Head Coach John Fox
RE: No huddle offenseI think it was fair to say we had an unusual preseason as far as playing time, injuries and things like that. Unfortunately we had to use early regular season for our preseason. So, I think some of those things are starting to work their way through and we felt a comfort level today. It's always been there. Dropping back to pass was pretty interesting about a month ago.
RE: Jake operate better in no huddle offense?Jake has operated a lot better over the last three weeks.
RE: Jordan Gross injuryIt's a broken ankle. I don't know how it will be handled.
RE: This week's scheduleTomorrow will be like a Tuesday, players day off. We'll come back to work on Tuesday.
RE: Team facing adversityI'm proud of them and the way they fought back. We dug ourselves into a heck of a hole at 0-3. I like talking about it.
RE: Sherrod MartinHe's a guy, who a month ago quite frankly we didn't know him. We drafted him. We knew what he did in college and his capabilities. We knew his flexibility both being a corner type athlete with safety size. We didn't have a chance to play him much. He got hurt and missed a lot of time. The first time we watched him play was a couple of weeks ago against Arizona. I thought he had a whale of a performance. He's a guy who has been given an opportunity and seized it in a good way.
RE: Julius PeppersHe has a messed up hand. They had it protected. I think it surely limits you. You are not 100%. Guys play with those types of things. I thought he did well without seeing the tape.
A lot of teams are built to be equal on any given Sunday. That is what makes it a tremendous game for the fans and everybody. It's competitive every week and records you can throw out the window. You play the game on Sunday. It's the way the game is, how it's always been and how it will be.
RE: Jason Baker's tackle
It was a huge play. It was right in front of me. There was not much left between him and the goal line when I looked up. All of a sudden Jason Baker appeared and got him out of bounds. It's a goal oriented business.
RE: Stewart touchdownIt was good blocking. They were playing an aggressive defense, which would be normal in that situation. It was well blocked and a great cut.
RE: Short week
Luckily they have the same problems. It will be tough on both squads. We'll try to get them as rested as we can and refocused. It's definitely a test, but both teams have to deal with it.
RE: The offensive line after Gross went down
We prepared that way. The unique part about the National Football League is most teams go into a game with seven linemen. They have to be versatile in what they do, the two back ups and the five starters. Those guys work that way and it's a tribute to them and Dave Magazu. They stepped right in and did well.
Quarterback Jake Delhomme
RE: Had fun today?
I had fun. I've had fun the last three weeks. It didn't get any lower than the Buffalo game, for whatever reason. I had to say 'the heck with it' and keep swinging. The last few weeks have really been fun, fun on the practice field. That was nice out there today.
RE: Coming out in no huddleWe knew we were going to start the second drive with it. That is something that we practice a good bit. I'm extremely comfortable in that situation. It helps that you don't have to flip flop receivers. Steve and Moose know both sides. The tight ends, if we go two tight end sets, can play fullback. Our guys did a great job adjusting to the calls today. It got us going. I'm disappointed in the second half. I know we didn't have the ball much. That was tough. We never got into a rhythm and we needed to do that for our defense. I wish we could have possessed it a little more in the second half. It was similar to the first time we played them. We had the ball one possession in the third quarter. Same thing today.
You have to be confident. I think we've played some good football the last three weeks, even with loss last week in New Orleans. Guys are fighting. Guys are playing hard. We are getting a little beat up right now but guys are still battling. It's a short week. I've never played on a short week, but it's back to work. You'd love to be able to enjoy it but it's back to work tomorrow. We've got to get ready.
RE: Jordan Gross
It hurts, not only the football player, but the man. I think you saw the reaction of all of the guys on the team. Jordan is special. He's a leader, a top ten pick. He was placed the first mini-camp at tackle and he hasn't left. It's ironic last year in Atlanta he gets carted off on a concussion and again today. The thing that's comforting to me is that Travelle Wharton has played tackle at a high level for us. He'll slide right in. Mac Bernadeau is a young kid we like. Same thing happened last year with Frank Omiyale and Hangartner. They had to step in and they parlayed it into some good contracts for them. I think this is something Mac will enjoy and Coach Magazu will do a good job of getting him ready.
RE: Two touchdown passes
Steve made great plays on both of them. The first one was a third down. We had the look we wanted. Smitty made a great catch. The guy interfered with him. Even on the next one, to get hit like he did, he came flying in there and got past the backer. We were able to get a touchdown. I think they were both third downs. It was huge to get touchdowns instead of field goals. That was nice. It was very good.
RE: Passing gameI think we're getting better. The Buffalo game we threw the ball around pretty well. I made two very poor throws in that game. We went to Arizona and the first half we did a good job and the second half we had the big lead. In New Orleans I thought we did a decent job. We were close. You could see it coming. It was good to have Moose back out there. It's easy to talk about it. We need to expand on it and get better going into Thursday.
RE: Built more confidence?Without a doubt. Every time I was touching it, I was turning it over. It certainly helped not turning it over today.
RE: No huddle offenseIt's something we're very comfortable with. We have a good bit of plays to choose from, run and pass. I feel very confident in my guys knowing exactly what to do and how to do it. As a quarterback, when everybody is on the same page that is something that's a big confidence booster. It's a lot of plays we've run from mini-camp on that guys know well. I kind of enjoy that. I called them (the plays).
RE: Feel like two-minute?Somewhat but we aren't in the two minute type mode. You take what they give you, be it run or pass. You try to be smart and think like a coordinator. It's easy when we have guys, receivers who don't need to flip flop sides and tight ends who can play fullback and things like that.
RE: Play he collided with Stewart
I went under center. I was usually in shotgun. The play clock was running down and he was offset. I was trying to get him to come over the top. DeAngelo and I had done it last week in the New Orleans game. It was something we hadn't worked on. The play clock was running down and I was just trying to hurry up and get it. I need to get out of his way.
Wide Receiver Steve Smith
RE: Touchdown when he was injured
A second guy came in with his knee leading. That is just defensive players, trying to get that extra hit in to see if they can jog the ball loose. That is the game we play. I'm alright.
RE: Two touchdownsThe second touchdown, when I got kneed, I was pretty much on the grass. The first touchdown we practiced on that route this week, ran it three or four times, three different ways. There was a lot of communication the week prior to make sure me and Jake were on the same page and I run it accurate and sell it pretty good. It was a good solid catch.
RE: Satisfying to win and play well?Winning the game is always good and you always want to be involved. With that competitive edge, you want to be involved in it. If you are just settling for being on the team, that is not the way God made me. I don't settle for just being on the team and getting a jersey. If I'm out there, I want to contribute, blocking or running routes and all of those things. I want to be involved. I want to be on the field. I'm too ugly of a cheerleader to carry pom poms and a skirt. I'm not into cheerleading. I'm into playing football.
RE: No huddle offenseNo huddle is controlled chaos. I was born into controlled chaos so it's real easy for me to adapt to. You have defense running around not knowing exactly what we are doing. No huddle is easy and simple for me. Like Jake said, me and Muhsin are able to not even move. I take pride in knowing not just my routes and assignments but the other guy's assignments. We are able to stay on our sides and be able to run each others routes. That has always been that way and me and Moose take that as an asset. You can't teach that. That is guys wanting to be able to have an advantage. I love that we can do that and not even have to move and be able to run different routes and be effective too.
RE: Delhomme gaining confidence
I think it's very important. We all can have a nice smile and mask on, but we all want to do well and be a part of the solution, a part of helping whatever it may be, whatever your job is. For a guy to come out here and contribute in a positive way, I think anybody would be lying saying it doesn't matter, because it does. It builds confidence.
RE: Jason Baker's tackleYes, I saw that. If that was me, I would have run Baker over. He's funny. I'll have to hear this from Bake for three weeks. I'll tell him if that was me, I'd have run him over.
RE: Muhsin saying team plays better against the odds
When you've been around the block and been playing for 45 years like that, I think Moose is pretty accurate. I would agree with what he's saying.
RE: Muhsin Muhammad
I think it's so cool to be playing with my friend. That is the cool part. A lot of people say I need a guy on the other side of me, but for me, I get to play with one of my good friends on the team. I know that isn't always going to be at times, not necessarily because I'm not friends with other wide receivers, but me and Moose have been together for so long that it's neat and real cool. Every time we line up against each other, we have conversations. We laugh. We sometimes make fun of people in the huddle without them even knowing because we've been around each other for so long. We even make fun of each other. It's cool that we get to do that. It's those little gems and memories that I'll have for a lifetime, just playing around and joking with Moose.
MORE FALCONS-PANTHERS GAME COVERAGE:
GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete Falcons-Panthers coverage from AF.com * GAME CENTER:Stats and more on the game from NFL.com * GAME SIDEBAR: John Manasso looks at key moments from the game * BEAT BLOG: Game updates and insight in The Beat Blog * GAME NOTEBOOK:Notes from the Bank of America Stadium press box * FIRST TAKE:Exclusive postgame interviews from AF.com * MULTIMEDIA:More Falcons-Panthers game interviews and highlights * QUOTABLE:Postgame thoughts from Falcons players | Panthers * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Thoughts on the game from the managing editor * INACTIVES:Falcons-Panthers game inactives and starters