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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

Posted Sep 27, 2012

Head coach Mike Smith said Thursday he is looking forward to another excitable crowd at the Georgia Dome for Sunday's game

On the injury report:

“Same as yesterday, except T Tyson Clabo went to full participation. Nothing different than yesterday. The guys that were out are still out, and the guys that were limited were still limited except for Tyson. We moved him up to full participation so he’s feeling a lot better.”

On the referee situation being settled:

“I’m looking forward to having the experienced guys back. In terms of our preparation, it’s not going to change the way we prepare. We have a big challenge this week with Carolina, but definitely glad to have the experienced guys back.”

On how difficult it was adjusting to the replacement refs:

“We didn’t try to deal with it at all. We didn’t concern ourselves with it because it’s something we didn’t have any control over. I don’t consider it a factor for us in the first three ball games. I am glad the experienced guys are back.”

On TE Tommy Gallarda stepping in for TE Michael Palmer:

“Tommy Gallarda is a guy that hasn’t played a whole lot for us, but he’s very accomplished at both catching and blocking. He should be able to step in and fill that role. The biggest issue is normally, we would carry three tight ends and we already know Michael is not going to play this week, so we’re only going to have two active tight ends. We have got to have a plan in place like always.”

On it being easier to focus on areas you need to get better in since you are 3-0 instead of 1-2:

“I think that every week you have got things that you have to focus on and I think they change. Whether you’re 1-2, 2-1, 3-0 everybody has things that we can do better and that’s really been our focus point. We wanted to start fast in games. We wanted to start the season fast. We want to finish this first quarter off the right way. It hasn’t changed what our record is in terms of how we get prepared and how we view the previous game. We’re going to get better in the areas we didn’t do as well as we’d like to.”

On being 3-0 a surprise:

“You never know at the start of the season how your season is going to go. I was very confident that we had the pieces in place to go out and play well, and we’ve been able to do that. It’s only a start and it’s a long season. I’ve been pleased the way the guys have started the season.”

On the crowd:

I expect it’s going to be very similar as what we had the last home game. This is a big rival. It’s a division game. We’ve not played a division opponent. We’ve not played an NFC team either and it’s different when you’re competing in the division in the NFC. Ultimately, the first step in any season is to try and win your division. To win your division, you have to beat division opponents so it’ll be a fun afternoon. I know that the fans have a good rivalry with Carolina and they’ll probably bring some folks over as well.

 


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