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Quotable: Falcons vs. Panthers


Head Coach Mike Smith

Opening Statement:
We obviously didn't play our best game today. When you turn the ball over twice like we did, you increase the situation and it's really hard to get the positive outcome that you want. I think we had our chances today. It was a hard fought game. I thought our team showed some resiliency to fight back in the second half of that ball game.

Q: How frustrating was it not to capitalize on the momentum swings?
A: "Well, it's very frustrating when you don't get the outcome that you want. There were a number of opportunities to change the game, but we weren't able to do that. The thing that we have to do is we have to go back and watch some tape and make the corrections and get to where we're hitting on all cylinders and playing for 60 minutes. I don't think that we're sustaining the level of play that we need to be successful."

Q: Mike Turner's injury?
A: "Mike was not able to finish the game. I'll get more information when I get an opportunity to speak with the trainers after this press conference."

Q: On Matt Ryan's performance.
A: "I thought that Matt's play was just like our entire football team. We didn't sustain the level of play that we needed to be successful. The two turnovers that we produced really hurt our chances and it's a matter of all of us getting better. I think today, on those two passes, the ball was over their head. But again, until you really evaluate and see what's going on, you don't know. Those are things you have to look at as well. We definitely can not turn the ball over in this league and have an opportunity to win. You've got to remember this is year two. Playing quarterback in this League is one of the most difficult jobs that there is. There are going to be ups and there are going go to be downs. There's confidence in our quarterback."

Q: On the run game.
A: "Michael ran the ball extremely well. He had 100 yards in the first half. I thought Jason Snelling came in and did a nice job of running the ball as well. We don't have the explosiveness we had with Michael, but I thought Jason, for his first time back in a couple of weeks ran the ball hard."

Q: On Jake Delhomme's Performance.
A: "I think Jake had a very good game. They managed the game very well on their side of the ball. They were able to run the ball. They were able to throw the ball, and get the ball out of his hands very quickly. Each and every week it's all about the match-up. We didn't match up as well as we needed to."

Q: Sequence in the 4th quarter where Matt didn't get the first down, and the quarterback sneak was challenged.
A: "It was a critical point in the ball game that we did not get. We missed it. But hey, we had another opportunity. We got the stop defensively, and had some opportunities. It was a critical sequence in the ball game."

Q: On The missed field goal.
A: "It looked like the timing between the snapper, the holder, and the kicker was not as clean. We've had three good weeks of practice. I think our preparation has been good, and we will have to continue to evaluate. We evaluate everything from top to bottom; anything in practice that would indicate that the level of play would be any different."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Opening Statement:
This is an NFC South loss for us. You're going to expect a tough game anytime you come up here. We had some opportunities, didn't take advantage of them down the stretch. And credit to them they played well today.

Q: Is there something going on? Any issues?
A: "I don't think it's anything. I think we just need to continue to practice hard, prepare the best we can and play better. We had our chances and we didn't take advantage of them. The best part of playing in the NFL is that it is a 16 week season. It is a long grind. We've got an opportunity. We've got 7 weeks in front of us. So, hopefully our best football is in front of us."

Q: On his Interceptions.
A: "I made some throws that weren't on point and that sort of thing is going to happen.
We'll do a better job at that. We'll practice hard and prepare the best we can to prepare down the stretch."

Q: Different feel during this past week?
A: "Part of it is. There are things you are going to learn on the way. It's a tough league week in and week out. You play against tough teams. I feel like I'm learning a bunch and am getting better. But we've just made some mistakes and that's just going to happen. I feel good and I think my preparation has been good and we're going to continue to work as hard as we can during the week to get ready."

Q: On his second interception.A: "With it being first down, that was not a good decision. We tried to make a play but it wasn't the time for that, especially with the field position we had. It just comes down to making better decisions. Learning from those situations and making sure that in the future I'm a better player in the future."

Q: On his first interception.A: "First one was on the move to the left and set up, I probably should have stayed on the run. And that's another thing. I tried to go over top and get underneath coverage and go for a little arm, tough play, but I thought we responded pretty well from that with the points we had before the half. I thought we came back and battled in the second half. We had a chance. If you had a chance week in and week out in this league, that's all you can ask for."

Q: Where are you in the division?A: "We dropped a division game against a good opponent. There's always a battle when you play the Panthers. We've got a long way to go and a lot of football to be played. We feel like our best is in front of us and we're going to go out there and work during the week and make sure we do play our best in our next 7 games."

Q: Harder 2nd season than first season?
A: "Different things come up week in and week out. I'm young. I've got a long way to go and a lot of improving to do and a lot of things to learn. And I do think that you learn a lot more in your second season than you do in your first. I feel like I am continuing to get better and continuing to learn, trying to soak up everything I can from year one, from year two. I feel like if I do that and do it the best way I can, I will be a better player for it."

Running Back Jason Snelling

Q: When did it hit you that you were the only guy left?
A: "I really was not thinking about it. I went out there and had a job to do make plays. We don't expect any slip ups, losing a back that's the mentality that we have on this team."

Q: How was it coming out of the locker room for the 3rd Quarter?
A: "We definitely knew it was a close game; we left some plays out in the first half. Then we can come out and play our football and make plays. We tried to do that in the second half but came up a little short."

Q: How was your conditioning when taking the carries?
A: "I felt fine out there. I practiced for this situation. So when I went out there I was prepared and ready to go."

Q: How physical was it out there?A: "It's always a physical game. They're a great team. It was a rival game and they were the better team today."

Q: With you coming on at the end of the season, how do you feel about that?A: "I've had a lot more opportunities this year different situations. We have a great offense; our offensive coordinator has faith in all of our running backs to make plays. I just go out there prepared, to help your team and it worked out for me today."


GAMEDAY LIVE:Complete Falcons-Panthers coverage from * GAME CENTER:Stats and more on the game from * 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 * 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

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