News

Print
RSS

Transcripts: Falcons vs. Redskins

Posted Dec 15, 2013

Head coach Mike Smith, quarterback Matt Ryan and several other players spoke about the Falcons' 27-26 win over the Redskins on Sunday.

HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH

Opening Statement:

“I think today’s game was an example of our guys coming out and starting fast, playing with a lot of energy, heart and determination. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch. There was a stretch there early in the first half, where we really had some issues with some explosive plays. It will be a great learning experience for our young players that were out there playing, but we found a way to win the ballgame. I thought keys in the game were the seven turnovers, they come in bunches. I believe now we’ve had 11 in the last three games. That is a positive, and I thought the defense did a very good job coming out after halftime and I believe holding them to 13 yards in ten plays in the third quarter. That was very important for us to come out and play well, because we were reeling a little bit as we went into halftime.”

On William Moore’s interception after getting stopped on the fourth and one:

“Big play, William had some game changing plays. He has over the last month in terms of his ability to change the game, but it was a very big play for us. The momentum had switched when we didn’t convert on the fourth down and one. It was a big time play. They were taking a shot and William was in the right place.”

On the two point conversion:

“I’m not going to comment on Coach Shanahan’s strategy. He chooses to do want he deems best for his football team. We were prepared. We were able to get our match with the personnel. They ran a full wide receiver set, we were able to get our six defensive backs out on the field and we executed the pivotal play in the ballgame.”

On the rookies:

“It was a learning day for those rookies. We gave up some big, explosive plays on the corners, but we came back and made a play. That was a heck of an interception that Desmond Trufant had there in the second half of the ballgame. There is going to be plays made and there are going to be plays given up. We need to continue to focus on not giving up those explosive plays. It has been our Achilles heel for the entire season this year on defense.”

On Osi Umenyiora not starting:

“We wanted to work Osi in our sub-package. In the way they presented the formations early in the ballgame, he was not out there. We wanted to put him on a pitch count a get him ramped up rushing the passer and I think it paid dividends. He did a very good job rushing the passer for us today in basically a DPR role.”

On Stephen Nicholas’ forced fumble:

“That was a very big play. Stephen, like a lot of guys on our football team, they’re great teammates. It hasn’t gone the way that we wanted. They stayed together. It’s a good group of men. Stephen went out there and when his opportunity arose, he made a big play. That was a big play punching that ball out there in the second half of the ballgame.”

On Sean Weatherspoon’s status:

“I don’t have any updates. Sean was not able to finish the ballgame. We will probably have a lot more information at the press conference tomorrow.”


QUARTERBACK MATT RYAN

On S William Moore’s interception after the failed fourth down conversion:

“There were a few [sequences] that kind of shook out like that today. That was probably one of the most unique situations that I’ve ever been a part of. You have an opportunity on fourth and one on the goal line and you go for it [and don’t get it]. A lot of the time you get it back on a safety or something of that magnitude, but today we get the interception and the next play we’re out there from the two. I thought we did a great job of capitalizing on that one. We had a ton of chances today, offensively, to play with a short field. We took advantage of some, we didn’t on others, but ultimately it feels good to get the win.”

On the offense’s quick start:

“I thought our game plan coming into the game was perfect, I thought offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter did a great job of calling it early, and we converted third downs. That was key. We converted big third downs, which kept that drive going. As the game wore on we just didn’t convert as many as we needed to offensively to keep those drives going.”

On OG Harland Gunn getting playing time:

“He was in there and he had that kind of excited look on his face that you see from guys the first time they’re out there. I thought he played with great effort. Obviously we’ll have to watch the film and evaluate everybody, but it was exciting for him to be out there and I thought that he played with great effort.”

On TE Tony Gonzalez’s accomplishments:

“He’s unbelievable, he really is. His consistency for 17 years in this league is incredibly impressive. There’s no shortcut to it. There’s no mystery to it. Tony works as hard as anybody I’ve ever been around and he’s blessed with a lot of talent as well. He’s been able to continue that for such a long time but it’s been fun to be a part of it. I don’t think you have a more humble guy, too, with all that he’s accomplished. I think he was embarrassed to be on the jumbo-tron. He’s real fun to be with.”

On enjoying this win:

“I think you have to. They’re tough to come by in this league when things are going well or when things are not going well. I think we’ll enjoy it. We get an extra day of preparation this week to get ready for the Monday night game next week and I think guys will enjoy it tonight for sure.”

On if he was surprised by Washington’s decision to go for two on their final touchdown:

“Nothing surprises me. Especially in the way that this game shook out. There were a lot of different things going on out there so I guess it didn’t surprise me with the way the game was shaking out.”

TIGHT END TONY GONZALEZ

On today’s win:

“It’s huge. Defense played outstanding today, obviously creating that many turnovers. Seven turnovers...You should win, and we did win. At the same time, offensively we should be able to convert those and put more points on the board. I’m a little disappointed in that, but at the same time we got the victory, and the defense stepped up, again, at the end of the game when they had to. I’ll take the win and it was good win for us.”

On whether that move on his first touchdown score makes him want to come back another year:

“It’s exciting, but it does not make me want to comeback another year. I’ll tell you what, I’m enjoying this. I’m enjoying it. With two games left now, it’s fun, I love competing. I love going against the other old guy in London Fletcher, but I’ll take it. Hopefully we get a couple more of those these last two games.”

On passing the 15,000 yard mark:

“That was cool. It’s special. Every time I get a catch now it seems like they’re saying something like, that’s this, or that’s another milestone. I guess that’s what happens when you get old, when you’re playing as long as I am, but I’ll take it. It’s been such a great ride for me. I love competing. I loved playing for the Chiefs. I love playing for the Falcons. The fans have been great. It’s just awesome to be around a group of guys like this. I’m soaking it up. I’m enjoying it.”

On whether or not playing football gets old:

“It never gets old. That’s the stuff that you can’t duplicate right there, and I know that going into my retirement that you’re never ever going to have that type of high again. There’s nothing compared to going out there and competing with 80,000 people and scoring a touchdown and your teammates getting happy and excited. I don’t think it will ever be duplicated for me, but at the same time it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to enjoy life and have a good time after I get done playing.”