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Transcripts: Falcons at Bills

Posted Dec 1, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan spoke to the media after the Falcons' 34-31 win over the Bills on Sunday.

Head coach Mike Smith
Opening Statement:

“Today’s game was a reminder that football is the ultimate team game. We needed every man in that locker room to get the win. I do believe we showed our resiliency as a team to be down 14 points in the mid part of the first quarter and to fight back shows the type of guys we have on this team.”

“I like the way that we took the ball away at the end of the game. The two turnovers were critical at the end of the game. I think it was Bobby Mac (Robert McClain) and William Moore. Those were critical plays.”

“That’s a good team, a good win for us. We’ll make the corrections and we’ll move on. We finished strong today and we want to finish strong in this fourth quarter of the season.”

On William Moore:

“William was an active player in the game today. When he gets around the ball he can be very disruptive and I thought he did some nice things. Of course I’ll know more when I watch the tape.”

On Robert McClain:

“It talks about his individual resiliency. He had some tough downs. We put him in some tough one-on-one situations there in the slot with 13 [Steve Johnson] but he told me in the first quarter coming off ‘It’s just the first quarter, coach.’ We were having a conversation about a couple of the completions. He said it was just the first quarter, and we needed all four of them. And the fifth one.”

On making adjustments after falling behind early:

“Well you’re coaching every time you play a football game. You’re talking about making the corrections, and talking about that we’re going to be okay. You have to have good body language and put that last play behind us and move on. We’ll make the corrections and sometimes those Polaroids aren’t always telling the true story about what’s happening. But we’ve got to put it behind us and move on to the next one. I thought that the guys did a nice job with that today.”

On lateral play during run back of fumble during OT:

“Obviously I said that should be the last time that you do that. That wasn’t the exact quote, but that’s paraphrasing. We don’t need to do that in that situation and I think he understands that he won’t do it again. But, hey, it was a big play. The ball was stripped and it ended up working out for us.”

“It did work for us in that case. But there are certain things, especially in overtime, when you have a turnover, in terms of that would have been a possession for us, and if it would have not worked out that way, we would have had our one possession, and then a field goal would have beaten us. That’s how I understand the rule to be.”

On WR Roddy White:

“Roddy hasn’t been healthy all year. He’s not healthy right now. He’s fighting through it, but I think he’s getting better and he’s getting back into the swing of things. It’s very unfortunate that Roddy’s not been able to play at the level he’s used to playing and I know it’s frustrating for him.”

On emotions during final few minutes of fourth quarter and overtime:

“It’s tough. There are ups and downs. It’s play to play. But it’s no different than any other football game. There’s some finality in overtime and your decision-making gets changed a little bit based on the rules. But we went out there and got it done. There were times when it looked like we weren’t in the first four quarters, and there was a time there in the fifth quarter where it looked like it wasn’t going to happen, but we did get the strip, and got the turnover. That was probably the biggest play in the ballgame.”

On the running game and run defense:

“I saw some promising things. We have been working diligently on the run game. I thought that we blocked much better. We were able to get Steven [Jackson] to the second level and that helped us in our run game. We’ve got to continue to shore up on the other side our run defense. Way too many explosives. Had some missed fits and some guys that were out of their gaps. We’ve got to get much better at that.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Q: Alright Matt, talk about the last drive, the pass to Harry (Douglas) that got you in field goal range that was a big play on that last drive.

A: It was. We knew we needed about 10 or 12 yards to get into Matt (Bryant)’s field goal range. We started off with a good run and on the second down call we got the screen going backside to Harry (Douglas). It was a good play call, a really good play call by Dirk (Koetter) and good execution by us up front. It was a great individual play by Harry.

Q: (Inaudible question) On a big win in a tough season

A: It was good, it feels good. Certainly we’ve had our ups and downs this year. We haven’t won the way that we would have liked to. To get it done today on the road and the way we did as well, overcoming a lot of things throughout the entire game and guys just making plays when they needed to make plays, I think that makes it feel even better.

Q: How would you describe the atmosphere out there?

A: I thought it was really good. We had fans from both teams. I love seeing as many Falcons fans as we had up here today which was great. It was a unique experience. I obviously had a lot of fun and I think our organization had a lot of fun up here.

Q: More on the atmosphere:

A: I thought there were a lot of Falcons fans here but there were a few third downs where it got pretty loud and we had to go into our silent cadence. Communication was a little more difficult but I thought the atmosphere was really good.

Q: On the battle of the team today:

A: You just have to keep going, that’s one of those things. You just have to keep battling. You have to keep plugging away. (Buffalo) is one of the best front sevens in the league. Obviously they lead the league in sacks and up until this game led the league in interceptions as well. They’re a talented bunch. We knew that coming into it. I thought our guys kept battling, regardless of what happened with the sacks or whatever we just kept going.

Q: On coming back from an early deficit:

A: Obviously not the start that we wanted to have. I thought the best thing about us was that we didn’t blink. When we started out we were down 14-0 but then we had a great drive to get it back to 14-7. Then we battled back to get it to 17-17 at halftime. With fumbles, etc. in the fourth quarter we just kept responding. That’s the thing I’m proud of today.

Q: On the play of Roddy White:

A: I thought Roddy (White) played great. I really do, I thought Roddy played really well, made some big plays for us. Obviously the deep pass down the sideline was huge during the game. I thought he played really well.

Q: On Buffalo’s fumble:

A: It was a weird play, it was a shallow cross, (Stevie Johnson) made a nice catch and run. That’s this game, you never know, that’s why you’ve got to play to the whistle every snap. Our defense did that today. They were opportunistic, made big plays at the end of the game then obviously in overtime as well. Hats off to those guys.

Q: What happened on the (fumbled) snap?

A: We just weren’t on the same page for whatever reason.

Q: On the attitude of the team:

A: It’s obviously tough when you’re not getting the results that you would have hoped to have but you learn a lot from it. I think as a professional and also in life sometimes you learn more when things go wrong. I think as professionals we need to use that as motivation, we need to use that to better ourselves. I think our guys have done a great job with that.