Skip to main content

Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q: As you look at your return guys, with Harry (Douglas) and (Jerious) Norwood, how is that shaping up?
A: "We've got two good returners that have proven they can do it in this League. Harry ended up doing it in the latter part of last season. I thought he was very efficient at it. Of course, Jerious is a threat every time he gets his hands on the ball. I think we need to find a backup for both of those positions. There are a number of guys that we want to look at, especially in the preseason."

Q: You know who your gunner candidates are but until you start cracking heads it's a little too early to establish an order.
A: "For a lot of these guys it will be based on what happens this week. You start with a little shell practice this afternoon and we'll have a padded practice tomorrow. Monday through Friday is really the gist of what we are going to do in camp."

Q: Are there any injury updates?
A: "We had a couple of guys who got tweaked yesterday, unfortunately. I don't think that anything is serious. I don't really have a time frame on those guys. Tony Tiller tweaked his ankle a little bit. We held Curtis Lofton out this morning as well. We also had a PUP guy and some of the guys that are only going to practice once, speaking of Von Hutchins."

Q: What kind of things did Matt Ryan do during the offseason to get better?
A: "We asked all of our guys, not just Matt, to really evaluate what they feel are the pluses and minuses of the team and come up with what they thought was their plan of action to get better. (The coaching staff) then discussed those with them. In terms of on the field, off the field, in the weight room, it's all part of being a professional football player. I think all of our guys worked hard. We asked them to really take a look at themselves just like we as a coaching staff do the same thing."

Q: Is it a written evaluation?
A: "Some of our assistant coaches actually had our players write down what they felt they needed to get better at and what their strengths and weaknesses are. We interact with one another because I think it's important that we have an idea of how they feel about their abilities. They also have an idea about how we feel about theirs. It's just something that helps everybody have a better comfort level with one another."

Q: What specifically does a Matt Ryan have to improve?
A: "We are not going to talk about individual things. I know Matt has stated on what good quarterbacks have in common and that's good decision making and accuracy throwing the ball. To be a great quarterback in this League those are the two areas that they really have to be efficient at. It's not arm strength, which has been documented over and over."

Q: It's routine for you to test these guys through the season. You've always done that. Did you do the written evaluations in Baltimore and Jacksonville or is this the first time you've done that?
A: "We've always done written evaluations in the offseason as coaches. Asking the players to do it is something that's new. When our guys got back, we had them take a test to prior to our first meeting to see where they were at."

Q: Talk about the performance of Brent Grimes.A: "He is a really good story. Brent, as you know, in our opening game last year was our starter. He got tweaked as the season progressed and ended up not playing as much. Brent is an outstanding athlete. He's got great skill set in terms of what you are looking for in a corner. He's not the biggest corner, but he's very, very athletic. He's matured as a football player since he's gotten here."

Q: Does it seem like the season is never going to get here?
A: "I said yesterday that the first day is probably my favorite day of the year. We've got a long time before we play our first regular-season game. The camp goes long and we've had 19 opportunities to come out here on the field as a team in addition to those guys working in the weight room from March 24th. The 2009 process really started a long time ago."

Day Two -- Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009
9:35 a.m./3:45 p.m. Practice
@FalconsJMoore "Words of the Day"

TRANSCRIPT:Head Coach Mike Smith talks after the first practice * FEATURE:State of Georgia produces talent for Falcons * VIDEO:Head Coach Mike Smith | Sidbury | Reynolds * BLOGS:J. Michael Moore's blog posts from Aug. 2, 2009 * PHOTOS:Images from the team's second day (Flickr)

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content