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Transcript: Mike Smith Press Conference

Posted Nov 4, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith held his weekly press conference on Monday, Nov. 4.

Opening Statement:

“Obviously, we did not play well enough to win the football game in Charlotte yesterday.  This is a production oriented business and we didn’t get it done."

On the biggest issue he saw after film review:

“Well, you can’t turn the ball over four times, one of them being pick-six. It is very hard to win football games when you have four turnovers.  That is probably the most glaring thing that stood out in the ballgame yesterday.”

On the penalties:

“There were some very untimely penalties. You asked me what the one thing was. We can go down the list; it is a pretty long list.  Especially on third downs, we had some third down penalties that kept us exposed out on the defensive side in terms of having to play more plays.   We can’t do that, we have to get off the field and we had the opportunities to get off the field on those third downs.  That was very critical.  Offensively, we had a scoring play negated by on offensive holding penalty that took seven points off of the board.  You can’t have that against a good football team that is playing with a lot of confidence.”

On Matt Ryan’s interceptions:

“We’ve got to take care of the football.  Possession is 9/10 of the game.  That is what you have to do when you are on the offensive side of the ball; you have to possess the football.  It’s not just the responsibility of the quarterback, it is the responsibility of everyone on the offensive side, including the coaches, in terms of making sure we take care of the ball.  We’re going out there every time we play the game, to win the game; we need to play within the scheme of the game.  Our guys need to make sure they understand the game plan and how we are going to do it in terms of routes, protections and reads.  We all have to be singing out of the same hymnal, so to speak, for us to be successful on the offensive side of the ball.  The last two ballgames we’ve had eight turnovers.  You are not going to win many games, in any level of football when you have eight turnovers.”

On Matt Ryan trying to compensate for some of the guys who aren’t on the field:

“We’re all going out there playing our hardest, giving it our best to win the football game.  Whoever is out there, that is who we have to play with.  As I said yesterday, you would have to ask Matt that specifically.  We definitely need, systematically, we have to go through our reads and make sure we are clean with everyone when I talk about our reads and our scheme.  That involves not just the quarterback, our wide receivers, offensive lineman, running backs and tight ends.”

On their being a sense of panic watching guys jumping out of the scheme to make plays:

“There were instances in the game yesterday, obviously on a fourth down and one; you’re not going to leave a receiver uncovered.  That was an example of not playing within the scheme.  Is it a concern? Yes it is a concern.  When you are playing good football, people are doing what they’re coached to do, and they are executing it at a high level.  Right now, we aren’t executing at a high level, and we didn’t execute at a high level in yesterday’s ballgame, especially the last ten minutes of the game.  It was a close game until about nine, nine and a half minutes to go in the ballgame, when we had an opportunity to turn the ball over and we didn’t get it.  Then, we gave up a touchdown and our next offensive play was an interception returned for a touchdown. That pretty much sealed the deal.  You don’t play for three quarters and five minutes, you have to play for four quarters and we did not do that yesterday.”

On the emotional mistakes compared to the physical mistakes:

“I think that there are times when we physically have not played up to the level were capable of playing.  I do believe we have not been on the same page consistently, and that has led to a number of breakdowns on the offensive side, the defensive side, special teams and coaching.  As I have said many times, we have collectively earned what we have earned in the first half of the season, that is players, coaches, all of us, every man in that room.”

On that leading to a question of effort:

“I don’t believe that the effort is ever questioned.  This is a group of guys that have played hard in every football game.  There is no quit in them.  We’ve got some things that aren’t clicking, and it is a fine line in terms of being successful and being unsuccessful in the National Football League.  We have not played the type of football we need to play consistently to get the wins we definitely need.”

On two coaches going down this weekend and how he deals with the stress:

“I feel for Coach Kubiak and Coach Fox and I hope that they are both going to be fine. This is a business where you really get 16 opportunities; you’re limited in terms of how you are evaluated.  So, it is a stressful job.  In terms of me, I try and take it one step at a time, work through the day, do as much as you can, try to spend a little bit of time with your family and then move on to the next day.  This is obviously a high stress job.”

On him having to stay in Charlotte a few years back and how his routine has changed:

“Absolutely, exercise and sleep regiment.  I think often there is a time what happens is we get sleep deprived, because of the hours that are spent in our preparation.  For me personally, it definitely forced me to change my lifestyle, I had to make a number of changes."

On the forced fumble bouncing back into Carolina’s hands:

“Absolutely, I think as I said yesterday in my press conference after the game; that play was kind of a microcosm of the first eight games of the season. Not to be revisiting the previous games, but it was a play that we were going for an interception.  The interception didn’t happen, a guy catches the ball and runs, we knock it out, ball is on the ground, and we are scrambling for the ball.  They happen to have a receiver on the ground and the ball ends up in his hands.  Again guys, you can’t make excuses in this League, nobody feels sorry for you.  It is all about production, and the production this year is not at the level it needs to be through the first eight games of the season.”

On Seattle’s defensive front:

“They’ve got a very good defense.  They have two defensive backs that are tied for the League in interceptions with four, Earl Thomas is one and Richard Sherman is the other.  They do have some guys that can rush the passer up front.  It will be a challenge for our offensive line.  If you look at positives from the game yesterday, I felt our offensive line did a good job protecting the quarterback.  That was a front that has been very disruptive.  They have two outstanding defensive ends and a couple of inside tackles that can put a lot of pressure on the quarterback.  If there were some positives to take from the game yesterday, the offensive line is playing pass protection and we ran the ball more effectively, not as good as we would have liked to, but ran it more effectively.  If you turn the ball over like we did yesterday and like we did the week before, it makes it very difficult to get the outcome that you want.”

On it being as easy for the players to turn the page with the way this season has started:

“I think that we have to have the mindset that we will turn the page.  We have to turn the page.  In the meeting today, I talked about finishing up the second quarter.  You have to be transparent, have to be honest with your football team.  I showed them what we accomplished in the second quarter and talked about the third quarter.  We’ve got three games that are going to be in our conference, two in our division and one against an AFC East team, one playing on Thursday night.  It will be a really exciting third quarter for us, but you’ve got to turn the page.  Whether you win or lose in this League, regardless of what the outcome was the previous week, you’ve got to move on.  You’ve got to make the corrections and you’ve got to move on.  You hope there are no lingering effects, positive or negative, from the previous week or previous weeks.”

On Paul Worrilow:

“He was an active linebacker in the ballgame, both in the run and the pass.  I think you see maturation in terms of Paul, in having a better understanding of our defense. I think we saw spurts of that in the preseason.  I think that there was a game he was a tackling machine, in either week one or week two off the preseason.  It’s been a pleasant surprise to see him continue to grow, not only as first and second down linebacker but a third down linebacker.  We can play better, he can play better.  I believe that.  I think he is going to be a very good football player for us.”

On the Seahawks also dealing with injuries:

“There are injuries all across the League.  There are teams that have more guys on IR than others, and they’ve been successful.  You can’t use injuries as an excuse.  You can’t use the number of injuries. You can always slant it the way you want it to be slanted, the number of injuries or who, or what position.  There are no excuses.   We’ve got to go out and play every week.  This is a production driven business that is the bottom line.  The bottom line is about winning.  It doesn’t matter who’s out there playing, or who’s not out there playing.  You’ve got to go out there and compete.”


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