Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q. Can you give us an update on your special teams situation with Matt Bryant and Michael Koenen?
A. "Well, I don't know a whole lot more than I knew yesterday. Our kicker had a death in the family over the weekend so he is not here today. His father passed over the weekend, so I don't have an update in regards to where Matt is. Michael we think is going to be fine. It's just a matter of seeing how he feels over the next couple of days. We had an interesting day on special teams to say the least."

Q. Do you have any updates in Michael Turner and Harvey Dahl?
A. "I don't have any updates on either one of those guys. Harvey, last week, was able to participate and practice on Wednesday, but did not participate on Thursday or Friday. Michael did not participate at all last week, so it's really going to be up to how he feels on Wednesday to see if he's going to be able to get back out there and practice with us."

Q. Will you manage Matt Ryan's work load again?A. "Yes, Matt's work this week will be very similar to last week. He will not practice on Wednesday; we'll get him some limited reps on Thursday and try to increase them on Friday and make sure he's ready to go. He didn't have any real residual effects from the game yesterday. He made it out of there fairly clean, but it will be a situation we will have to manage."

Q. How did Garrett Reynolds do yesterday at guard?
A. "I thought Garrett did a nice job. I think on his very first play that he was out there in an offensive snap and had a knock-down block. He knocked his guy down, so it was a good start. We had a situation where we could get him in and we definitely wanted to get Garrett in the ballgame, and I thought that he handled it very well for his first true offensive snaps of the season."

Q. Would you consider starting him if Harvey Dahl can't go?
A. "I don't know that we'd go there, but he did a very good job. He got put in situation where he had to go out there and block a pretty good player, Marcus Stroud. I thought he handled that situation very good. Marcus Stroud is a very good defensive tackle in this League and has been to a number of Pro Bowls, so I thought that he held his own and did a good job."

Q. Are you anticipating any of your players making the Pro Bowl roster?
A. "I certainly hope that we have some guys that are chosen. I haven't really been following it very closely in terms of the voting in different segments and where our guys stand. We certainly hope that we will be having some representation off of our squad."

Q. Is there such a thing as a dangerous three and twelve to you?
A. "I think every team, regardless of their record is dangerous. This is a division opponent in Tampa Bay that we had to fight tooth and nail in the ball game when we played them up here in Atlanta. As you've seen season long, when two NFC South teams get together they are going to be hard-fought close games. We anticipate having to go out and have a better effort than we had this past week to get the outcome that we want."

Q. Has there been a common theme with your defense that has aloud them move up three spots this weekend?
A. "I think that we have been defending the run better. That at the core is what we want to do. I thought that this was our best job at fitting the run blocking schemes this week. We held Buffalo to 40 yards and it was a very good job of our front seven and we also involved our safeties. I thought Erik Coleman did a nice job when he was asked to come down into the box, as well as Thomas DeCoud when we were playing eight-man spacing. I really think it has to do with us defending the run, and then us creating turnovers. That's something that over the last couple of weeks we've been able to generate turnovers. When you do that, I think you enhance your opportunities to be successful. The other thing that we hadn't been doing well that in the last two weeks is our third down efficiency. I believe there were two out of nine in third down opportunities in this ball game. I know that we had one of our better games the previous weeks against the Jets. I think those things go hand in hand. Our younger players I think are getting more comfortable in our scheme as well, and we had a lot of younger players yesterday that stepped up and made some plays."

Q. Did Quinn Ojinnaka stay out of the game after the first penalty?
A. "That penalty occurred in the first half and Garrett (Reynolds) went in when the score was 24-0, and we wanted to get Garrett in. We wanted to give Garrett an opportunity to play on the offense. He had been participating on the offense. It was a great opportunity to get him in there. As I said earlier, I thought he fared very well when he was put into that situation."

Q. On the offensive line…
A. "They've done a nice job over the past two weeks. To go up to New York and knock that pressure defense and not give up a sack. I thought that they did a good job again yesterday protecting the quarterback. We got some looks from Buffalo, but I thought our guys did a great job adjusting on the sideline and that's what coaching and playing is all about. I thought our offensive line just kept doing it throughout the entire ball game. They were going to try and stop the run with their eight-man spacing and we just kept pounding them. I think as the game wore on, our physical nature took its toll on them."

Q. Talk your preparations for Tampa Bay now that you've had an opportunity to review their new play caller on defense.
A. "I think it will help our preparation immensely. Now that we've got three or four ballgames of statistics that we want to analyze in terms of calls and what they're trying to do. This was the first game that Raheem (Morris) had been calling the defense and when you have a different play caller, there's going to have different tendencies. I think it will help us in our preparation throughout the week in preparing for them for our offensive staff."

Q. Talk about Sam Baker and Will Svitek's performance in the game.
A. "I thought Sam played fairly well. I thought he did a nice job. Sam has been on our injury report. Like a lot of guys, he's still working through some injury issues. He still has a brace on his elbow and he still has a hamstring (injury) but I thought that he did a nice job. Again, we felt like to make sure that Sam was going to make it through this week, we took Sam out very similar to what we did in terms of putting Garrett Reynolds in. I thought Will came in and did a good job like he has every time he's had an opportunity to play."

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