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Transcript: Mike Smith Press Conference

Posted Sep 9, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith held a press conference on Monday, Sept. 9.

Opening Statement:

“We’ve spent the morning and last night watching the game tape.  We obviously didn’t make enough plays to get the outcome that we wanted.  There wasn’t one specific play that cost us the game; there were a number of plays.  We didn’t play as efficiently as we would have liked to on offense or defense, and when you don’t play as efficiently as you are capable of in a hard fought game and you make more mistakes than your opponent, you are not going to get the outcome that you want.”

On severity of Roddy White’s injury:

“In terms of injuries with players during the season, we have a policy that has been in place since I got here, we don’t discuss injuries.  We have injury reports on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday per League initiative and rules.  Everybody knows that there are different types of ankle sprains and we have to list it as an ankle sprain, and that is how we listed it.  I’ve stood by that statement from the very beginning.  We said he was going to play about 23 days ago, and he played in the football game.”

On a unit which he was pleased with after the game:

“Yes, I thought our special teams did an outstanding job.  When you watch the tape it is never as bad as you think, or as good.  I thought that we won the special teams segment, they have a very good return game, and I thought that we shut them down.  Our special teams did a very good job covering kicks.  I thought Matt Bosher did a very good job punting the ball and kicking off well.”

On open competition on offensive line:

“As you watch the tape and get an opportunity to evaluate it, you look at individuals, but you have to work under the assumption that you want your unit to try and work together as much as possible.  You also watch the tape to look at if there were other factors involved in terms of pressure on the quarterback.  As we did, we saw that there were some opportunities to get the ball out on some break out routes, where wide receivers are involved in the protection as well as running backs.  It wasn’t just the offensive line; it was the entire offense that contributes when we don’t have the success that we needed to have in protecting the quarterback yesterday.”

On giving up pressure on 24 of the 38 drop backs and how to fix it:

“I don’t know that we actually go that in depth.  I don’t know who is giving those evaluations.  I did say yesterday, we had entirely too much pressure on our quarterback throughout the entire game.  Whether it was 5-man pressures, 6-man pressures, 4-man rushes, 3-man rushes, we have got to do a better job in protecting our quarterback.  It is everybody on the offense that is going to be a part of that, not just the offensive line.”

On Luke McCown affecting the ability to use the no huddle yesterday:

“I don’t believe so, the year before he was in New Orleans.  Guys change teams, teams change signals, teams change code words, that is something that you have to do all time.  It’s a very fluid situation from season to season when you are playing teams, especially when you are playing teams twice in a season.  You are not going to use the same signals and code words between the games, you are always going to change them.”

On being able to prevent Julio Jones’ fumble:

“Well, I think it was a player trying to make a play.  It was an aggressive play by him, they had two tacklers coming at him and he was working for extra yards and the ball came out.  I think there are a number of ways we can coach through that, and we will.  We are doing that right now, as we speak, in terms of reviewing tape with the players.”

On how he felt about dictating pace and tempo during the game:

“I thought that defensively we were able to do some things in terms of dictating the terms of what the offense was going to do and that is what defenses try to do to offenses.  In terms of the tempo of the game, it’s very difficult to work your hurry up in the noise we were playing in.  I will say this, in the last three minutes when we were in our no huddle situation; I thought we were very efficient when we did no huddle in the game.  It was good to see; that was a positive outcome from the game.”

On how long it will take for Jeremy Trueblood to be up to speed:

“I honestly don’t know the answer to that.  Jeremy was a guy we added last week, who got an opportunity to practice with us, really two good days of practice.  We will get an opportunity for him to work a little bit more with us.  Again, we are always going to make decisions that give us the best chance to win.  Competition is what drives this team, and I think is what drives this League.”

On the penalities:

“I thought that we did a nice job.  We had the two penalties, though one was a very critical penalty, it was a holding penalty on a third down conversion that got the ball out to the plus side of the 50.  That was a critical penalty.  We had a pass on a breakout that was intentionally grounding, we had a miscommunication.  Those were the two penalties in the ballgame.  I thought that we did play well in terms of penalties.  The one penalty was a big one.  We weren’t as efficient as we need to be in the red zone, and the third-downs were very tough.  We had five third-downs that were over 11 yards.  There are not a lot of plays in the playbook when you are third and 16, third and 15, and I believe third and 20.  I believe we had another third and 16.  There are not a whole lot of plays in the playbook that you feel real confident and real good about in those situations.  We had entirely too many third and longs in the game yesterday."

On how he felt after leaving the game compared to how he felt after watching film:

“Yes, in terms of leaving the field very disappointed, when you don’t get the outcome you want, you think there are more negatives than positives.  When you do watch the tape, you see that we put ourselves in position, even though we didn’t make the plays early on; we put ourselves in position to win the game.  We just didn’t do it there at the end of the football game.  There were a number of things that we felt leaving the field that we didn’t do well, and when you really watch the tape, we did some good things.  I thought that we tackled very well on defense.  We didn’t have a whole lot of miss tackles.  We had some great effort throughout the game; lack of effort was not an issue.  I thought the entire team played hard and I thought it really showed up on special teams the way we ran covering kicks.”

On Asante being inactive, affecting the amount of nickel to be played:

“No it didn’t.  Asante was questionable during the week.  He was questionable on Friday, was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so we knew that there was a chance he wouldn’t be ready to go on Sunday.  It did not change our game plan.  The guys we played had an opportunity to practice.  It was not like it was an injury that came up on Friday and the other guys had not practiced.  I thought our young corners regular season action did a nice job.  They were productive in terms of plays on the ball when they had the opportunities.  We had some pass breakups, we had some production in tackling, that is a pretty good quarterback we faced, and I think they did a nice job.”

On being confident with having the right guys on the offensive line:

“I am absolutely confident that we have the right guys.  I think we will see a large improvement from week 1 to week 2, in not only our offensive line but our football team.  I think it is the biggest jump to have during the season, is from week 1 to week 2  We were playing a lot of younger guys that have not played as much.  It was a great learning experience for them.  Unfortunately, we did not get the outcome we wanted in the ballgame.  Hats off to the New Orleans Saints, they made more plays than we did in that ballgame.  I told our team prior to playing; the team who made fewer mistakes was going to be the team that won.  We made more mistakes than they did, that starts with not just the players but the coaches as well.”

On Jonathan Babineaux’s performance:

“I thought it was huge he got back to back holding penalties, when they had the ball there in the red zone.  He was very disruptive, he penetrated.  That is the Jonathan Babineaux we’ve known for the last few years.  I know he has led the League in minus yardage plays, and he was very disruptive in the game yesterday.”

On the pressure they put on Brees:

“He is a hard guy to sack.  He does a nice job of escaping.  He did some things that were tough on us.  I thought we were close at times.  I thought we had sustained some pressure, we just weren’t able to finish it.  I thought the second play of the game we just basically flipped the ball out.  We had good pressure from Osi Umenyiora, we would always like to have more, but I thought that we did a nice job.  It is not always about the sacks, it is about disrupting the timing and I thought we did that a couple of times during the ballgame.  That is a very good quarterback that is going to get his yards when he throws them.”

On being able to look at the Rams:

“I thought Jared Cook had a very good game. They had the game winning field goal at the end of the game.  I think Sam Bradford completed over 70% of his passes.  Robert Quinn, the defensive end, had a   huge game with three sacks. He had a big game and it is going to be important for us to put this game behind us after we make the corrections and finish the corrections today and get prepared for St. Louis.  They had a big win, they have a very good quarterback in Sam Bradford, and anytime you complete 70% of your passes you are doing something right.  I know Jared Cook is a very good tight end and will create match up issues for anyone they play.”