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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

Posted Sep 14, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith is excited to see what the Georgia Dome fans can bring to Monday night's game against the Broncos

On special teams:
It’s a big part of the game. You’re going to have 25 or 30 snaps potentially of special teams plays. Last week, it showed for us. The 77 yard kickoff return and the drive starts were crucial to our success. You don’t want to give up the big play, and make sure you have your I’s dotted and your t’s crossed and I think we’ve done a nice job through week one.”
 
On who the backup long snapper is:
“Our backup snapper is C Todd McClure. Todd has done it in the game in a field goal situation for us in the past. We always have a backup and have a backup to a backup.”
 
On the final things you’re wrapping up to prepare for a big game:
“The routine is a little bit different because we have an extra day of practice. It wasn’t an extra day of preparation. I think the big thing is you want to make sure that you don’t try to do more on your game plan, just because you have the extra day. You want to try and stay on the sequence that you’re normally on and that’s what we’ve tried to do this week.”
 
On injured players:
“Injury report did not change from yesterday. We had the same guys that were limited in practice yesterday, the three guys, were limited today. We did add one guy and that was T Tyson Clabo. He was added to the injury report today. He was limited. All of the guys were limited in practice today.”
 
On whether CB Asante Samuel has helped the other defensive backs with some information on QB Peyton Manning:
“Most certainly. He’s had some experience against Peyton and I’m sure he can enlighten those guys on a lot of things. Peyton is a very good quarterback, and we will try and gain an advantage any way we can. We’ll use the resources that Asante has in terms of the number of games he’s played with him.”
 
On how he’s preparing for QB Peyton Manning:
“It’s very hard to simulate. The thing that we are doing is we are working with the crowd noise with our defense. If they run the no huddle we have to be prepared to communicate with the defensive side of the ball. Everybody talks about crowd noise on the road. Well, there’s crowd noise at home that affects one side of your team as well, and I think it’s very important when you’re facing a no huddle team that you have great communication on the defensive side. We’ve been working on that this week.”
 
On the matchup between their edge rushers and his tackles:
“They had five sacks in the game last week against QB Ben Roethlisberger as a team. They can bring pressure with the four man rush and then they add a fifth and sixth rusher with blitz packages. It’s going to be very important that we are able to neutralize that pass rush and give our quarterback an opportunity to throw the ball down the field.”
 
On impression of DL Derek Wolfe:
“Big and strong. They’ve got the two edge rushers and they’ve got guys that they can rotate in. [DC] Coach Del Rio did a very nice job in his rotation in the game last week. He’s going to keep those guys fresh. He even rotated the two big guys, [LB Elvis] Dumervil and [LB Von] Miller. Both of those guys got some rest as well to keep them fresh for those passing situations.”
 
On seeing a former player, like LB Keith Brooking, still playing:
“It’s going to be good to compete against Keith. Keith is a very competitive football. He was a guy that contributed a lot to the Atlanta Falcons through the years. He was with us for the first season, and he was a team leader. We look forward to competing against him. I know he’s a really competitive guy. He’s basically playing in their base package. He was injured throughout most of the preseason, but he’s healthy and he’s ready to go.”
 
On home field advantage:
“Our home crowd has been a big part of the success that we’ve had. It’s really nice to go in there and know we’re probably good for one or two procedural penalties a game. Hopefully, it’s in the most crucial time of the ball game. Our fans are very, very smart in terms of when to cheer and when to not cheer. It’s going to be an electric atmosphere. I think our guys are excited about it. We have to make sure we stay even keeled. It’s going to be a long game. There is going to be ebbs and flows in the football game. We’ve got to be prepared to handle the different situations that arise.”
 
On seeing similarities between QB Matt Ryan and QB Peyton Manning:
“Physically, they’re almost the same height in terms of size. When you talk about Peyton Manning, you’re talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. When you watch Matt at his stage in his career of where he is, I think he’s very comparable to Peyton Manning. He has a very good understanding of how to defeat defenses. He knows where to go with the football. He’s very accurate, and believe it or not Peyton is sneaky, especially in his younger days, when he tried to escape and run. I think Matt is the same type of guy. He can make plays with his feet when the opportunity arises.”
 
On getting the running game going this week:
“You want to try and attack them how they’re going to be defending us. If they’re going to take away the pass, then we’re going to have to be able to run the football. It they’re going to have guys close to the line of scrimmage we’re going to have to throw the football. You can’t bang your head up against the wall in terms of how you’re trying to defeat your opponent. You have to take what they give you. We did a nice job of doing that last week. Kansas City was very good with their front seven. We went into that ball game knowing we more than likely have to throw the ball to have success and we were able to do that.”

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