News

Print
RSS

Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

Posted Nov 14, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith updates the Falcons' injury situation heading into the rest of the week of practice.

On the injury report:

“We had four guys that didn’t participate in practice: WR Kevin Cone, WR Julio Jones, S Charles Mitchell, and LB Sean Weatherspoon. Those are the four guys that didn’t participate. Then we had a bunch of guys limited: DE John Abraham, DT Jonathan Babineaux, WR Harry Douglas, TE Tony Gonzalez, LB Stephen Nicholas, RB Michael Turner, DT Vance Walker, and then LB Mike Peterson was listed with a foot but was a full participant. The majority of those guys that were limited participation will be full participation tomorrow. It was a very physical game, so we wanted to give these guys some rest. They’ve got some bumps and bruises. That’s why we had a much longer list today.”

On the problems facing Arizona:

“I’ll talk about their defense first. They have one of the top defenses in the League. They’re based out of a 3-4. Coach Horton is from the Dick Lebeau family so there is lots of blitzing. Probably, blitz more than any team in the League percentage-wise. They create a lot of issues. They’re very stout up front with two good defensive ends. They got an inside linebacker that’s had eight sacks in ILB Daryl Washington, and then they have a good cover corner. On the offensive side, they’ve got one of the premiere wide receivers with Larry Fitzgerald. They do a great job with moving him around and putting him in different spots, so we’re going to have to know where he is.”

On the decision to release DE Ray Edwards:

“It was a decision that we made that we felt like was going to make our football team better today and in the future. That’s what you have to do when you make decisions. You’ve got to make decisions for your football team.”

On sending a message to the rest of the players:

“I don’t want to get into sending messages and what not. We evaluate every day. We evaluate after every game from top to bottom. We talk about it all the time and it starts with me. Again, it was a decision we made, and we felt like it makes our team better today and it will make our team better in the future.”

On LB Sean Weatherspoon:

“Sean was working with our AP (Athletic Performance) guys today and he moved around. We’ll ramp that up tomorrow and see how he feels in the morning and we’ll determine what his work load will be for tomorrow.”

On whether he could play tomorrow if it was a game:

“I can’t speak to that. I know he had a good workout, and I had an opportunity to speak with him and he was excited about what he was able to get accomplished today.”

On him having a field test:

“No. That was a test that you would bring him out on the field and let him work, but no. We don’t grade, we don’t give a’s, b’s, c’s, d’s, we don’t have pass/fails. Only thing we’re judged on is Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights whether we win or lose, so that’s our test.”

On Jones’ injury could keep him out this weekend:

“We want to keep Julio off his feet and Julio will be evaluated tomorrow and determine how much work he’ll do.”

On who he expects to step up with Edwards getting cut:

“We’ve got some young guys that can play his role and it will start with DE Cliff Matthews, DE Lawrence Sidbury, and DE Jonathan Massaquoi. Those guys will get an opportunity to play. They were all up in the game last week, so Jonathan Massaquoi got his first experience. Cliff Matthews has been up throughout and Lawrence Sidbury’s been out there every game, so those will be guys that get an opportunity.”

On analyzing the red zone numbers:

“They’re not as good as we need to be. Our red zone efficiency and touchdown efficiency is not what we need to be. We talked about it last week on Wednesday about the team we were facing was number one, and we had to go out and match that because they were going to do a good job. They’ve done a good job. We’ve got to improve. We can’t work and get those empty yards, get down in the red zone and not come away with touchdowns. We want to finish every drive. Our goal is to finish every drive with it ending not in a field goal, but ending with an extra point.”

On how the team has reacted to losing for the first time this year:

“I think that gets so overblown. It’s week-to-week in terms of your preparation. Whether you win or you lose, you’re going to learn from it. You’re going to put it behind you as quickly as possible, and you’re going to move forward. Your focus has to go onto the next game and that’s the way we’ve always done it. I think it’s way overblown in terms of whether you’ve won the last game or whether you’ve lost the last game that your preparation changes. No it doesn’t. You go right back to work and these guys came out and we had a good days practice. We’ve had a lot of good days of practice so far.”

On TE Tommy Gallarda being put on IR and signing TE Chase Coffman to the active roster:

“Tommy Gallarda was probably our number one blocking tight end so those guys are going to have to step up. It’s an opportunity for Chase. Chase has worked extremely hard since he’s been with us. We got him in training camp and he’s going to get an opportunity to go out there and play. TE Michael Palmer’s role is going to expand, and he’s going to have to do some of the things Tommy Gallarda was doing for us.”

On how tough Arizona’s front seven is on defense:

“The two defensive ends are very productive. DE Calais Campbell is a 6-7 guy, very long. Not only is a good guy on defense, but he’s a factor on special teams in blocking field goals. He’s blocked six in his five years so we’ve got to have a plan for that. DE Darnell Docket is a Pro Bowl player. He’s very active. The nose guard is what you want in the 3-4 defense. Very similar to what you see in most 3-4 defenses. He’s more of an anchor for them. Washington is having a great year, eight sacks. They do a great job with their pressure game. They blitz to stop the run and they also blitz to stop the pass. We anticipate when they get off the plane they’ll be blitzing.”

On looking at Washington for the draft coming out of TCU:

“He was a guy we did some work on and did our due diligence. Very athletic guy. Not your typical inside linebacker in the 3-4 in terms of size, but this is becoming a speed game. He can run.”

On having trouble with the short yardage plays:

“We’ve got to improve on third down. When you’re more efficient in third and four to six than third and one it’s definitely an issue. We’ve had a higher percentage converting on third and four to six than we have on third and one. We’ve got to look at everything. We’ve got to look at what we call. What we’re asking our guys to do and when we go out there we have to execute it. We definitely have to improve in that area.”


Recent News