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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

Posted Oct 4, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith spoke to the media Thursday and gave his reaction to Matt Ryan winning NFC Offensive Player of the Month

On the injury report:

“We have two changes from yesterday on our injury report. We had two guys that were upgraded, Christopher Owens went from limited to full and LB Stephen Nicholas went from limited to full. Everything else was the same from yesterday. We still have the two guys that didn’t participate, TE Michael Palmer and FB Lousaka Polite. Michael Palmer will more than likely be out this week. Lousaka Polite may be able to participate in practice tomorrow, so we may be able to get some work out of him.”

On how TE Fred Davis fits in their offense:

“He’s a very talented tight end. He’s one of the faster tight ends in the League. He’s a 250 pound guy that can run 4.5. He can do the things they ask him to do with the zone blocking because it’s really taking a step and running on a track. That’s the thing that the zone blocking is. You’re going to take the defender that comes into your gap, and if there isn’t a defender in your gap he’s going to be moving up to the second level so he’s the guy that’s responsible for sealing the inside out pursuit. He’s that type of tight end. Shannon Sharpe was that type of tight end. When Coach Shanahan was doing it in Denver, Shannon (Sharpe) wasn’t known for his blocking but he could block very well in that scheme.”

On WR Roddy White:

“Roddy’s having a great start to the season. Not only catching the ball but it’s real evident what he’s doing in the downfield blocking. It really showed up and everybody could see it on the screen pass to (RB) Michael Turner. He’s doing that on the run plays as well. He’s about as complete of a wide receiver as I’ve seen this season. He’s doing a nice job.”

On QB Matt Ryan being NFC player of the month:

“It’s quite an honor. When you have success, individuals are going to get honors. Matt’s had a good start to the season, but it’s also a reflection of our offensive unit. They’ve done a nice job as a unit moving the football, protecting the quarterback, running when we’ve had to run it, throwing it, and getting it to the right guys hands. Matt’s off to a super start.”

On OG Garrett Reynolds being more consistent this year:

“Garrett’s been consistent. He’s been a guy that works very hard. I don’t know a guy that works harder than him in practice. Every day he comes out here and practices extremely hard. That unit through the first quarter, they’ve gotten the job done through the whole quarter.”

On C Joe Hawley’s role changing during the season:

“Joe’s a very resilient guy. We talk about changing roles and they can change for a number of reasons. You would’ve never of thought that Joe Hawley, who was an offensive lineman, was going to have his role changed to be lining up as a fullback but things happen. You’ve got to have plans in place to how you’re going to adjust to those injuries that may occur. We’ve been able to make that move and it’s been a pretty quick transition. If you would’ve asked anybody in that locker room if we were going to have Joe Hawley lining up at fullback in week 4 of the season, they would look at you like you had a hole in your head. They’re ever changing. That’s the great thing about a football season and a football team. Guys have to be able to change their perspective, and they have to change their roles.”

On having contingency plans for a bunch of positions:

“We have contingency plans for a lot of positions. You have got to cross train. You’ve heard me use that term that you have to cross train guys. You also have to have in the specialists department real contingency plans, because you can be into your third kicker, third snapper, third punt returner, third kickoff returner just like that. We’ve got guys in place that we would be able to handle at least two injuries at each position.”