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Falcons React to Sunday's Loss at Carolina

Coach Quinn:Opening statement:

Good afternoon. As you look at it, Carolina is the best the league has to offer right now, but our performance was totally unacceptable. Too many explosives defensively that put us way behind, then couldn't convert or move some of the opportunities offensively that we are capable of, got us way behind. That part was extremely disappointing, totally unacceptable performance for us.

With a 21-0 start, what went wrong?

I think the explosive plays, the run game that started right off the back, the deep play to Ginn. Those two ones weren't anything new to scheme with us not executing like we are capable of. One of things we really pride ourselves on is being good against explosive, defensively, and that was not the case today.

You said this was totally unacceptable, what changes are you going to make?

I think number one it was totally unacceptable for everybody, that's the coaches and that's the players. Basically the message going back to the team is everything counts, look for smart, tough and finish. That's what I expect from our club and that's what we will get done. When that doesn't happen, yeah I have a lot of disappointment and that is unacceptable.

Would you say this is the worst performance you had this year?

No question about it. We've been in some close games, ones that went both ways, but that was not the case today.

On 74-yarder looked like the cornerback gave up on the play and was looking for the call, did you all see that on the sideline?

Not on the sidelines, I'll certainly watch that one closely and see. It wasn't an unusual play for us in terms of how to play the style. He got beat over the top and our defense got beat over the top.

You pulled the defense to the side, why isn't the message getting through?

I talked about poise on the sideline today with the club. We knew that was going to be an important part going into this game, so for us to not to have opportunities where we lost our poise or didn't make the correct decisions. That's where I wanted to make sure to remind us this game is going to be out there. There is still a lot of ball to be played at that point when I brought them together. They had the explosives, I wanted to go right back to our poise and play football in the exact style that we want. So when that didn't happen, I wanted to make sure that I didn't let it linger, I wanted to address it right then.

But they didn't get the message?

They did not. In that case the message was about poise, both sides, the offense as well. That's totally unacceptable all the way across, like I said, players, coaches, everybody in terms of style and attitude that we played with.

Was that after Cox and Hageman had their blow up on the sideline?

Yes it was that series or the series right after. They are like father and son, both emotional guys, and that's what makes them both good. That wasn't the one that set me off to talk about keeping our poise; there are a number of examples today.

Which one set you off?

I don't know which one, if there is one mark to point to. There is a number of times obviously I just felt like for us to play the style and attitude we want, it doesn't go that way. I just wanted to address that. I think it was on this drive, it must have been two or three after that one, a push after that one. I think it was a culmination as opposed to one isolated incident. I probably should have clarified that at the start.

You play Carolina again in two weeks, what do you expect?

I expect for us to have a much better performance. Like I said, they are the best the league has to offer right now and that showed today. Our performance hopefully is not indicative of how we will play against them again.


I think the inability, at the line of scrimmage the quarterback had to hit some and our running game to get going that was going to be a factor. Then we get out of bounds we are down 21-0 at one point, sort of had the downs at that point. Some of course you look at and find ways to improve.

What impresses you about the Panthers?

Coming into the game I knew that they had done a really good job in terms of throwing the ball and going after it defensively. I thought, they are a complete club. The way they are playing, speed and effort that they are playing with, defensively, especially in the front seven, I think they are really aggressive. They have some uniqueness about them offensively. The explosive plays were a real factor for us today. They showed that part of their game where that wasn't one of the things I thought was that unique about them going into the game today.  

What do you need to see from this ball club going forward?

Number one I want to make sure that everything counts, the toughness, the effort and the finish. Those things more than anything in terms of the scheme, the way you can finish a block, the way you can finish a rush, the way you can play the technique just right, those are the things I'm looking for individually from them.

QB Matt Ryan:

What happened to the offense today?

It was ugly. Obviously, Carolina is a very good football team and they have been playing extremely well all year. They played extremely well today and we did not. We played very poorly across the board, and we've got to find a way to improve and get better, and we need to do that immediately.

Did they blitz more than you anticipated, or you all just didn't handle it well?

Obviously they have shown pressure throughout the year. They do a great job in terms of pressure and in terms of just a four and five-man rush. They put a lot of pressure on you in terms of pass protection, and I thought they did a really nice job today.

Coach Quinn said this was unacceptable. What does that word mean to you?

From an offensive standpoint, when you score zero points, clearly we aren't doing our job, and we are not doing it well at all. So to me it means we have to find a way to be better, and we've got to find a way to get the ball into the end zone. And we need to do that now.

What were the missed opportunities, especially in the passing game?

I have to look at the tape to see if we had some opportunities. I thought we did some things where we moved it at times, but at no point were we able to get into a rhythm and do anything sustained on offense. I'll have to check the tape to find out.

Was that win more you guys or them or some combination?

I think it's a little bit of both. First and foremost I think they are a very good football team, and they have been very good on the defensive side of the ball. Having gone against them now for a number of years, they have always been very good. And I think we were not very good. So the combination of the two makes for an ugly outcome.

*Worst loss this season? *

In terms of the score, that's the worst loss we've had.

How do you go from 6-1 to 6-7?

You play poorly. To me that's how you do that, and we've done it differently throughout different times of the season but today, to me, was about as bad as we can play and that's frustrating. That's tough as a player, tough as a coach, I'm sure. Nobody wants to be part of that but we've got to find a way to get it done and that's got to start tonight on the flight home or tomorrow when we get into the facility.

What are the three things you want from yourself?

Win one, two and three. That's it. For me, that's three things. Find a way to get it done next week. Beyond that, we can't control anything else that is going on but if we do that, maybe we will give ourselves a chance.

Do you chew somebody out? Do you say something? What do you do as a leader?

That's part of leadership, right? There's a time and a place to be tough and to demand more, and there's a time and a place where you have to build people up and get the best from them. And ultimately that's what it comes down to. You have to find a way to get the best out of myself and the guys around me, and I haven't done a good enough job of that.

Same opponent in two weeks. What do you expect?Well, we have to worry about next week first. We go down to Jacksonville and we have to focus on that one, and after we knock that off, we will get back to it and try and learn from mistakes from today's game.* *

Do they do anything differently than anyone else other than they just execute?

They execute really well. Their scheme is not... they don't do a lot of different things. They just play really well. When you go against a team like that, you have to execute at that level and we didn't do that today.

CB Desmond Trufant:

The heightened atmosphere today

It was a division game, you know, and both teams played and competed. And, it happens sometimes, but you've got to stay poised with everything that is going on. So, we can definitely do a better job of that.

His thoughts about O'Brien's statement that today was "embarrassing"

You never want to lose like that. As a competitor, it is in your face, and, you've got to tip your hats off to them. But, I know we are better than that. I know that we are better than that as a whole. So, we just have to continue to leave it out there. We've got to learn from our mistakes and push forward because, I mean, everyone is going to say what they want to say, but we still have to play. We still have three more games, so, there are still a lot of plays to be made out there.

T Jake Matthews:

*How do you improve? *

I think we can play together a lot better. I think we are leaving a lot of stuff out there, whether it's miscommunication or misidentifying stuff. Definitely running the ball better. I think there's a lot of stuff we can get better at as a team. It's just frustrating.

What happened today?

I think it's us. We are not getting it done. That's the bottom line. We have to find a way to get it done, and it's not happening. It's definitely our team. It's not the offensive line, or the defensive line. We all have something we need to get better at. What else can we say? They kicked our ass. We have to get better.

*On-going offensive struggles? *

There's no doubt about that. We have to find a way to get it back, and we haven't the last few weeks. So that's on us as an offensive line and as an offense to get this changed. It's frustrating.

The offense's performance

I think coming into the game, we had a really good game plan. We had a good idea of what we wanted to do but we didn't get it done so that's really all there is to it.

WR Julio Jones:

Today's game

We didn't play good football today. Carolina was the better team today.

The frustration level today, especially in relation to turnovers

Little things are going to happen throughout the game, but as a whole we didn't play good football today.

Whether or not he can put a finger on why the offense isn't clicking

No, I can't. If I knew the problem, if I knew what was going on, I would relay the message, so that hopefully we could fix it. But, I think it is a mixture of things, just the overall performance, we didn't do a good job today.

WR Justin Hardy:

What this year has been like:

It's a process. Coming in and not playing at first, but now playing, just learning over time, and it's leading to time on the field.

The biggest thing he has learned going through this season:

Definitely just going and giving it your all. Finishing, that is one of the biggest things we talk about here, just finishing. And that is what I try to do.

Whether or not it is typical of him to hit a learning curve in the league:

It has definitely been a challenge at first, but now I have guys behind me, trying to help me out. And, they have been there for me all the way, so, it's all good.

Who he is leaning on during this transition:

Definitely the whole seasoned core, those guys came in and treated me like I was their little brother to them. Everything I needed help with, they were there for me.

LB O'Brien Schofield:

Thoughts after today's game

That's not us. What we put out there, how we started the game, it's not who we are as a football team. Me, personally, I am just a little bit embarrassed because we owe our head coach, we owe our coaches, we owe our organization, we owe our fans, we owe each other more than that. And, it's going to be a tough, tough game to watch in film, but we've got to make our corrections. Tough times don't last, tough people do, so, and this is a serious check. We are going to see who we are and we are going to go from there.

The lack of discipline and number of penalties today

I'm not going to say lack of discipline. I've got my own personal reasons for that, but, we didn't keep our poise like we should in certain situations and penalties are always going to kill a drive, defensively, offensively. So, those are definitely things we need to clean up. We can't beat ourselves.

The Panthers' explosiveness and Cam Newton's ability to make big plays

They came out on fire. You can obviously see why they are undefeated. They came and they played their game. They out-executed us in many different facets and there is not much to say about that.

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