Quotable: Falcons vs. Giants

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Head Coach Mike Smith

Opening Statement:
"I was really proud of the way our team played and continued to fight. They showed a lot of resolve. We were not able to overcome a number of mistakes that we made. We were able to keep our composure and, especially there in the fourth quarter, get some stops defensively, get the ball to the offense, and we were able to take this game into overtime. We ended up a little bit short. We've got to get home, make the corrections, and get ready for a three-game home stand there at the Georgia Dome."

Q: Coach, can you talk about the play of your defense in the second half? The secondary, in particular.A:" We gave up a lot of passing yards. That's very obvious. Way too many passing yards and again, it's team defense, it's not just the secondary. It's a combination of the secondary, linebackers, and defensive [line]. We've got to make plays on third down. We continued to struggle on third down. It's a combination of a number of things, but we cannot give up those types of yards in the passing game and expect to have the success that we want to have."

Q: Can you talk about the job Matt [Ryan] did in that last drive to tie the game up?
A: "I though Matt did a very good job. [He] bounced back from a first half where we didn't have the numbers and statistics that we'd like. He threw the ball well. He operated in and out of the no-huddle offense, which is something that we had planned to do and wanted to do. I thought there were very well-executed drives there in the second half. It was a hard-fought game. Those guys on the other side played extremely well. They're a good football team. My hat's off to Coach Coughlin and his staff, but I'm proud of the way our guys played."

Q: With Tony Gonzalez, was there a difference between the first half and second half other than statistics? Did you guys do anything different?
A: "No, I didn't. They did a nice job taking away Tony in the first half and in the second half Tony was able to get some balls his way and make some catches. I thought that touchdown pass at the end was outstanding. What a wonderful throw. There was only one way one guy who could catch it. That was our guy. It was great execution by those two men."

Q: Did Matt loosen up in that regard? Some of those throws were unbelievably tight throws.
A: "That's a young quarterback out there that's going through a learning process. When he's hitting and throwing and hitting the ball on all cylinders, he can fit the ball into a lot of small windows."

Q: How did Snelling do stepping in for two injured players?A: "Well, it was great to see Jason be able to come in. We were down two running backs. Michael [Turner] was not able to go, nor was Jerious [Norwood]. Jason has always, when called upon, has come out and played well for us. I thought that he ran the ball hard. I thought we did a nice job blocking up front."

Q: First half, do you think Matt was over-thinking?
A: "No. They had a plan of how they wanted to defend us here in the first half. They had two weeks to prepare for this game and I think after going through the first half and seeing how they were going to defend us, we made some really good adjustments there at halftime, and I thought Matt became more and more comfortable here in the second half."

Q: How do you feel you handled their relentless pressure and blitzes?
A: "I thought that our guys did a nice job. I believe that we gave up two sacks, if I'm not mistaken, and they were coming after us from all angles. Bringing secondary blitzes, linebacker blitzes and I thought they did a good job. I thought Matt, as the game wore on, did a nice a job moving in the pocket and creating extensions of the play."

Q: Why is putting points up on the board in the first quarter a continuous problem?
A: "We have started fast over the last three ball games in terms of getting points. It's something that we talk to our players all the time about, wanting to start fast. It's just something that we have to continue to work on."

Q: Can you talk about the miscues? It looked like Jenkins had a touchdown in his hands and the missed field goal are the obvious ones.
A: "There were miscues throughout the entire game. The players, the coaching staff, we're all in this together. I'm not going to say this guy or that guy having a miscue. When we have those mistakes, we've got to correct them. We win this game as a team and we lose this game as a team."

Q: You're 5-5, you have six games to go. What did you tell your team?A: "What I told our team is that we've been through a long road in terms of the last six weeks. Four out of the six games we've played have been against teams that have been coming off the byes. I also told them that we are looking forward to having a three-game home stand. We have three games at home in the Georgia Dome. I know that our guys are a little bit road weary at this point in time, so I told them we've got three games at home and it starts with Tampa Bay. On Wednesday, let's come to work with a positive attitude and get ready to right the ship and get on the winning trail."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Opening Statement:
Obviously disappointed with the outcome today, but we had great effort on both sides of the ball and on special teams. We just need to clean up some of the execution. Disappointing loss but we can't be discouraged. We've got to head back to work and prepare to head home to the Dome.

Q: After the last two weeks, was the second half a relief in the fact that you could move the ball again?
A: "It's disappointing because we didn't come out with the outcome we wanted. But with that said, I thought we had great contributions from a lot of guys and great effort from a lot of guys in the second half to come back from 14 down. With that said, there's no moral victories. We play to win every week and we've got to get back to work this week and make sure that we take care of our business at home."

Q: When they threw the coin up and it came down as the Giants' ball, what was your reaction?
A: "That's the way it goes. Would you have liked to have won it? Sure, you'd love to get the ball first. We had opportunities throughout the game. I thought our effort was great. We just need better execution."

Q: Was there any sort of offensive huddling done at halftime?
A: "Nothing out of the norm. Our philosophy when we're on offense is to try to score every time we touch the football. That doesn't change, regardless of who we're playing against or the situation we're in. But with that said, guys looked at each other on both sides of the ball at halftime and said we've got to step up and improve the execution in the second half. And I thought we did that. We gave ourselves a chance to win but we fell short."

Q: What was the difference between throwing to Tony Gonzalez in the first half and second half? Was he more open or were you just more resolved to get it to him?
A: "That's the way offensive football goes sometimes. Things get taken away in one half. Our thing is to continue to stay patient. If we do things the right way play in and play out, we're going to be able to move the football and we're going to be able to score. It comes in surges sometimes offensively. In the second half Tony had a bunch of catches and did a great job. He did an outstanding job for us today."

Q: Can you talk about how Jason (Snelling) filled in for Michael (Turner) and Jerious (Norwood) today?
A: "Jason did an excellent job today coming in and filling in for Mike, as he's done all year. When you play with him week in and week out and you see what he comes in and he does in different situations, we expected Snell to come in and play well and he didn't disappoint. He came in and he played hard, played physical, carried the load for the day and did a great job in pass protection as well. Hats off to him; tremendous effort from him."

Q: It seemed like they were dialing up a lot of pressure today, how did you think you handled it?
A: "I thought we handled it well. I thought our offensive line and running backs did a good job with the protection today. That's a good defense we played against, specifically a really good front four. They've got some guys who can really rush the passer. Our offensive line did a great job. I had time to throw the football in the second half and in the first half. We took advantage of it. We moved it pretty well and scored some points but again ultimately we fell a little bit short. We've got to get back to work this week."

Q: Does it seem like a flaw in the structure that you battled so hard today and a coin toss decided it?
A: "No, that's not the way we look at it. Those are the rules. This is the format that is the NFL. You can't be frustrated with the system. You just have to go out there and you have to take care of business when you have the opportunity within the course of the game and we didn't do that."

Wide Receiver Michael Jenkins

Q: That was a tough one to lose today, especially the way you guys fought back.
A: "Yes, any loss is tough but this one is especially. Fighting back throughout the second half and most of the fourth quarter is tough."

Q: Talk about how you guys were able to move the ball offensively and score points.
A: "We were able to get it going. We started converting on third downs in the second half which kept drives alive. We were able to put points on the board and if we can keep that up, we will wind up winning football games."

Kicker Jason Elam

Q: Talk about your performance today.
A: "You know, you have to look at yourself and your own performance. This is frustrating and about as much adversity as I have ever had in my career. We're just going to keep fighting, and we have the next four out of six at home so we will keep fighting and pushing, and so will I."

Q: There are a lot of things to go into what you do, and not just with your performance.
A: "Well, yes there is, but that's why you practice all week long and you feel like you have a good rhythm going. You get one or two cracks a game at it (kicking) and you have to do the best you can with it. So far, it hasn't worked out too well for me the past few weeks, but we're going to keep fighting."

Defensive End John Abraham

Q: Talk about your team's performance today, another tough loss.
A: "Definitely another tough loss for us. As a defensive line, we need to do a better job getting on the quarterback. We had some pressure but we can't put our DBs in that kind of situation and when you play a quarterback like Eli and a great receiving corps, you really need to do a better job getting him on the ground."

Q: You have four out of your next six at home, so tell me about that last stretch of games.
A: "It's important. We definitely have to turn it around from here. I don't think we're completely out of it so we still have an opportunity to be up there. So as a team we have to go out there and try to win. It's going to be an uphill battle from here, but we have to keep trucking."

Cornerback Brett Grimes

Q: Talk about what this loss does for the team's morale.
A: "That was a loss that's definitely a tough one to take. We needed that win to stay alive but it just didn't work out for us in the end."

Q: Talk about the defensive effort today, and how you fared against their receivers.
A: "They really got the best of us, as seen in the stats, but we were out there fighting hard. We just didn't make the plays we needed to."

Safety Erik Coleman

Q: How do you assess the Giants performance today?A: "They executed well, and you need to give credit to them. They did a great job today."

Q: From a secondary point of you, does it get frustrating seeing the big plays they made today?
A: "Well, obviously it is always disappointing when you give up a big play. Like I said, they did a great job of executing and they made the plays when it counted."

Wide Receiver Roddy White

Q: When it got into overtime, their defense had been out there most of the fourth quarter. Did you think that if you got the toss you were going to win?A: "Of course. I think that if we had a chance to get at them first, we would have gone right down and scored. But we didn't, they got the toss and they went down and scored."

Q: The first half, it seemed that Matt was reluctant to throw the ball. In the second half, did he look more like himself?
A: "I think he did a good job in the first half. We went out there and we didn't complete some passes. We dropped some balls and didn't help him out. We've just got to help the young guy out, man. This is his second year in the league and we have to do better."

Tight End Tony Gonzalez

Q: Did you think your team had a good chance to win once they started overtime if the coin toss went your way?
A: "Statistically, I mean, the team that gets the ball in overtime usually wins. I thought we were on a roll and we were moving the ball up and down the field, especially in the fourth quarter. That's just how it goes, they were moving the ball, too, and that's how it happened."

Q: Is that the positive you can take from this game, that the offense didn't give up and the way you guys rallied?
A: "There are always positives and there are always negatives. Sure, when we watch film there will be certain plays that we wish we could have back, but I'm happy we were able to move the ball at the end when we had to. That is something we can definitely build on."

Q: Beyond that, are you proud of the team not quitting?
A: "This team never quits, no doubt about it. This team never quits because that's not our makeup mentally. I think that Coach Smith makes sure of that. We feel like we can go up against any team in the league and I think we proved that. We haven't been blown out by anybody."

MORE FROM THE FALCONS-GIANTS GAME:

GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete game coverage from AtlantaFalcons.com * GAME CENTER:Stats and more in the NFL.com Game Center * THE BEAT BLOG:Thoughts on the game from John Manasso * FIRST TAKE:Postgame interviews with Mike Smith and players from AF.com * GAME VIDEO:More interviews and multimedia from AF.com * GAME NOTES:Official game notes from the Giants Stadium press box * QUOTABLE:Comments from Falcons players postgame | Giants * J. MIKE'S MISSIVES:Thoughts on the game from the AF.com managing editor * IMAGES:Exclusive photos from the game by team photographers * FORUMS:Talk about the game with other fans on FalconsLFE

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