The Falcons are back in the Georgia Dome for the first preseason game of the 2015 season against the Tennessee Titans. Check out these photos from gameday.
Coach Dan Quinn
"I was especially pleased with how the offense started. From the rhythm and tempo of the guys coming off of the ball, and some of the early completions from Matt [Ryan] to Julio [Jones], and a number of the guys. I love the way they attacked, and then for the defense to respond to get the ball out on the next series of their first series defensively. Those were some of the things we had a huge emphasis on from the offense. From the offense, can we come off the ball and attack? Defensively, can we go after the ball? So, getting the three takeaways tonight was huge. I like the way we finished. It was tied 24-24, and I was hoping we would have a chance to show that we could finish."
On how he felt as the head coach:
"It was a blast and everything I hoped it would be, in terms of connecting with the team and going through it with the officials. There is a lot for me to learn still too. That's part of my process as going through these preseason games as well. I enjoyed every minute of it. I love the effort, mindset, and how tough this group is getting. You can totally feel that, and I was proud to be a part of it tonight."
On QB Matt Ryan's pass right down the field:
"We had a conversation this week about how he is really feeling the rhythm of it. For him to come out, and attack right off and go into Julio Jones, and a couple of other big catches, he felt comfortable, but he was able to play fast. That's really what we are looking for, where there's not that thinking or hesitation. He had none of that tonight, so I think that's great for him to be able to feel comfortable."
On the defense done by linebacker Justin Durant and nose tackle Paul Soliai:
"Those are huge for us to show that we can be ball hogs, and I was very pleased to see that. The way that we went after the ball, and the tackling as well, so those two things were at the front of our list. Tackling, our ability to ball hog, and for us to get a couple right off the bat was a huge part of the game."
On how concerned he is on the running back position injury list:
"Hopefully, Antone [Smith] can come back quick. We are anticipating seeing Devonta [Freeman] and Tevin [Coleman] getting back into the action, and hopefully they can progress through the week. They're both working really hard, so they're getting close."
On the offensive line:
"I like the way we came off of the ball. That was going to be one of the real things we emphasized. I think they did a good job on the play action passes on the keepers. We are still mixing and matching, and we will go back and look at the tape tonight to get a good evaluation, but I like the strain, and the finish the guys are showing."
On the play of T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree:
"What an awesome end for Sean [Renfree]. For me to have those guys get in those scenarios, where Matt [Ryan] gets in so many of those feature plays, we have been working hard on those situations. For them to go in there and function like they are capable of, I was glad to see that battle. Sean especially at the end on the finish, he really had great command down there."
On Vic Beasley, Jr. playing on both sides of the line:
"Welcome to the NFL, right? In terms of chips, tight ends, tackles, and that Leo spot. I can't wait to go through it with him, and show the things that we can improve on. When we get back into camp this week, let's really find the things that we can improve on, and every time we come in let's aim at improvement. I know he had fun playing. I wanted to see how close the guys could get and how fast they could play. It was an awesome start to get rolling."
Quarterback Matt Ryan
On the first drive touchdown:
"Yeah, we talked about it last night, and coming into the game today, we wanted to start fast and execute well. I thought we did that pretty well on the first drive. But we've got a long way to go and a lot of improving to do but certainly a good start for us."
On coaching staff and working with them during first game:
"It's always a little bit different, a different voice in your ear and in your helmet and those kinds of things. There's some adjustment and getting used to it that needs to take place. But all in all I thought the guys responded really well and I was just happy that our young guys, when they got the opportunity, finished it out at the end of the game."
On seeing Titans WR Harry Douglas:
"Yeah, good to see Harry, obviously he's a good friend and we came in together here and he played well tonight. He had a bunch of catches and was out there doing his thing. Always good to see him and I wish him the best this year.
Linebacker Vic Beasley, Jr.
On playing with coach Dan Quinn's defensive scheme:
"I think Coach Quinn has a great scheme and I'm just buying into it and I'm looking forward to what he has planned."
On the defensive unit's play tonight:
"Coach Quinn emphasizes getting the ball back and I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight. We just want to do that every time we take the field. I think we played well. We look forward to getting turnovers here and there."
On first game jitters:
"I was excited. My first NFL game, a new chapter in my life. I'm definitely looking forward to rest of the season. When I hit the field, I realized the time is now."
Linebacker Paul Worrilow
On whether this is the type of performance to build on:
"Yeah, any time you can go out there and play well and get live snaps against the other team and bring people down to the ground as a group—that's going to build that bond. The energy we had before the snap and after the snap celebrating, that's what we want to build on."
On Durant's interception:
"He just read the [pass] real good, jumped in front of it and made a play. That's what we talk about—just making those game changing plays."