to comment on that.”

On how he feels about their record:

“Disappointed, in terms of the outcome of three out of the four ballgames, we’ve got to get it fixed.  We all know that, and we are all held responsible for the 1-3.  As I said, you get what you earn in this League, and we’ve earned it and we’ve got to get it fixed.”

On what the difference is between having similar close games last year but with a different outcome:

“We’re just not making plays.  We’ve had plays that have been presented to us. Had we had the opportunity to make them they would have been game changing plays, and we didn’t make them.  That is what the NFL is about most weeks, five or six snaps that determine the outcome of a football game.”

On Glenn Pires having the most difficult job on his staff:

“He’s got a tough job in terms of getting guys ready.  We’ve got two linebackers that just joined us two weeks ago, and they have an opportunity to go out and play.  We are going to have to get them up to speed and Glenn has been, to say it is a little cliché, but he has been burning some midnight oil with these guys to get them up to speed as quick as possible.  We’ve got to figure out what they are capable of doing in terms of our entire scheme.”

On two undrafted rookies starting at outside linebacker surprising him:

“Nothing ever amazes me in the National Football League from week to week.  The two guys that you are talking about started last week.  Paul Worrilow and Joplo Bartu have done a nice job.  They’ve worked extremely hard, and they are getting an opportunity to show everybody what they are capable of doing.  I think Bartu has done a very nice job in our sub package.”

On some of the issues the Jets have had on offense, helping the Atlanta defense:

“Well, they are 2-2.  They have an offense that creates a lot of explosive plays; they are number four in the League in explosive plays.  Even though they aren’t scoring a lot of points, they are creating 20 yard gains quite often.  He is a very talented quarterback; he can throw all the throws.  He’s been through a quarter of the season, so he’s probably seen most of the things that defensive coordinators can show him, and I think he is an improving quarterback.”

On not being able to say it is still early in the process after approaching the quarter of the season:

“We’ve still got 12 games.  Our mindset is we’ve got to take them one at a time.  I told our guys, were 1-3, you can’t get to 3-3 in one week.  What you’ve got to do is come out and chip away every single day and work to get better and make improvements and be better than the next day, and that is what we are trying to get done.  We’ve got a very resilient group of men in that locker room; we’ve got a bunch of good leaders. It’s our intention to get this thing turned around, and hopefully it will start Monday night against the Jets.”

On their front seven:

“Their front seven are probably the strength of the team.  They’ve got four first round draft picks that play in their front seven.  They do a nice job, Rex and his staff, in terms of stopping the run.  They are putting pressure on the quarterback as well, so it will be a challenge.  That is the strength of their team on the defensive side, is the front seven.”

On Jeremy Kerley their punt returner:

“He’s a good solid returner.  Our guys have done a nice job.  Last week we had no return yards, both kickoff and punt returns.  If our punter and kickoff guy kicks it like he kicked it last week, I think we are going to have an opportunity to have a good performance.”

On Clyde Gates’ 28 yard run:

“Yes, he’s fast, real fast.  He’s got very good speed.  We are going to have to make sure that we have good lane integrity and keep him corralled in.”

On switching punters:

“Yes, they did a couple weeks ago.  They switched punters, and he’s done a nice job for them.  He’s a young guy, a directional punter, has good hang time, and has done a good job since he joined their team.”

On changing their defense because of the inexperienced linebackers:

“Again, I think you have to go in every week and have a good idea of what our guys are capable of doing.  That is what we have to determine with the group of linebackers that we have, what they are capable of doing in terms of things we want to accomplish schematically.  They have not had the opportunity to go through our offseason program, so that does put them at a disadvantage.  It is not an excuse, it’s just a fact."

On Jamar Chaney being active this week:

“Again, we’ve got some linebackers that are banged up.  There is an opportunity; it’s going to depend on how the week plays out in terms of getting some of these guys that did not participate in practice today, to see where they are tomorrow.”

On Quinton Coples:

“Yes, I think he has been fighting the injury bug a little bit from what I understand.   They are using him in a rotation when he has played. He is a big, athletic defensive lineman that can create a lot of issues for not only offensive lineman but for running backs and tight ends that have to block him in protection schemes.”

 


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