Quotable: Falcons vs. Ravens


ATLANTA --Quotes from Falcons players and coaches following the final preseason game.

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith

Opening Statement:
"I want to say tonight's objective for us as a team was to look at several guys battling for roster spots and to leave this game injury free. I think we were able to get an evaluation on a number of guys and the best thing about it was we did leave the game injury-free. To my knowledge, there were not any significant injuries. That was one of the goals of the preseason."

Q: How did you sense some of the battles worked out for you with the reserves?
A: "I think all three of our quarterbacks did some good things. Again, it's hard to make an evaluation when you are standing on that sideline. You have to evaluate the tape, and that's something we'll be doing tomorrow and into Saturday. There are a number of guys that were competing for spots on our roster, and I really can't say the specifics, because we're going to evaluate the body of work, what they've done through OTAs, mini-camp, and preseason games."

Q. Since this is your second year, how difficult do you think it will be to make cuts?
A. "I think that this year it will be different. Every year I think it is difficult, but I think one of the reasons that it's going to be different this year is that we are a lot more familiar with these guys. We've spent an offseason, a regular season and another offseason together. We are more familiar with these guys, so I think the familiarity with it makes the decisions a little bit more stressful."

Q. In the opening drive the Ravens went 91 yards. What happened there?
A. "Any time you give up more than 80 yards, you're disappointed. I saw some very good things. Again, I thought that we played the run, for the most part in this ball game, extremely well. We showed improvement in terms of third-down efficiency. Even though it's not where we want it to be, we improved from the previous week and we were able to put pressure on the quarterback. When you have four sacks, you have to feel good about that as well. Again, there's a long way to go for our team to get prepared for Miami. I think all 32 teams, are probably saying the same thing because now the games are for real."

Q. Kory Biermann and Peria Jerry seemed to do a nice job.
A. "Yeah, I thought Kory and Peria did a nice job. Peria is continuing to get better and better. His play has improved from game one, to game two, to game three, to game four. You would anticipate that would happen as he gets more comfortable in our scheme. Kory has improved immensely from last season. He was a guy that came in here as a fifth round draft pick and had two sacks for the season last year. I think he's a guy that's going to be able to give us some help in that pass rush. The pass rush is going to be an integral part in the success we have this season."

Q. Can you talk about the secondary?
A. "I think that they improved from the San Diego game. I do believe that there is room for improvement. I think that after that first drive we had the pass interference penalty. We went out and had four three and outs after that and I felt we played some good defense. We only allowed four yards on the next four Ravens series so that's a positive. The thing that you have to do is realize that you need to put players in all situations to evaluate them. You're not game planning in a game like this. You're putting players in situations to see how they're going to handle techniques and certain coverages. It was a very good evaluation sequence and process for us as a coaching staff."

Q. Can you talk about Chevis Jackson as a corner?
A. "Chevis got some extended time at corner. Chevis has been our nickel back for the entire time that he has been here. We wanted to give him some work at the corner and he got a couple of series in first half, and a couple series in the third quarter as well. It will be interesting to see how he grades out. Again, it's very difficult to stand on the sideline and make these determinations until you get an opportunity to watch the tape."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Opening statementA: "I think we are a better football team at this point than we were at the start of training camp. Offensively, I think we have done some things well. We have tried some new things in the preseason which I think will carry in the regular season. Individually, I think guys have improved over time and become acclimated to the speed of the game."

Q: On the offensive production during the preseason
A: "We were able to score some points and move the ball consistently over the course of the preseason. But right now, it's all about the regular season in front us. The preseason is now behind us and it doesn't matter what we did in these past four games. We're focused on moving forward and we have to prepare for the Miami Dolphins. We will try to score as many points as it takes to win the game. I think everybody is excited for the game next Sunday."

Running Back Thomas Brown

Q: Tell us about your work out there tonight.
A: "I think it's pretty good. There were mistakes made on my part. At the end of the day, I tried as hard as I could, gave everything I had out on the field, and hoped for the best."

Q: Tell us about the kick returns and filling that role.A: "That's something I try to improve on for the entire team. We focus a lot on it. I went out today and ran as hard as I could."

Defensive Tackle Peria Jerry

Q: From week one of training camp until now, do you feel that you have done things to get ready for the season to start.
A: "Yes, it's a complete adjustment to the speed of the game. It's a lot different. I just need to keep going out and work hard."

Q: You sacked the quarterback tonight, does that give you confidence as you head into the regular season.
A: "Yes. I know I can get to the quarterback. It was just staying in my lane. There are good players on the defensive line to push the quarterback out of the pocket so, I've just got to win my one-on-one."


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