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Quotable: Falcons vs. Eagles


Head Coach Mike Smith

Opening Statement:
"This was not a very good performance today. Obviously we were beaten soundly in all phases of the football game. We have to put that behind us as quickly as possible as a team and that is what we intend on doing. We'll come into work tomorrow and move forward. We have a big division game coming up this week."

Q. Could you talk about why you didn't take the field goal right before the half?
A: "Obviously, we had an opportunity to score before the half and I felt that, being down 20 points, it was imperative for us to get 7 and not a field goal. Actually we were down 13 and I felt like it was important for us. The way that we were moving the ball down the field in the first half, we were not moving it effectively. I felt like we needed to try and capitalize while we were down there."

Q. Can you talk about how Chris Redman played today while filling in for Matt Ryan.
A: "It's very difficult to come in this situation. We did not operate effectively offensively. I know Chris' numbers were not what we needed them to be, but again, it's not just Chris Redman. It is the entire offense that works as a unit. We would definitely like to have an opportunity to have a few of those throws back."

Q. Were you affected by the atmosphere today with Michael Vick's return to the Georgia Dome?A: "No, not at all. When you're out there on the field you're not listening to the crowd noise. You're focused on the task at hand and the task at hand for us was to try to score when we had the ball on offense and to stop our opponent when we were on defense."

Q. You never want to make excuses, but will you admit you had difficulty scoring with half of your offense injured?
A: "We can't make excuses. There are no excuses. Injuries are a fact in the NFL and this late in the season you're going to have guys down. It just so happened that we're not as healthy as we would have like to been, and when that happens the next man up has to step up and do the job. We will not make excuses. It's the Atlanta Falcons football team. It's the guy's that are wearing those helmets and those jerseys; those are the guys we have to go play with."

Q. It seemed like the offense had trouble finding a rhythm.
A: "Yeah, we weren't in rhythm offensively, especially in the first half. To not move the ball effectively and consistently in the first half, we weren't able to find a rhythm. When we came out in the second half and gave up the touchdown on the first drive to go down to 20 it was tough. They converted on a fourth and 1 in that drive. I thought we had an opportunity on third and long to get them in a fourth and 3 or 4 and they just weren't able to make the tackle and make the play."

Q. Will you reset your goals now that the division has been won?
A: "I told our guys last week that basically we're no longer in the NFC South. We're in the wildcard division. That's where we are now and that's where we started last week. In terms of resetting our goals, our goal is to go out and play efficiently and be the best that we can be. When we do that, we feel like we'll get the outcomes that we want."

Q. How are you further depleted with injuries after this game?
A: "We have some guys that left the game as you saw. I haven't had an opportunity to meet with the trainer. As you're well aware of, Todd McClure left the game, Chris Owens left the game, Chris Houston left the game, and Justin Peelle, our tight end. We had a number of guys that got banged up today and it's going to be a matter of us seeing where they are over the next couple of days. We certainly hope some of the guys that did not participate in the game today will be back next week because we have a big game against a divisional opponent."

Q. What's the message to try to rally the team moving forward?A: "The message is real simple. This is a five week season that started this last week. There are a number of teams that are basically mathematically in the race for the tournament. It's not a do or die situation. This was not a do or die game. It's going to be a lot of football to play. There's going to be a lot of teams that have to play each other. A lot of things will happen over the next month of the season. Including stuff that already started this week and that's how we have to approach this. It is a four week season right now and we have to go out and try to do out best."

Quarterback Chris Redman

Opening Statement:"They came out and played a great game. The Philadelphia Eagles are a great team and they played hard all the way to the end. We just have to put this one behind us because there is still a long season left. We're definitely not going to quit. We have a lot of great players on this team. We will get back to work tomorrow and keep this season rolling."

Q: How hard was it to get into a rhythm?
A: "It was tough to get into the groove out there. You have to give the Eagles a lot of credit because they kept us off-balance. The defensive line made sure to get their hands up to tip some passes. But we understand it is nobody's fault – we all accept responsibility. We have to get back to practice tomorrow and put this behind us."

Q: On the Eagles' defensive stand before halftime:
A: "They showed great effort on the goal line by not allowing us to score. We felt like we had great momentum in that drive to score a touchdown. We just took a chance and unfortunately came up short. We all understand that is part of the game. But again, we have all a long season left and we'll keep fighting to the end."

Q: Overall thoughts on the defensive pressure:
A: "They came with tough pressure which was something we knew going into the game. It seemed like we could not get into a groove because of their various defensive schemes. We all made mistakes today and we will take this loss as a team. At the end of the day, we will learn from our mistakes and move on."

Q: On Eagles DB Sheldon Brown's interception:
A: "It seemed like he just sat down on the route. We had a quick route call and I tried to get the ball out early. The fact of the matter was Sheldon just made a great play on the ball."

Q: Are you prepared to carry-on in the starting role?
A: "It is my job to stay prepared and I will do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. We have a big game next week and we will be ready to play. I am excited to get this one behind us in preparation for the New Orleans Saints."

Tight end Justin Peelle

Q: Where do you go after this?
A: "You have to let it go, move on, and come back to work tomorrow. We got to rebuild, we got to get going again. We've got the Saints coming in and that's a good football team in the division. I think we're still alive in the wild card. We just have to keep fighting."

Cornerback Chris Houston

Q: Thoughts on the game.
A: "They (the Eagles) played well. Offense, defense, special teams, all the way around. They played the game better then we did today."

Q: How important are these next games?
A: "Every game is important, we just have to go back to work and take it one game at a time. We have to look no further then just one game."

Q: How it was when the crowd was screaming for someone on the opposite side? (Michael Vick)
A: "You really try no to play into it. When you're out on the field, you've got the next play to play. That's what you're trying to focus on, the next play."

Linebacker Curtis Lofton

Q: Thoughts on the crowd reaction.
A: "I really didn't pay too much attention to it. I just focused on what I had to do with my job, getting the calls to everybody else, and getting us set."

Q: Thoughts on Vick never throwing passes in the Wildcat offense until today.
A: "Good coaching by them, I don't know."

Defensive end Lawrence Sidbury

Q: Thoughts on getting more reps in the defense
A: "You know you always want to get out there, but they're not going to put you out there until you're ready. It's my job to come out and practice, continue to improve, and hopefully help the team out a little bit more."

Q: Can you take us through the play where you got the sack?
A: "Uh no, not really. It kind of happened so quick. I kind of didn't realize what I had done until I stood up. But, man, I got my first sack. I don't know, it happened kind of fast. Hopefully I can get more of them."

Defensive end Jamaal Anderson

Q: What were your thoughts on the game?
A: "We were beat on all levels and it is an embarrassment to the organization and our team. We never imagined that this would happen. With Michael (Vick) coming back, they came into this game with a lot of emotion, and we weren't ready for what they brought to the field. We have to move forward because we have another big game next week."

Q: How was it to see Michael Vick?
A: "Personally, I never got a chance to know him. He left before I could get a chance to meet him but it was good to see him come out and compete. He made some good plays, and overall, I guess he's still Mike Vick."

Q: What were some of the goals for the team coming into this game?A: "All week, we talked about not giving up explosive plays. They have an explosive west coast offense, and they made more plays than we did. We had to cut their ability to make those plays, and we didn't do a good job of doing that."

Running back Jerious Norwood

Q: How hard was this loss on the team?
A: "It's hard. It's very hard to lose to a good team like that. We'll continue to have a positive attitude, come back tomorrow and continue to work."

Q: How will you and the team get through the injuries and the short week to prepare for next week's game?
A: "We have to continue to keep pushing. At this time of the year, everyone is banged up. All we can do is get treatment, and try to get better."

Q: What were your thoughts on the crowd's reception and reaction to Michael (Vick) and his performance?
A: "I figured that the crowd was going to welcome him and cheer for him. When Mike (Vick) was here, he did great things for Atlanta and for this football team, and the fans loved him. He is a fan favorite, so everything that happened was expected."

Tight end Tony Gonzalez

Q: Today's game really affected the teams run for the playoffs. How frustrated are you?
A: "We're very frustrated but we still have four games left. If we can win all four, it will place us in a good position but we have to take it one game at a time. On all levels, this was not a good showing for us. Even with a New Orleans win, I think that anything can still happen. We still have four games left and we have to learn from our mistakes, and get better this week. We'll have to put this loss behind us because failure is not an option."

Q: Did you or the offense ever feel in sync?
A: "At times but you have to give them (Eagles) a lot of credit. We had up to five starters out for this game, so, I could sit here and make excuses but I'm not. When you're playing against a good team, it's tough to play without the same guys that you've been playing with for the entire year. It's up to our back ups to come in and do what they can. They did the best they could but this loss was collective effort. Offense, defense and special teams, we are all responsible overall, we have to play better."


GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete Falcons-Eagles coverage from * GAME CENTER:Stats and more from the game in * GAME RECAP:Offense stumbles in one-sided loss to Eagles * GAME NOTES:Notes on the game kept in the Georgia Dome press box * FIRST TAKE:Exclusive player and coach interviews with Dave Archer * MULTIMEDIA:Additional player interviews and highlights from * THE BEAT BLOG:John Manasso's thoughts on the Eagles game * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Thoughts on the game from the managing editor * TRANSCRIPTS:Falcons players talk about the game | Eagles * INACTIVES:Inactive players and listed starting lineups for the game * IMAGES:Photos from Sunday's Eagles-Falcons game at the Dome * FORUMS:Talk about the game with other fans on FalconsLIFE

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