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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Posted Oct 24, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after the Falcons' practice on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

On Jason Snelling missing practice:

“Jason Snelling will be on the injury report as a non-participant.  We’ll have three guys that did not participate.”

On Steven Jackson:

“Well, I had an opportunity to ask him a couple times during practice, and it seemed like it was going well.  Again, we’ll wait and see what the work load was and the terms of the effect on it.  Hopefully, he’ll get more reps tomorrow and increase it as the week goes on.”

On the business decision to get rid of pros like John Abraham:

“It is part of football, but your roster changes every year.  There is a new dynamic to your team and it changes from year to year.  John was a very integral part of the success we had here.   We know he’s an outstanding edge rusher.  I watched his last game on Thursday night last week, and he was up on his sack fumble routine.   He had an outstanding game.  I know he is looking forward to competing against us, and I know we are looking forward to competing against him.”

On him having a benchmark he is looking for on Steven Jackson until he is ready for him to go:

“Definitely, this plan has been in place for a long time.  The athletic performance and the doctors will be the ones that will be making the decision on his return to play.  We’ll go through today and see how he feels tomorrow and see how he feels Friday.  He is a guy that has worked diligently to get back out on the field.  We’ll get him back out there as soon as everyone checks all the boxes.”

On the Cardinals matching up Patrick Peterson on number one receivers:

“Well, Patrick Peterson is an outstanding cornerback, and yes he does.  Not all the time, but in specific situations he will match.  We’ve got to anticipate he will match our number one receiver, which at this point in time is Harry Douglas.  If he does, we’re going to have to work that match up, go through our reads, go through our progressions and get the ball to the guy that the cover dictates.  I think that Matt did an outstanding job, one of the things that was most impressive about Matt last week, he went through his progressions and distributed the ball to the guy that was open.”

On Tyrann Mathieu being impressive this far early on in his career:

“Yes, he plays more in their nickel package.  We anticipate we may see him as a punt returner, if Patrick Peterson doesn’t return punts.  I think Peterson had something going on with his hands, did not return punts all the time.  Mathieu in college was a great returner, and he’s got a knack for the football and he’s got a knack for the ball in his hands.”

On the challenges of defending a big receiver like Larry Fitzgerald:

“It is a challenge.  The one thing I think our guys have is experience.  Since we’ve started back in April, they’ve had to defend against Roddy White and Julio JonesDrew Davis is also a big receiver, but it is a challenge.  Larry is very adept at using his body and positioning not only to catch the ball but on his releases.  He is one of the top receivers in the NFL.  It will be a challenge for us.  They do a very good job of moving him around.  Floyd on the other side is a big receiver as well.  They both have 32 catches, so Carson Palmer is distributing the ball well to both receivers.”

On Carson Palmer being sacked seven times and seeing the weaknesses in the line:

“Well, we need to get pressure on the quarterback and I’m sure, they’ve had nine days to prepare for us, of how we will probably attack them.  We’ve got to do a very good job of putting pressure on him.  They did give up sacks, there is a potential of when that happens there could be some different bodies in there.  They did have a guard that left the game.  We are not sure of the status of Daryn Colledge at this point in time. ”