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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Posted Dec 19, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after the Falcons' practice on Thursday, Dec. 19.

Head coach Mike Smith
On the injury report:

“We had three guys that did not participate in practice today, Sean Weatherspoon, Antone Smith and Darius Johnson.  Those were the three guys.   Thomas DeCoud was a full participant, so he will be ready to go for the game this week.  Tony Gonzalez was a limited participant.  That is the injury report you guys have been waiting for.”

On Vernon Davis’ numbers in Red Zone or from everywhere:

“He can do it from everywhere.  He’s got great speed.  He is one of the fastest tight ends in the NFL.  When he came out, he blew everybody away with his 40 time there at the Combine.  He is a mismatch issue.  When we played them last year in the playoff game, he was a guy that had a lot of production.  We’ve got to have a plan to try to eliminate his opportunities.”

On playing against two teams that have a lot to play for and it being a dangerous situation:

“I don’t think so.  As I told our guys when we started the fourth quarter of the season, doesn’t matter if you’re 2-10 or 10-2, when you start that fourth quarter, we all have the goal and that is to finish strong.  That is what our mindset is.  The teams that are playing for playoff spots, they want to finish strong as well.  I don’t think it really changes your attitude at all."

On Matt Ryan’s 12 of 14 interceptions being on the road:

“Well, we have turned the ball over a lot more on the road.  I don’t know that I could put a finger on it.  They weren’t really good decisions; they weren’t really good throws, and there wasn’t good protection.  That is what caused it.  I don’t’ know that it was because it was not in our building.  I think we’ve got to really, truly drill down on it when the season is over, but I don’t’ think there is going to be anything that stands out that that was the reason.”

On Osi Umenyiora’s DPR being something that will carry over to next season:

“I can’t say it will carry over into next season.  I do know that we had a conversation and we talked about it, and he was excited about going out there and having an opportunity to rush the passer.  It is something historically that we’ve done.  When we first got here, that is basically the role we played John Abraham in, so it is not something that is trend setting.  It is something that we’ve done.   Osi’s best skill set is rushing the passer and we wanted to give him an opportunity to rush the passer as fresh as he possibly could.  I thought it paid big dividends in the game last week.  I hope it will do the same these next two weeks.”

On being a part of a staff that had to work the Senior Bowl:

“I never have.  We’ve got some guys on our staff that have, but I have never been in that situation.”


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