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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

Posted Sep 19, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith is impressed with San Diego's defense, which has only given up 83 yards on the ground in their past two games

On the injury report:

“We had two guys that didn’t participate. RB Antone Smith did not participate in practice because of a hamstring injury that was sustained in the game, and CB Chris Owens did not participate in practice because he’s in the concussion protocol. Those two guys didn’t practice. We had a number of guys that we limited in practice today. A couple of them are holdovers from last week. T Tyson Clabo was limited in his participation along with LB Sean Weatherspoon and LB Stephen Nicholas. WR Roddy White and WR Julio Jones were limited in their participation. The reason a lot of those guys were limited is we’re on a short week. We’re not even 48 hours out from the end of the ball game. We wanted to rest those guys.”

On how RB Michael Turner looked in practice today:

“I thought Michael looked very good. It’s typical Wednesday getting a lot of base work done on our base offense and our base running game. I thought we had a good practice. Not nearly as intense as when were not in pads because of the short week.”

On fixing the run defense when playing nickel:

“We haven’t seen a lot of the base in the first two ball games. It’s really about gap integrity. We’ve got to be a little bit better at fitting the run. If you get a guy a half man out of his gap, you’re going to give up some yardage. When you’re playing your nickel you’re not as strong against the run as you would be in your base against the different personnel groupings that they present. We have to be a little more efficient than we have been in the first two ball games.”

On Coach Hill [offensive line coach] having a good scouting report on RB Ryan Matthews:

“We’re anticipating that he’s going to play this week. He practiced some last week, and we’ll find out here later this afternoon what his participation was in practice this week. We’re anticipating he’s going to play, and yes, Coach Hill is very familiar with him having been his head coach at Fresno State, so he probably knows him as well as anybody.”

On Coach Turner wanting to control the clock to limit the defense disguising their looks:

“[Head Coach] Norv [Turner] believes in running the football any place he’s been as a head coach and a coordinator. It’s based on running the football, and then taking some shots down the field. It’s always been a very productive offense. I believe since he’s been there, they’ve always been a top offense in the NFL. He has a run first mentality. You have to make sure you have good gap control when you’re facing a team that can run the football. He also is very effective throwing the football with Philip Rivers. Philip has a very strong arm and he can throw the ball down the field.”

On whether the Chargers might play in some no huddle after not using it yet this year:

“I don’t know if we’ll see it. It’s not something that has been in his history except in two minute situations. Although, it has not been in his history through the offseason they ran a little wild cat, which you never thought you would see from a Norv Turner team, but they practice it and run a snap or two of it this season. We’re early in the season. We’re going to see some un-scouted looks. We’re going to present some un-scouted looks as well, and it ought to be a fun game.”

On whether RB Michael Turner will play this Sunday:

“I’ve said about all I’m going to say in terms of what Michael’s plan is. We’re going through a normal preparation week. This is our Wednesday and we’re planning on having a full boat when we go out there to San Diego.”

On whether the Falcons are difficult to prepare for:

“I think we are more difficult and a lot of it has to do with the players on our roster. We have a lot of good players. There is also the unknown of the two new coaches that are coordinating our offense and defense. There are a lot of similarities in what we do, but as we’ve said from the very beginning it’s not like we’ve been trying to hide it. There are some things that are different, but the majority of what we do is the same. We want to be offensive in all three phases, even though we have an offense, a defense, and special teams. We want to be offensive in all three phases. If the game plan allows us to do that, some weeks it’s going to be easier to do then others, but we want to be an attacking style offense, defense, and special teams.”

On how the game plan changes with Coach Nolan and Coach Turner knowing each other so well:

“They worked together in Washington. Mike’s [Nolan] been in the League a long time as well as Coach Turner so they’ve probably had a number of battles where they’ve been against each other and they’ve been on the same side and sat in staff rooms. There’s going to be some familiarity in terms of what Mike [Nolan] knows and what Coach Turner knows. On the other side, Coach Turner’s going to have an idea of what Coach Nolan’s going to do. That’s the great thing about this League. There are only 32 teams and a lot of guys have worked with one another and it’s ever changing. It changes from week to week and it changes from day to day. That’s what makes it so much fun. We have to prepare to go play a very good San Diego team. Defensively, they’re playing outstanding. They are very strong against the run. They have only given up 83 yards in two games, which is number one in the League. They’re outstanding in third down efficiency and they’re scoring a lot of points. Rich Bisaccia, their special teams coordinator who we’re familiar with from Tampa Bay, was on the Tampa Bay staff for a number of years. He’s got those guys running and hitting on special teams. It’s going to be a fun game.”

 

On keeping everything the same this week after being successful in the past when traveling out West:

“This is our routine. We’ve done it this way since day one. It’s the way I learned it as a coach from my earlier times in Baltimore. It was successful when we were there and it’s been successful here. It’s really not anything that is groundbreaking. We want to try and stay on our East Coast time, and we want to get there a day early just to acclimate it where we’re not on a plane for five hours a day before the game. Our guys have responded to it very well, but I don’t know if it’s about when you go out whether it’s Friday or Saturday. It’s about what you do on Wednesday and Thursday before you leave in your preparation.”


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