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Transcripts: Falcons at Cardinals

Posted Oct 27, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith and Matt Ryan spoke to the media after the Falcons' 27-13 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.

Head coach Mike Smith
Opening statement:

 “In terms of the ball game today, I think anytime that you give up explosive plays like we did in the first half offensively and an 80-yard touchdown where you lose leverage, where you get beat on a double move, you have 10 penalties, you have four interceptions in the ball game and you can’t run the ball effectively, it is a formula for not playing efficient, effective football, and that was the case today here in Arizona.”

On what he told the team following today’s loss:

“Very similar to what I just told you. In terms of the play, (to play) efficient football you’ve got to do certain things, certain markers you have to reach in the game, and we didn’t do that. We have to continue to dig and dig out of the hole that we are in. We did not play very good football today. Probably the thing that I am most concerned about is that we had all of those procedural penalties. It’s not that hard to see the ball move and not jump early. We put ourselves in situations where we can’t overcome them. That’s a good defense, a good strong front, and we didn’t give ourselves an opportunity to overcome those. On the defensive side, I thought in the second half they got put in some bad situations, in terms of the turnovers, and they battled through it, but in the first half it wasn’t even close. We had two third downs in the first half, if I’m not mistaken. We couldn’t get them into third down. We gave up an 80-yard run, as I mentioned, and a double-move pass. In their other scoring drive, there were two penalties that contributed to a lot of yardage in that situation.”

On Matt Ryan’s game today:

“There was a lot of pressure on the quarterback. He was under duress. We have to do a much better job in keeping the quarterback clean. We did not accomplish that today. It was a tough day. Anytime you have the type of statistics we had in terms of turnovers, you’re not going to win the football game.”

On Arizona’s Andre Ellington’s success running the ball:

“We had a missed tackle on a third down and nine on a draw play. We had a missed tackle, which was one of his explosive runs. Then, the following play, they hit the explosive pass. We would have been off the field if we would have made the tackle. We didn’t get that done. Then, they hit the double-cut, the double-move that put the ball down in the red zone. We did not leverage the football on the 80-yard run. Anytime you lose the edge like that and basically everybody is chasing. The person that was responsible for holding the edge did not hold the edge.”

On Matt Ryan’s interceptions:

“Like I said, there are so many contributing factors to a play, whether it’s a positive or negative play. Obviously, it’s harder to throw the football under duress. It’s a lot easier when you have a clean pocket, but until I really watch the plays on tape and get an opportunity to truly analyze what occurred, that’s really all I can say right now. He was under a lot of duress in the ball game today.”

On whether or not the 80-yard run was due to issues with their defensive linemen:

“Well, we lost leverage. We had a missed tackle. We had the opportunity to hit the guy in the backfield, and then it popped out. Once we lost leverage, we weren’t going to catch that guy. We said that he was going to be a potential game-wrecker going into this ball game because he’s a guy that has very good speed, very good vision, and he did a very nice job today.”

On if the players have gotten the point about explosive plays:

“Well, yes. We talk about situational football all the time. Anytime you give up an explosive play in a drive, it’s going to lead to points. Today, they led to touchdowns. Other times, they’ve led to field goals. We’ve got to be better in our situational football. We can’t be giving up big plays, and we’ve got to get that fixed.”

On Steven Jackson:

“Again, until I watch the tape, standing on the sideline there weren’t a whole lot of opportunities. Obviously, the statistics will back that at this point in time. We’ve got to be more efficient, as I mentioned in my opening statement. Those are the things that win and lose football games. Today, we did not play the type of football that we need to play to be successful.”

On how to move forward now being 2-5:

“It’s no different. You learn from your previous game, whether it’s a win or a loss. You evaluate the tape, and you put your head down and you go to work. We have not gotten the outcomes that we have wanted in five of the games. This, by far, is probably the game that had the biggest difference in score. We didn’t play well. We have to get it fixed. I know those guys there in that room will handle that. We have a strong resilient group. We have to keep our head down, keep working and dig everyday to dig out of the hole that we’re in.”

QB Matt Ryan
On getting field goals instead of touchdowns:

“Certainly it’s a different ball game if the two opportunities early in the game where we had come away with field goals, and also, the one where we had to punt we were in field goal range and I took a sack. It kind of knocked us out of field goal range. Those things come back to haunt you, and it certainly came back to haunt us today.”

On getting back to sound fundamental football:

“We can’t have as many penalties as we did, and certainly not the procedural type. I take responsibility for it. It’s one of those things as a quarterback; you have to have everybody on the same page when you break the huddle. I’ll need to be better with that during the week, and certainly be on top of our guys during the week and make sure everybody knows exactly what we are doing when we get to the line of scrimmage.”

On if the loss emphasized the importance of being balanced offensively:

“You’d love to be able to get both of those going, especially against a defensive line like Arizona’s, when they can just pin their ears back and rush. They are some of the best pass rushers in the league. Again, falling behind kind of dictated what we had to do there in the second half. We had to throw the ball to try and get ourselves back in the game. We certainly have to be more balanced.”

On turnovers:

“I can’t do it. You can’t make those plays and expect your team to win. You can’t make those plays and think you’re giving your team a chance to win. I have to clean those up. I got to find a way to make sure those don’t happen again.”

On the pass rush and Arizona defense forcing him to throw being a factor in the turnovers:

“No, just two of them were bad - really bad plays. In the fourth down situation, you have to put one up and give your guys a chance and that’s just part of the game. I’d certainly like to be able to execute in that situation a little bit better. I just have to make better plays.”

On taking some hits:

“I feel good. Knock on wood. My body is holding up and feeling good. I’m okay.”

On the run game:

“We’ll have to evaluate it when we get a chance to look at the film, but we just didn’t get it going for whatever reason. I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to watch it, and after you hand it off your back is to it a lot. We’ll watch the film. We’ll try to find a way to be better and run the football. Moving forward I think that would help us, but we weren’t very good today.”

On if he talked to Tony Gonzalez post-game:

“Talked to him briefly and same as after we lost in the past. I think everybody takes it personal. He certainly does and I do. I think the message across the board is that we just have to get back to work.”

 

 


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