Falcons React to Sunday's Win Over Carolina

Coach Quinn:

Opening Statement:

“[We] certainly viewed this game as a measuring stick for us. I wanted to really see how we’d respond after our ball game up there a couple weeks ago and we certainly did. We knew it was going to be a very tough matchup and it was so good having the grit and determination right down there all the way until the end to make some stops. [It was a] complete team win and [I’m] really proud of the effort of the fellas today.”

On the key to getting pressure on Panthers QB Cam Newton:

“It was an important part at the end. We knew we’d try to get him off of the spot. He can be such a dangerous runner, not only in the pocket when he hitches up. But really, I think the message was all for the guys coming together and over the last couple weeks I’ve felt that improvement take place and it was a huge play by Vic Beasley Jr. at the end who forced the fumble. I think Adrian Clayborn recovered it, exactly the competitiveness that you want. That’s a blast about coaching in the NFL. [There] are these moments that come up and, like I said, we knew it was going to be a terrific matchup for us and one we were ready to do.”

On QB Matt Ryan’s effort today:

“It was an extremely gutsy performance by Matt [Ryan] and the toughness that he showed is appreciated by the team, by the staff, and everybody in the organization. Today, he was an absolute warrior. There are a number of guys who got banged up and at the half said ‘hey, it’s all hands on deck.’ [Paul] Soliai went down, [Justin] Durant went down, and guys just kept stepping up to answer the challenge. That’s what you do for each other as a teammate. I thought Matt was a perfect shining example of the toughness that he showed for the club.”* *

On throwing deep today:

“Yeah, we drew that one up a number of times. No, honestly, it was an example of two guys who have a special connection and making a play come alive where Matt got flushed out of the pocket and gave Julio a shot. Generally when you throw it in his direction, good things usually happen and that was the case on that one. I thought just a gutsy performance by those two especially.”

On the comeback from the opening drives:

“I thought that was a really important one. If you remember on the play, I think there was a third-down stop and it ended up being a foul on the play where we ended up getting a first down. For us to have a chance to go answer after they went down to score, I thought that was a really crucial part of the game especially on that first drive. They had just driven all the way down, scored, we were almost three and out, and that penalty allowed that drive to get going. I think that was what gave us the momentum right off the bat so there’s certain times in the game where those plays come up. You never know exactly when they’re going to happen and that was certainly the case then.”

On the offense coming together and Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan relationship:

“I thought another guy was Roddy [White] with some of the crossing routes. You know, he had just tremendous catches going inside and the in-breaking routes. We’ve put a lot of time and emphasis into that and the third downs and the red zone to make sure we’re capitalizing on those. That emphasis has certainly paid off, you know, all the work that goes into on the third down stuff and how to feature the routes. These guys are really good in terms of mixing up their pressures and coverage so it was an important one for us for sure.”

QB Matt Ryan:

On how he feels after taking some big hits today:

“I feel great. Obviously, that was a great team win, my body feels fine. It was a gutty performance across the board. We knew coming in that this was a good football team and it was going to take our best effort. While we weren’t perfect, we played really well and really competitively and were really good on the offensive side on third down.”

On Julio Jones’ 70-yard Touchdown:

“It was a great play by Julio. To be able to escape the pocket and realize he’s down there with a safety and a linebacker, I feel like that’s a good chance for us to throw up a ball and give him an opportunity to make a play. I really don’t feel like there’s anybody in the League who’s better in that situation than him. He made a great play, and to be able to stay on his feet and take it in for a touchdown was a huge play in this game.”

On the importance of this win after such an up-and-down season:

“I thought it was huge. We’re still alive with a chance, and we wanted to make sure that we gave ourselves that opportunity. But even more so to come out and play like we’re capable of when we haven’t done that at different times of the year that felt really good.”

On his third down scramble in the red zone:

I felt like my best way to get him was to try and pump fake to make him think I was throwing it and cut back inside. I don’t know where it came from, but it was a big play for us in that third down situation, to keep that moving and ultimately be able to punch it in for a touchdown was big.”

On if he wishes he and Julio Jones would have connected on more big plays this season:

“You’d like to have plays like that every week. You’d be silly not to say that, but that just doesn’t happen. For us today it was huge, to me that was a pivotal point in the game, for us to get that momentum back and make that play. He’s a guy that we’ve been able to count on all year and that was a big play for us.”* *

On Devonta Freeman’s day versus the Panthers run defense:

“Devonta played great. I think we had 70 yards rushing, and against that defense that’s a really good day. They’re tough to go against.”

faith. We’ve been pressuring quarterbacks a lot this year.”

On him moving faster than normal off the line:

“I’ve been able to give pressure to quarterbacks throughout the year, but we’ve been continuing to work together and we were in a great place this week to get it done.”

On the trash-talk going on between the two teams:

“It’s part of the game. It’s a heated rivalry and both teams want to win. Obviously they came here undefeated and we wanted to be the first ones to beat them.” * WR Roddy White:*

On Panthers celebrating during the game:

“I didn’t like that, but that’s what they are as a team. They have guys parading around back-and-forth and jumping around, but we tend to save stuff like that for after the game. Hopefully we find a way to get into the playoffs and get another shot at those guys.”

On the 38-0 loss compared to this game:

“Well, we played better today. We had some long drives on offense and they did too, so both of us were burning up the clock on offense. Whenever we have opportunities like that we have to cash in, and we did a good job of getting points today.”

On answering to Carolina’s 80-yard push in the first quarter:

“When they scored I was like, ‘Alright we have to go out there and answer,’ and I think we set the tone this week of scoring points. It was a good time for us to go out there and answer with a drive ourselves. We also gave our defense a break. They were out there for seven or eight minutes, so we went out there and had our own seven or eight minute drive.”

K Shayne Graham:

On what Coach Quinn said to him after the first missed field-goal:

“To be honest with you, I really don’t remember.  Those are opportunities, whether it was blocked or tipped, I really don’t know, but I felt it wasn’t the cleanest hit off my foot. I’ll take the blame for that, and my job was to not do that again.  Luckily I got a few more opportunities throughout the game.”

OLB Vic Bealsey, Jr.:

On affecting Cam Newton:

“We had a great week of practice. We were able to get to him a couple of times the first time we played them; we just kept hunting and kept faith. We’ve been pressuring quarterbacks a lot this year.”

On him moving faster than normal off the line:

“I’ve been able to give pressure to quarterbacks throughout the year, but we’ve been continuing to work together and we were in a great place this week to get it done.”

On the trash-talk going on between the two teams:

“It’s part of the game. It’s a heated rivalry and both teams want to win. Obviously they came here undefeated and we wanted to be the first ones to beat them.”

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