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Transcript: Mike Smith, Roddy White Interviews

Posted Jul 28, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith and wide receiver Roddy White spoke to the media after the Falcons' first padded practice of 2013 Russell Athletic Training Camp

Head coach Mike Smith
On first padded practice:

“I thought it went very well. I thought the guys were very focused. We didn’t have a whole lot of mistakes. We did a nice job competing. They got out and competed, and that’s what we wanted to do. They weren’t on the ground a whole lot, which is something that we wanted to make sure. We’ll watch the tape and really see how they did, but the first impressions there on the field, I thought it was nice place to start.”

On how Steven Jackson fits into the screen game:

“Well, Steven (Jackson) is a guy that can catch the ball. Earlier in his career he almost had over a 100 catches. 95 or 96 catches in one season, so he’s a good receiving back. The thing that I think adding Steven is he’s not only a running back, he’s a receiving back. He will allow us to keep the same personnel, and not have to necessarily put a change of pace back in.”

On how Steven Jackson is so affective in the passing game:

“Well, he’s got very good hands, and very good vision. Usually, a running back has to have good vision because it’s check down routes, and the integrity of the play; it’s the last read in most cases, and the integrity of the play is about to break down, and he has a good feel for it. I think that’s why he’s such a good runner as well, he has excellent vision.

On impression of offensive and defensive lines in pads:

“I haven’t had a chance to really watch. I was not involved in really watching the pass rush, I stay over with the skelly. Now what I saw in the 11-on-11, I thought they competed well and they played smart, and that’s the one thing we’ve been trying to get all of our guys to understand is, if we have a guy in an awkward position, we’re not going to finish him.  We want – and it’s a theme you’re going to hear over and over – we want to get to the first game as healthy as we possibly can.”

On whether or not he thinks there’s anything different from the players when they put on the pads for first time:

“I think that there’s always a little anxiety. I think it’s natural, a little nervousness especially for the rookie class. It’s their first time putting pads on as a NFL player. But I think we did a nice job of preparing them as a coaching staff. We went through the practice yesterday, only thing different is we didn’t have the pads on, but the sequencing was the same. So they had an opportunity to do it one time as a practice run before we came out here.”

On energy of guys past three days:

“It’s been very good. Trying to keep these guys as rested as we can. We got three different schedules each day, so we got three options of how we want to do it. We can start them out real early, and have weight training. Or we can have no weight training and have early meetings. For example, today, we had no walk-through’s. We let them rest today, and we felt like it was necessary. We’re very fortunate that we’re going to have an off day on Wednesday after three consecutive padded days. I think the guys will need that and be ready for it.”

On Peter Konz:

“Peter’s natural position was to play center. We had Todd McClure here last year that was our center. Peter’s got his playing time at the guard position. I think it was a learning experience for Peter to have a feel what the guys next to him is doing on both sides.  Peter is a very smart, intelligent player, and we’re asking a lot of him. But I’ve got a lot of confidence in his athleticism, and his will and his passion.”

On how Peter Konz did in the offseason weight program:

“We had very few guys that didn’t get stronger in our offseason program. The offense and defensive line is the area where we had the biggest percentage increase, which is a little bit unusual because those guys are usually at a level, and they’re close to topping out. We had some offensive and defensive lineman that really did a nice job. He was one of them. He’s a guy that’s more naturally strong, than he is weight room strong.”

On Stansly Maponga:

“I know he was excited to get out there and fully participate like the rest of the team, and he did a nice job. I did not see the one-on-ones, looking forward to getting up in the office and seeing that.

Wide Receiver Roddy White
On the first padded practice:

“Any time you put on pads they’re going to bunch you up and try and slow you down. It’s just part of playing football. Everyone’s in the camp mode so everyone is excited for the first day of pads.”

On if expectations have changed from last year compared to this year:

“No. We come in and we know that we have a good football team and we know that we have to go out there and execute and do what we have to do to win a lot of games and set ourselves up like we did last year. We have to be excited and we all have to do our part. Everyone has to play their role that they have to play and we have to go out there and win.”

On the rookie corners talking trash and getting in the face of the receivers:

“I absolutely love that. Anytime you get guys out there that want to talk and want to go out there and compete, you have to love guys like that. We have a lot of competitors on our team and as long as they come every day and bring that type of energy then they’ll be fine throughout the season.”

On where the franchise is now:

“We’ve changed face around here and we’ve really taken off and never looked back. We’ve had a lot of success and won a lot of games. We’ve just had a lot of great moments. We’ve set the expectations very high around here and every year we have to live up to it.”

On if he has lost weight:

“No not really. I come in the same weight every year. I just try and get in better shape every year.”

On working out with Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald in the offseason:

“Any time you get around guys like that around the NFL that you want to compete with and that you want to show them what you can do, they push you to the limit and you get out here and get ready to go.”

On wearing the new knee and thigh pads:

“I just put them on today and I look like I’m back in high school, but other than that it’s good. These pads don’t really slow me down. I guess they’re for protection and we have to wear them.”


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