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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Posted Oct 10, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after the Falcons' practice on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Head coach Mike Smith
On WR Brian Robiskie and Julio Jones injury:

“Well, as we announced last night, we got the same diagnosis we got here in Atlanta, so Julio was put on injured reserve.  We signed Brian Robiskie to replace him on our 53 man roster.  Brian has played in this League, he has three or four years of experience, knows our offense, knows our verbiage.  Hopefully, we can get him up to speed in a very quick fashion and get him ready to go.”

On Brian Robiskie being with Coach Koetter for a quarter of the season in 2011:

“That is correct.  He was there in Jacksonville, and then he went on reserved injured with an injury.  He spent time with Dirk and the offensive verbiage.”

On having his father Coach Robiskie helping him in his learning curve:

“I certainly believe so.  I know that father and son always speak, and I know that they kind of speak the same language.  Even though there might be a different playbook, I’m sure that when they talk, they probably talk in the verbiage that Terry has talked to him all his life, so I think it will help.”

On Brian Robiskie being an outside guy:

“Generally, yes, but he’s going to be a guy that depending on how fast he picks it up, can probably play multiple positions.  We are going to have to be very flexible in what we do, moving forward, with our wide receivers, identify their strengths and weaknesses, put them in the best position to be successful.”

On what he relies on to help him through these tough situations:

“Well, I think it’s a routine you go through when you are a coach.  Some weeks you get the outcome you want, some weeks you don’t.  What I rely on is going back to coaching, you can’t get to the next game quick enough, you can’t get to putting the previous game behind you, make the corrections and move on.  That is what coaches do, and that is how I try to handle it.”

On what he is hoping for during this time for the team:

“Well, I want us to get some things corrected in all three phases.  We’ve been very close in the first five games, haven’t gotten the outcome that we want.  We’ve got to be more consistent, that is probably first and foremost, and then we need to get some guys healthy.  I think everybody in the League, when they get their bye week, that is one of the things they talk about, getting the opportunity to have some guys return that have been banged up.  Hopefully, we can get some guys back.  For the most part, our number one goal is to correct the errors that we have made. ”

On talking to the guys about adversity:

“This is a very resilient group.  When you’ve got good leaders in the locker room, they handle the highs and lows very well.  You’ve got to do that.  You’ve got to be very steady in your approach, you can’t kick to high when things are going well, and you can’t kick to low when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. Adversity is something that happens in every football game.  Every play in a football game affects the next play, so we face adversity every day.”

On Harry Douglas:

“I think that we as a coaching staff, we’ve got to put everybody in the best position.  Obviously, I think you will see some multiplicity in what we want to do with our wide receivers.  This is a unique situation that we are dealing with right now.  You’ve got to be multiple, and that is what we will try to do.  We’ve got to identify what the guys can do, what we think they are going to be best at and put them in the best spots, by formation and by personnel.”

On handling the guy’s role on special teams:

“That is something that often gets overlooked.  Some of these guys, Drew Davis has been a good special teams player for us, Kevin Cone, so it’s going to not only affect what we have to do on offense, it is going to affect what we do on special teams.  We’re going to have to use more players and spread out the work load on our special teams.”

On the development of Levine Toilolo and putting more on the tight ends:

“I think Levine, he had a great bounce back week last week from the week before, he is coming along like we anticipated.  He is going to be a very good threat, especially in the red zone.  Yes, that would be an option for us as well."

On Harry Douglas not returning punts:

“That is definitely on the table for discussion.  Again, we are going to know a lot more when we get back here on Tuesday.  We’ve got some guys who haven’t participated in practice this week, we’ve got some guys we anticipate we’re going to get back, and that will be a factor in how we are going to determine our 46 man roster for next week.  When you put your 46 man roster together that is how you will determine the positions.”

On how Steven Jackson returning to the lineup helps improve the offense:

“We want to get Steven back as quickly as we can.  He’s continuing to work with our athletic performance group on the side, he hasn’t been back out on the field.  We will see how he is on Tuesday when we get back together.  We need to get Steven back as quickly as we can.”