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What They Said: Falcons vs. Rams

Posted Sep 16, 2013

What was said following the Falcons' 31-24 win Sunday, including coach Mike Smith on the in-game injuries, Julio Jones' big day and a few players who stepped up when needed.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith on Sunday's 31-24 win over the St. Louis Rams: “I thought that was a hard fought football game between two physical football teams, and we were able to prevail.  We were able to make enough plays during the game to get the win.  We obviously have a lot of things to correct.”

Smith on the adjustments needed once the injuries started: "It put a lot of guys out on the field that normally would not have the number of snaps that they had.  It was compounded by using those backups or the guys that play on special teams.  It was tough; a lot of guys stepped up on both sides of the ball today that were called on.  Their role changed from the opening kickoff to the end of the game.”

Smith on DE Osi Umenyiora's play against the Rams: “I thought Osi put some pressure on the quarterback.  We did not sack the quarterback in the game today, but I thought we had him uncomfortable. This is a guy who completed 71 percent of his passes last week.  I do feel like we put him off the spot.  He made some plays when he extended the snap.  I thought Osi did a nice job.  He scored a touchdown and any time a defensive player scores a touchdown, that is a big thing.”

PHOTOS: See Images from Sunday's win over the Rams

Smith on reserve running back Jason Snelling: “Jason Snelling has done that many times for us.  He is not a selfish football player and does whatever we ask him to do, whether on special teams or certain packages.  He made a couple of big plays for us.  The touchdown run was a very big play and he also had the third down conversion.  Jason is one of those guys who understands his role, but also understands his role can change just like that in the NFL.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan on his play with WR Julio Jones: "I think he's a great player. Julio is in my opinion, one of the very best in the league. Week in and week he's getting more consistent for us. I think that's part of the maturation process and part of him becoming the player that I ultimately think he's going to be. It's been fun to work with him the last couple of years and I think that we're at a better place than we've ever been and I have a ton of confidence when I look his way."

Ryan on the Falcons' final touchdown drive: "At that time we were in a one-score game and we had not really had a good drive in the second half up to that point. It was at that time, at that juncture of the game, that you have to go out and you have to make plays then or it's not going to happen. We stepped up to that task. I thought that our offensive line did a really good job the entire day and even in the third quarter, we just got behind the chains. We were in third and really long and when you do that against that defense, particularly their pass rush, it makes it really difficult. They led the league in sacks last year and we saw today that they're pretty good. Other than that I thought collectively we did a good job."

PHOTOS: See Images from Pre-game at the Georgia Dome

Ryan on the 81-yard touchdown to Jones: "First and foremost we did a great job in identification of the pass protection. They had kind of a different front than we had seen from them thus far.  Peter (Konz) did a great job of identifying it at the center spot. He got everybody situated up front and got the protection slid the right way so that we had a chance in the back end. It was just one-high man coverage and we tried to work the safety to the left side to give (Julio) a chance and he just ran a great route. I threw the ball probably 20 yards. He did most of the work."

Jones on feeling the need to step up after the injuries: "No, I just did my job. This offense is full of playmakers, and we have guys that can step in and carry the load and won't miss a beat. That's what we thrive on. Coach always tells us, everybody is one play away. You know you have to prepare yourself mentally as well. If you're not getting those reps in practice just mentally prepare yourself. Jason Snelling stepped up and Jacquizz Rodgers stepped up as well."

Konz on starting fast on offense: "I really think that we knew it was going to be a physical game, and it was something where we wanted to come out and prove ourselves. We had lost a close one with New Orleans, and that's not us. We are a team that prides ourselves on finishing touchdowns, finishing games, finishing drives, whatever it is; so having a little chip on our shoulder, and going against a very good St. Louis Rams team, we wanted to make a statement."

Umenyiora on his interception: "I don't know, the ball just kind of bounced off the guy's hand, and I saw it and picked it off. Crazy enough, that's the first interception I've ever had in my life. I was able to score with it. I'm just happy to help this team win."

Linebacker Joplo Bartu on his performance: "I thought I played a pretty solid game today. Going into this game, I just wanted to come out with a lot of intensity and find a way to make plays. I also thought our defensive communication was good which made it easier to make plays. At the end of the day, I feel like we played well enough to win."

Snelling on his increased playing time: "This game is every-changing and you have to be ready on any given play. We know we have to make plays regardless of which player is on the field. This is the mentality we have as a team and I'm happy we were able to demonstrate that today against the Rams."


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