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Transcript: Mike Smith Monday News Conference

Posted Dec 31, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media Monday about preparing for the playoffs and also added an update on injured Falcons.

Opening statement:
“We obviously didn’t get the outcome in the game we wanted yesterday. Didn’t play very well in all three phases. We’re going to learn from that game yesterday and move on as quickly as possible. We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve got to get corrected.”
 
On an update on DE John Abraham:
“I can tell you this on both of the players that left the game yesterday. I fully anticipate that they will be ready to go on Sunday, January 13 at one o’clock.”
 
On getting calls on the coordinators with the coaching carousel being started:
“Per League rules, this is the window for teams that have a Bye week where assistant coaches can interview. I will say this, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment any on other teams head coaching search. I feel like we have a number of guys on our staff that would be outstanding head coaches. Per League rules, if someone called and asked permission we would grant it because we would have to.”
 
On Coach Koetter being mentioned to be interviewing up in Philly:
“I’m not going to talk specifically about another team’s head coaching search. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to do that.”
 
On the trend of having a young quarterback surrounded by a good running game:
“It sure seems that there are a number of teams in the playoffs that are going into it with a young quarterback. All I can do is speak to our maturation process when we got here five years ago is that we wanted to be able to run the football to help our young quarterback get accustomed to the game. We’re in a different place now than we were five years ago and I think it’s a formula that’s worked for a couple other teams this year.”
 
On adjustments he will make this week with the schedule compared to 2010:
“I know what we’re going to do differently. The work load is going to be different in terms of the number of days that we work and when we work. We did not spend a whole lot of time (on the field) in the Bye week (last time in 2010). We used it for rest. This year we are going to spend more time on the field. We’re going to be out on the field four days this week. It won’t be long practices, but we will be out on the field. We feel like the way our schedule is laid out this year in terms of the Bye week right at the middle, we had the Thursday night game, we had the Saturday night game, we have a couple of days rest now that we can get out there and get some work done. We really need to get some work done and stay focused on doing the things we’re going to have to do on the football field during the game.”
 
On what the team can accomplish on the field that the team didn’t last time:
“I think your timing. You want to work on your timing. You want to work on your fundamentals. I think yesterday in the ballgame we weren’t as fundamentally sound as we needed to be and at the end of the season I think sometimes fundamentals of blocking and tackling kind of get overlooked. This is going to give us an opportunity to go back and work Falcons-on-Falcons for four days. During those four days the emphasis is going to be on fundamentals. It’ll be very similar to what we’ve done when we had time off and worked Falcons-on-Falcons during the season this year.”
 
On being a very busy time for the staff having to prepare for three teams:
“Right now, we are going to be preparing for three teams. The way that the tournament is setup we’ll be playing one of three teams, the fourth seed, the fifth seed, or the sixth seed. As a staff, we’ll spend one day over the next three days on a specific team and that’s how we will do it. When we’re out on the field we’ll be working Falcons-on-Falcons. There will be no on the field work, but in terms of game planning we will start working on our game planning with our coaching staff working one team per day.”
 
On having to spend as much time on Washington since the team has already played them:
“The way we’re going to sequence it, it will be the last one that we do because we will have some familiarity having played them early in the season. We’ll focus on the two teams we haven’t played on Wednesday and Thursday.”
 
On having familiarity with Bill Musgrave:
“I don’t want to get into a lot of hypotheticals, but I know Bill very well. Bill and I worked together in Jacksonville and of course he was on our staff here. There is some familiarity with Bill as well.”
 
On S William Moore:
“We hope to get William on the field in terms of our preparation for the game. He’ll be on the field working with our athletic performance group this first day and then we’ll see how he’s going. He’s progressed quite a bit over the last two weeks and we anticipate seeing him out there with us.”
 
On looking at the body of work through the season:
“You get what you earn in this League. Yesterday we didn’t earn the win. You’ve got to look at it’s the final week of the regular season and I think we’ve got to be proud of what we’ve accomplished during the regular season. As I told the guys yesterday, the new season starts and everybody is 0-0. That’s a unique season because you don’t know how many games you’re going to play. You just have to go out there and keep playing and keep playing. I know our guys are looking forward to the second season.”
 
On being relieved Abraham and CB Dunta Robinson are OK:
“Anytime I get information that our players, whether it’s on the practice field, preseason game, first game of the year, you’re relieved. You never want to see any of your guys get injured. Very glad to get good news on those guys.”
 
On Robinson’s injury:
“He is in the concussion protocol and he is moving through it at a very good pace.”
 
On protections yesterday:
“We didn’t protect the quarterback as well as we wanted to. That was one of the areas that we felt like we were below the line. Again, everybody first wants to look at it and say it’s on the offensive line. Protection schemes involve everybody. It involves wide receivers, the quarterback, and the offensive line. We definitely had too many hits on our quarterback in the game yesterday.”
 
On what they were doing coverage-wise:
“They did a nice job yesterday. We didn’t really execute. Some of those sacks are coverage sacks. Each play has a little different dynamic. They did a nice job yesterday.”