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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Posted Dec 26, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after the Falcons' practice on Thursday, Dec. 26.

On the roster moves:

“We moved Adam Replogle and Sean Baker up from our practice squad to our 53-man roster.  They’ve worked hard for us while they’ve been here, and with the two injuries we had, we felt like it was in our best interest to move those guys up.  They’ll get an opportunity to possibly be on our 46-man roster this week.”

On Matt Ryan learning from the difficult situation this year:

“You learn from every situation that you get put in.  Matt, I think, has shown a lot of resiliency throughout games and throughout the season.  I feel like he played one of his better games of the season on Monday night.  I think it is apparent when he has time and we can keep the pocket clean, he can dissect the defense.  He completed almost 78 percent of his passes in the ballgame.  It is a learning experience having to bring young receivers along, having to interact with them differently than you do your veteran receivers.  I think it will bode well for us in the future.”

On having 11 people on IR and what it has been like to deal:

“Well, it’s been a difficult year for a lot of guys.  I feel for the guys personally that were injured, because they all worked hard and had expectations to have a clean season and a good season.  For us as coaches, it is part of the NFL.  Some years you are going to have more, some years you are going to have less.  We’ve been very fortunate in our first five years in terms of the number of guys that we had to put on reserved injured.  The great thing is, all of these injuries are ones they can recover from.  We anticipate getting them all back.”

On Cam Newton’s maturation and his work with Coach Shula:

“I think Mike Shula has done a great job with Cam in terms of their third down efficiency.  They’re very good.  They’re doing a good job of taking care of the ball.  They’re not turning it over, and you combine that with what they are doing on defense, not giving up points and taking the ball away, it is a good formula.  I think he is doing a very good job in his progressions in the passing game and spreading the ball around.”

On Sean Weatherspoon:

“Sean did not participate in practice today, and we’ll see if we can get him out here tomorrow.  It’s tough because he wants to do everything in his power to get back out here, but it hasn’t responded.  We kept him inside; we hope to get him out here and run him on the side tomorrow.”

On Thomas Davis:

“Thomas is having, in my mind, his best year, and he’s had a bunch of good years while he has been in the League.  He is a three-down linebacker that can match up on tight ends and running backs.  He can blitz.  He’s gotten better, and it is amazing to know he has been through three ACL’s.  It just talks about what kind of work effort he has.  He’s worked very hard to get back.  He is playing, along with Luke Kuechly, as well as any pair of linebackers in the League, especially in their sub package.  You put those two outside rushers, Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, and those backers and dime linebackers out there, they are doing a lot of good things.”

On balancing when to get after the guys or when to let them move on:

“I think whether you’re winning or losing you’ve got to be the same person.  I think it is very important to be consistent, be collaborative and be transparent.  Sometimes it is done with more emotion.  Sometimes it’s done with sugar; sometimes it’s done with salt.  I think that is part of coaching.  The thing you want to make sure is that you are consistent, regardless of what your record is.  We’ve got a great group of guys.  We haven’t played or coached as well as we needed to this season, and we are going to go out and finish strong against a division opponent this week.”


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