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Transcripts: Falcons at Ravens

Posted Aug 15, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith and several other players spoke with the media after Thursday night's preseason game with the Baltimore Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium.

Head Coach Mike Smith
On the goal of tonight’s game:
“Our goal tonight was to improve in the areas that we felt like we needed to improve from week 1. I thought that we did that. There were some things in the Cincinnati (Bengals) game that we wanted to make sure that we addressed. We wanted to improve our run game; I thought we did a nice job of running the ball in the first half. We did a good job with the pass protection as well. We’re a team that prides itself on not being penalized, and we had way too many penalties in the ball game. I think we had nine penalties, a lot of procedural penalties that need to get corrected.”

On update of WR Roddy White’s ankle injury:
“I haven’t had a chance to speak in depth with Roddy. We made the decision that Roddy was not going to come back into the ball game; when we have further information on that, we will give it to you.”

On RB Steven Jackson’s performance:
"It was something that we wanted to improve on as a football team from week 1 to week 2. I thought that we did a nice job in running the football, especially with that first group.” 

On if he liked what he saw out of the first team:
“I think that we showed a lot of improvement from week 1 to week 2. Unfortunately, we don’t play a half of football. It doesn’t matter if it’s your ones or twos. A full football game is 60 minutes long. Our ones played a set number of plays, that’s what we were working on, and we did accomplish that.”

On WR Julio Jones’ performance:
“When you see that one drive, I think he had three catches for 55 yards in the ball game, and I think that scoring drive were all three of his catches. It was good to have Julio back. We held him out that first game for precautionary reasons, and we were able to get him some limited action tonight.”

On how the first defense did:
“I think we played very well except we gave up one explosive play.  That was a very long explosive play. When the ball is thrown for six or seven yards on a quick slant.  Ideally you want to get the guy on the ground before he runs 70-plus yards, but I thought they did a very nice job.  I think they did a very good job on stopping the run.  The statistics were certainly in our favor but again it’s a 60-minute game.  It’s a four-quarter game and we’re all playing to win.  We didn’t get that done tonight, but I am encouraged that we were able to go through this evaluation process and see improvement from week 1 to week 2.”

On the play of Dominique Davis:
“Dom was very efficient.  He got us into some good plays.  He did a couple of things with his feet.  He ran for a first down that helped us.  I thought Dom showed improvement and until I truly watch the tape it’s going to be difficult to talk specifically about which guys.  The feel on the sideline was that there was a number of areas that we improved on as a football team.  Players that we’ll be counting on I think took a big step from week 1 to week 2.”

QB Matt Ryan
On the first-team’s play:
 
“We did some good things.  We made some early mistakes.  Some procedural penalties that we have to clean up before the game next week.  Overall, I thought the effort was real good.  The offensive line did a great job pass protecting and running the ball.  All in all, I thought it was decent and we’ll have another week to prepare and hopefully we can top that performance next week.”

On the second game of preseason: 
“From the first game to the second game of preseason there’s a lot of improvement.  You knock a lot of that rust off in the first game.  We were better this week than we were last, and that’s what you want to do in the preseason.  You want to continue to get better.  We’ve got a long way to go, but it was a good start.”

On Julio Jones:
“Julio’s a great player.  One of the best in the league, and when he’s on the field, we’re a better football team.  I thought he did a great job, and we’ve got a lot of weapons that can make plays.  And Julio made a few for us in the first couple series.”

On Steven Jackson:
“I thought Steven played really well.  Running the football, he was really effective.  Catching the ball out of the back field he was effective, and he had some holes to run through.  Our offensive line opened up some stuff in the run game and he hit it.  It’s good to see.  I know he’s a great player, and he’s going to add a lot to our offense.”

On the right side of the offensive line:
“I thought Lamar (Holmes) and Garrett (Reynolds) played really really well.  To me it’s (the Ravens defense) is one of the best in the league and specifically probably one of the best front seven in the league.  And I thought our guys came out and played tough, played physical, played smart, and did a great job of executing.” 

On backup quarterback Dominique Davis:
“I thought Dom did a really good job tonight, and that’s one of those things when you talk about improvement from week 1 to week 2.  And I thought he did a nice job in week 1, but he came out and played really well tonight.  Had great command of what we were doing offensively.  He’s a good player.”

WR Julio Jones
On the TD catch:
“Matt (Ryan) threw a good ball.  The offensive line blocked out really well, and I felt it was just like a routine catch.”

On the offense:
“It’s coming along great.  We work week-in and week-out, and we’re hitting on all cylinders right now.”

On his experience going into his third year:
“Of course, I have more experience coming into my third year, and I feel a little more comfortable.  It’s kind of like knowing the material, and everything is so much easier for me now.”

On trying to have a bigger year than last year:
“I just do what my team needs me to do.  I don’t put any numbers on me.  I just try to go out there and perform.  When my number is called, I just try to go out there and try to step up and make that play.”

CB Dominique Franks
On the defense:
“I think we played pretty good.  We got some turnovers on defense, but we also gave up some plays that we know we shouldn’t have given up – plays that we cannot give up because we know what to do.  But as a whole, I think we played pretty good.”

On coming into this season after the playoff run:
“It’s a good feeling.  There’s a lot of guys returning.  We drafted some young guys, our corners; I think they can help us a lot, especially on the back end.  We definitely have leadership in other positions that can help us out and make our team even better than last year.”

On who is the leader of the defense:
“I think Babs (Jonathan Babineaux), (Sean) Weatherspoon … guys like that.  It doesn’t have to be one person.  It could be collectively the whole defense.  As long as they are out there doing their job, we will follow them.” 

RB Steven Jackson
On adjusting to his new team:
“Things have been going well this past week in practice. We really made a point that we wanted to be much more explosive in the running game. We’ve been working on the chemistry between the running back and the offensive line. We feel the hard work showed tonight.”

On running the ball well against the Ravens:
“Having success tonight is great for our confidence. We feel we have the potential to run the ball well every week. The key is to keep getting better. Every preseason game presents a different challenge and a chance to improve. After tonight we can work on what we need to.” 

On his health:
“I’m feeling really healthy and running hard. I hope we can have another good year.”

LB Paul Worrilow
On playing his second preseason game:
“I felt a lot better out there this week. It was much more comfortable than playing last week. I’m just trying to get better every week, and learn as much as I can.” 

On getting his first sack:
“It was exciting to get a sack against the Ravens, especially since I’m from Delaware. Anytime your number gets called in a situation like that you want to make the play. It felt good to do that. I’m learning more every day, and trying to pick up as much as I can from my teammates.”

On playing against former Delaware teammate Gino Gradkowski):
“It was really kind of cool. We exchanged text messages all during the week, but once we were on the field we didn’t say anything, it was all business. We did give each other a nod once or twice, but we’ll talk in the future.”

QB Dominique Davis
On how he played tonight
:
“The offensive line did a great job protecting me, and they helped the running game get going. It’s such a help to a quarterback when you can run the ball effectively. The (offensive) line did really well for us, and we were able to run the ball well.”

On his success in the passing game:
“The execution is the key. I was recognizing what they were giving us, and that’s what I concentrated on. A lot of those passes were just check off for the running backs, and they went for a lot of yards. We have a lot of guys that can catch the ball in the back field, and break away for a run.”