Quotable: Falcons vs. 49ers


Head Coach Mike Smith

Q: On overall performance.
A: "Hey. Okay guys, all week we've talked about going out to the west coast and taking care of business. We feel like we did a lot of things well today. There are some things we need to do better but we came out here and accomplished the things we wanted to accomplish. We didn't play a perfect game but there were some really big plays and I thought that, offensively, we were clicking to run 476 yards. Our quarterback [Matt Ryan], threw the ball extremely well. It was nice to see Roddy White [WR] have the kind of game that he had, over 200 yards of reception. I thought that our defense really applied the pressure from the beginning and did a nice job. With that I will open it up for questions."

Q: On putting up so many points during the 2nd quarter.
A: "Well it was phased. We stared out with the two quick touchdowns, got up 14-0, then had a missed tackle and got 14-7. But then we really clicked, our special teams made a big play; and again, I think it was all three phases that contributed to our success today. When you play team football, that is what we preach, and they were able to do that."

Q: On WR Roddy White's performance.
A: "Well we all had fun today. I talk to guys all the time about having fun and, to me, having fun is playing football the way it's supposed to be played. For the most part, I thought it was today. There's a lot when you win, there's still a lot of things that can be corrected."

Q: On whether or not the flip by WR Roddy White bothered him.
A: "Did it bother me, well yeah it did. He didn't hit the landing because if he hits the landing it's not a 15-yard penalty. I told him that you need to give it Olga. If he's going to do it it's got to be the Olga. He looked at me like he doesn't know who Olga Korbut is… then I told him maybe Mary Lou Retton and I figured that's 1986, he doesn't know who Mary Lou Retton is. It went right over his head and my head. But, no, Roddy is excited and if he is going to go celebrate he's got to hit the four-point landing."

Q: On if he felt they could exploit this match up.
A: "Well, we had a very good game plan. I thought that in all three phases. Mike Mularkey [offensive coordinator] and his staff did an outstanding job in preparation. That's a very very good football team and a very very good defense. Statistically, coming into this game they were one of the top defenses in the NFL in a number of categories. We game planned and we executed our game plan for the most part."

Q: On the defensive line and the various combinations used today.
A: "Yes and it's really nothing more than what we've talked about from the very beginning. We really don't have four starters, we've got seven to eight starters and a rotation that's based on scheme and it's based on what the opponents present to us and Ray [Hamilton] did a great job. Brian Vangorder [Defensive Coordinator] and Ray Hamilton [Defensive Line Coach] in putting that rotation together and I thought that they made some plays. There are some guys that we're creating plays that we would like to see from our defensive front."

Q: On the Defensive Line's performance.
A: "Again it's really hard to talk about defensive line and inline play until you get a chance to watch the tape. But I belt about it during the ball game.' Ok we need to talk to those guys who made those plays, they're the most important ones to talk to."

Safety Erik Coleman

Q: On how the Falcons were balanced on defense.
A: "Well we did some Cover-1 coverages and our d-line did a great job of getting pressure. [DE John] Abraham, [DT Jonathan] Babineaux those guys did a great job and we knew that they were going to come out and run the ball, so we had to try to stop the run first and I think we were successful in doing that."

Q: On the defense forcing QB Shaun Hill to release passes early.
A: "I think our D-Coordinator did a great job in keeping them on their toes and keeping them off-balance. We had a great game plan and we executed it, and that is what happens when you execute."

Q: On the key to stopping TE Vernon Davis.
A: "Just recognition, knowing where he is at all times. Every play we had someone on him whether it be myself or [S Thomas] DeCoud, just pretty much knowing where he is, and the pressure helped out a lot too."

Offensive Guard Harvey Dahl

Q: On coming off a bye week and dominating a hot 49ers team.
A: "We knew going in that they were a physical group and they did a lot up front. We just game planned and played them physical and that is what you have to do when you play a group like that. You got to try to match their intensity and their physicality and I think that is what we did."

Q: On whether the Falcons made a statement today.A: "I think so, I think this is the kind of game that we want to play. I think we made it a physical game and that is the biggest statement. That we played physical."

Tight End Tony Gonzalez

Q: On whether today was what he thought the team should be like when he came to the team.A: "Definitely the chemistry was there today. We were hitting them over the top with Roddy [White]. The running game was going and I was able to do my thing underneath and guys were making plays all across the board. The O-line did a great job against a really good defense. You can't underestimate how good of a defense this really was. On film they look great I think they played great today but I think the bye week must have helped us. We seemed fresh and we were out there pushing guys off the ball and it was really working for us today."

Q: On whether he thought the 49ers seem flat today.
A: "I don't think they seemed flat, not at all, not to me. I thought once we got up on them, like any team, we were just trying to get the game over with at that point, but yeah I thought they played pretty tough."

Linebacker Mike Peterson

Q: On whether there was a lot of talking on the field today.
A: "Oh yeah, our backs were against the wall. We didn't play as well as we wanted to play the last time we were out, we felt like we had a lot to prove and we were ready to play some football."

Q: On the interception that DB Brian Williams got off his deflection.
A: "We had a pressure called and I was able to get my hands on the ball and was actually trying to get the pick as well. Brian was able to come up with it. Another big play."

Q: On the offense capitalizing on the turnovers.
A: "That is big. I think those guys on our offensive side of the ball they were glad. Once we go out and get a turnover they wanted to get it in the end zone."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Q: On the second quarter.
A: "A big quarter for us. I think we scored 21 in the second thinking that was good for us. We wanted to get off to a fast start today. Came and got 14 points on the board in the first, continued that to the second. When our defense is giving us opportunities and short field situations which we got in the first half we want to take advantage of that. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. Then we made some plays when we were backed up as well. Roddy made a great catch coming out of the end zone and to go for 90 yards is pretty impressive."

Q: On the impressive career high.
A: "It feels better when it's a win there is no question about that. I have never been overly concerned with the stats, just the wins, that's really the only thing I am worried about is winning. We did today a little bit in the air and some on the ground, a pretty good performance for us on offense. I feel like even doing what we did today, scoring that many points, we can still do better. There are things we need to clean up and just execute better. We had a bunch of penalties, we can't do that, but all in all we are happy with the win."

Q: On a sense of validation for beating a good team by a high margin.A: "I don't think so. Our focus was to win this game regardless of how we did it or who we were playing against. That is kind of the focus every week. We have high expectations in our self. We worked hard this off season, we feel like we have talent on both sides of the ball to be able to go out there and get it done so we certainly have high expectations in ourselves. With that said we played a good football team today and to walk out of here today with a win is big for our organization."

Q: On sensing WR Roddy White hasn't been playing like himself in past weeks and today being more relaxed and playing more like last year.A: "We have been close. I think the first couple of weeks he had been making some plays, some of it is on me. I'll be the first to say that I had some opportunities to get him the ball in different places in the first three weeks and missed on a couple of things here and there. Today for the most part we were on the same page. I have so much confidence in him. He is going to go out there and make plays. He is such a talented receiver physically, he works hard during the week, and is very on top of what we are doing in terms of the game plan. I have a lot of confidence in him and was happy in him today to set a franchise record which is extremely impressive. I think he had something like 210 yards receiving which is a big number. So hats off to him today, Roddy did a great job and we are very happy for him."

Q: On how big this kind of win was today.
A: "Well it is important. Obviously New Orleans has been playing very very well this year so far. We are not trying to keep pace with them, but at the same time we are focusing on what we do but at the same time you do have to keep pace with the guys in your division and hats off to them, they are playing great this point of the year."

Q: On how special is it for Roddy White to set a franchise record for a team that has been around for a while.
A: "It is huge. I think we have been around since 1966 as an organization. For him to go out there and do that, speaks to the kind of player that he is. He is one of the most talented guys I have been around. He works hard and does a great job, so I was happy for Roddy today."

Q: On how he felt when the play calls were coming in today.
A: "I thought Mike Mularkey [Offensive Coordinator] did a great job today. Week in and week out he puts great game plans together and hats off to the rest of the coaching staff as well, they had a lot of input in that during the week, getting us a plan that puts us in the right position. Today he dialed up those plays. He called them and we went out there and we executed them. When we are out there and we are in that rhythm we feel like whatever he calls is going to work and think we had a little bit of that today."

Q: On how much of the play calling was to make sure the middle linebacker did not dominate.
A: "We were certainly aware of [Patrick] Willis and [Takeo] Spikes, but with that said we are confident in what we do, in running the ball and feel like regardless who we are playing against that week we have the ability to dictate what we want as an offense. For the most part we did a pretty good job of that today."

Q: On his thoughts of staying so poised and polished.
A: "I think I am still learning. Luckily I am surrounded by some guys who can make some plays; [WR] Roddy White, [TE] Tony Gonzalez, [WR] Mike Jenkins and the running game with Michael Turner, [RB] Jerious Norwood who is able to create some chunk yardage throughout the game. I feel like I am still learning a lot and am still young and I have a long way to go, but I have been able to be surrounded by some good players so far."

Running Back Michael Turner

Q: On the Atlanta Falcons offense.
A: "We thought it was going to be a close and competitive game because that had been playing good football. We wanted to go out there and play our best and be physical because they are a physical football team. They were in the top 10 in every category on defense. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge and we were going to have to stay on top of them and do our best."

Q: On the play that injured Michael Lewis.
A: "I saw him go down low but I did not know he was hurt until I got up."

Q: On Roddy White's performance.
A: "He just got back to making plays. We all felt like we were not making plays the first three weeks and Coach (Paul Smith) made that important to us. It was a challenge to us and I think we responded well to it."

Wide Receiver Roddy White

Q: On setting the franchise record in receiving yards.
A: "I think I did a pretty good job today. I just wanted to go out and play well. I felt like I had not been playing well up to this point in the season and me and Coach (Paul) Smith had a talk. He said that I just had to go back to being myself and be the old Roddy. It is no pressure, so just go out there and play. After we had that talk, I kind of came out to practice with that mentality. I got back to doing what I do."

Q: On if they knew they could score often on the 49ers defense.
A: "Going in, we had a game plan set in. We had plays that we wanted to run and things like that. We just went out there and executed the game plan and the plays that were called. Coach (Mike) Mularkey did a good job today just calling the game plan. We took shots when we had to and we made big plays."

Q: On if they expected to have that much success on offense.
A: "We were just trying to put one together. In our first three games, we felt like we never played as good as we think we can. Today was a step forward in us getting a whole lot better. Besides the penalties that we had today, I think we stalled on a couple drives that I think we could have scored on and we just have to get better week in and week out."


GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete game coverage from AF.com * GAME CENTER:Stats and more from the NFL.com Game Center * VIDEO:Video interviews and highlights from Falcons-49ers * THE BEAT BLOG:John Manasso's take on the Falcons win * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Thoughts from the Managing Editor * FIRST TAKE:Exclusive interviews with Mike Smith, Matt Ryan and more * TAKE TWO:Video interviews from the Falcons locker room * GAME NOTES:Milestones tracked from the Candlestick Park press box * INACTIVES:Gameday inactives and starters * GAME QUOTES:Transcripts from Falcons interviews | San Francisco * FORUMS:Talk about the game on the FalconsLIFE message boards

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