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Advertising Exclusive: Five questions with Mike Smith


### Smith has strong message for Falcons in Week 2

Every Monday, will sit down with head coach Mike Smith to get answers to five exclusive questions you won't find anywhere else.

Jay Adams: When you suffer a loss like the one, how do you mentally prepare the team for the following week?

Mike Smith: Well, I think it's very important that we take the first 24 hours after the game and evaluate it on a number of levels, starting with the coaching staff and the players. The thing that you have to do is that you have to have a message that you send for the week, and my message this week and our message as a staff is that we've got to improve from Week 1 to Week 2 and we've got to make sure that we correct our mistakes. I think the second thing that you have to do is you have to let your team know that this is a long season. It's a 16-game season. Half the teams got what they wanted yesterday, half the teams didn't. We need to make sure that we understand that this is a 16-game season and that there are some good things that took place in that ballgame, but we also know that we've got a lot of things we've got to do that we can correct. The great thing is is that they're all correctable.

JA: During the preseason and during training camp, you talked about the importance of watching film. Especially this early in the season, how important is it to break down film?

MS: It's very important for us. The difficult thing in the first four weeks of the season is, the coaching staff has spent so much time looking at their own tendencies that you can't hang your hat on some of the tendencies that you can later on in the season, simply because of the new things that the coaching staffs are going to try and do. Every staff does it. They look at their tendencies of the previous year or of years past and they're going to want to make sure that they break those tendencies, and they'll also have new schemes that they'll try and look at that they think will be advantageous for them.

JA: We've been on the road for three weeks now. How much does travel, even in the preseason, wear on a team?

MS: Any time you have to get on a bus, drive to the airport, get on an airplane, fly and then play a game and return — and we had two night games — it does take a toll on your body both physically and mentally. Doing it three weeks in a row, and really it was less than three weeks because of the short week between Miami and Jacksonville, it's going to be good to return to the Dome and have an opportunity to play in front of our home fans. Our home fans, I think, give us a big advantage because they're so knowledgeable in how we play the game. They know when to cheer and when not to cheer.

JA: I'm sure at some point this week, you'll be asked about the last meeting between these two teams that took place in the playoffs two years ago. But how irrelevant for a team is that previous meeting, especially in this case?

MS: I think it has no bearing on it whatsoever, and again, that was a game that was played two years ago. Their roster has changed significantly, our roster has changed significantly, so I really don't (think it's relevant). There's not a whole lot of familiarity because we're not in the same division. We don't play each other twice a year. It's a rotation when we get an opportunity to play the (NFC) West, or if we happen to meet in the playoffs. I do know this: They're a well-coached team. Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt has had his team in the Super Bowl and in the playoffs in the last two years, so it's going to be a big challenge for us.

JA: How are you feeling? The video clip of you calling a timeout in pain during Sunday's game has circulated on several media outlets. Are you going to be listed on the injury report this week?

MS: I'm fine! I'm 100 percent. I'm good to go.

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