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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q: Looks like the heat and these double practices are starting to catch up with you guys, it seemed to be a little testy out there.
A: "They were a little bit this morning. This is probably going to be one of the toughest days that we are having in camp because we had a padded practice backed up by shells practice. Normally we are doing special teams or a shorts practice, so today is going to be the longest day that the guys are going to have here in training camp."

Q: Is that a good thing? By this time last year at this time Harvey Dahl had already took on the whole team?
A: "It's part of training camp. The guys are going to mix it up. They where out there competing again this morning and I think that some of our nerves got frayed a little bit. But that's all part of it. We just want to make sure that it is controlled when we do it during the game."

Q: Can you comment on Thomas DeCoud and the leap that he has made from special teams to potentially a defensive safety?
A: "Thomas is a guy that we drafted in the third round last year and we hoped that he would have some playing time last year as he did. He was a contributor on special teams. He did not have a lot of snaps on offense or defense, but he is a guy that we drafted for that dual safety role. He is a guy that can play both the strong and free safety and that's what we would really like to have. Guys who are interchangeable because of the things that teams do formationally and in substitution packages."

Q: How big is the pre-season for him and getting him some snaps on film from scrimmage?
A: It's very important. There's not just Thomas, but a number of guys on the side that we are going to have to get as much exposure as we can. We are going to have to be smart with it and not overdue it in terms of how many snaps they are going to get in the pre-season. It's very important for Thomas and a number of guys on the defensive side to get a significant amount of playing time in the pre-season.

Q: Can you comment on the competition in the defensive line through training camp so far and what you have seen in Peria Jerry?
A: "I think that it is a very competitive area. Peria is learning. He missed some time in OTA's. You see his explosion and what we were looking when we scouted him as our first pick. Thomas Johnson has done some nice things and of course Jonathan Babineaux is returning and I think he has had a solid camp. Vance Walker has done some nice things as well as Jason Jefferson. I think there are a number of guys competing for a limited number of spots."

Q: Has (Jonathan) Babineaux been a big brother kind of guy for Peria Jerry?
A: "I think so. Jonathan is a guy that we are not anointing as a leader, but he is a guy that has been very productive since he has been here. When you have that production, they usually take on that role."

Q: How has practice been in general?
A: "I think is had been very good. I think that the guys have worked hard. We have made a number of mistakes each day, but when we come back and have corrected them, I think that they have handled them very well. We have a lot of volume in terms in the percentage of the offense and defense that's in place. It's important that we continue to eliminate mistakes as we move forward."

Q: Are you pleased offensively?A: "Yes, there are too many mental errors on both sides of the ball, not just on the offensive side, but on both sides of the ball. When you have as much volume and you're not game planning and pairing down what you are going to call, those things are going to happen."

Q: How will the receiver rotation look this week?A: "We haven't even really got together and talked about the rotation yet. We'll do that on Wednesday evening and put our plan together as we get closer to the game. To put a rotation together right now probably would be way too early. You never know what is going to happen."

Q: Do you think Roddy White will be able to play that early?
A: "I wouldn't see any reason why he wouldn't go out and play. In terms of how many snaps and series we are going to give certain members of our team, it has not been determined at this point."

Q: On the quarterback rotation.
A: "That is true. Yes, on Wednesday evening we'll start to talk and discuss how we are going to do the quarterback rotation. Much different than last year, where as last year we had put the rotation in place back in June."

Q: Are you looking forward to seeing some of the alumni come out this afternoon?
A: "Yes I am. This afternoon we have a number of former players here. I think there are eight members that are suppose to be here from the inaugural Falcons team as well as some faces that were here last year. We hope that we continue to get these guys to come back, not only for them to see our players but for our players to see them.

Q: What does it do for a franchise when you have guys coming back year after year?
A: I think it is something that builds camaraderie, which continues over through the different eras. I think that it is important for our guys to see the guys that came before them, not only for the Atlanta Falcons, but in the NFL and see what they have done after their playing days. I think it would enlighten a lot of our players in terms of what the future holds for them."

Day 11 -- Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009
8:30 a.m./3:20 p.m. Practice "Alumni Day"**@FalconsJMoore "Words of the Day"

TRANSCRIPT:Smith talks about some scuffles at practice * FEATURE:Former players gather in The Branch for Alumni Day * BLOGS:J. Michael Moore's blog posts from Aug. 11, 2009 * VIDEO:Head Coach Mike Smith | Ryan * ALUMNI VIDEO:Tuggle | Pridemore | Whitlow | Barnes * PHOTOS:Images from Day 11 at training camp (Flickr)


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