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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q. What are your thoughts on today's workout?
A. "I thought it was a really good workout. We went through some situations that we needed to cover just for the last time before we get ready to head to St. Louis. We wanted to get the first group and some of the guys that will be playing late in the game time at some of those situations."

Q. Are you ready to go out and play another team?A. "Yes, I'm sure we're ready to go. We've had a couple of scrimmages everyday at practice this week, so you know the guys are ready to hit something with other helmets on. I'm excited, and I think our staff is excited to see what these guys are really going to do when they're out there playing football."

Q. What part of the game are you really looking forward to seeing?
A."I want to see how our punt returners are going to perform when they audition. We will rotate some guys to see who is going to replace Harry Douglas. That is a key area. I look forward to seeing the defensive line, and figuring out that rotation. Also, I want to see how our young corners like Chris Owens and William Middleton will play this week."

Q. How much of Matt Stafford do you think you're going to see?
A. "I have no idea. I don't know what their plans are as far as the rotation goes. I told our guys last night that this game is really more about us, than them. We're still in training camp and we're not doing any game planning whatsoever. We want these guys to go out and run some of the plays that we've been working on through the first couple of weeks of training camp."

Q. Have you figured out your rotations for the different units?
"Yes, we discussed our rotation last night. I will say that all four quarterbacks are going to play. We plan on playing all four quarterbacks and each will get one quarter. In terms of how that rotation is going to go, I don't really want to divulge that right now. I don't think anyone should read into anything that takes place, but all four quarterbacks will get to play one quarter in this game, this week."

Q. You mentioned the punt returner position was still open. What do you need a player to do to stand out?
A. "The first thing is to secure the ball and catch it. That's the biggest thing for us, because we want to see guys that can catch the ball cleanly. We know that they've been able to do it in practice, now we want to see if they can do it in the game. Being a punt returner is a very difficult skill because you're running down the field with 11 guys coming towards you, so it's going to be interesting to see. We know they've caught the ball well when they've not been hit. We're going to rotate those guys in the game and each guy will get an opportunity. Hopefully we will force enough punts so that we'll get to see all the guys that are competing for punt return."

Q. How has D.J. Shockley looked so far during camp?
A. "I think that D.J. and all the quarterbacks have done well. I think it's a good competition between those three. It's a different scenario than last year. We were having a competition with our starting quarterback, and I think that this year it is evident who our starter is. Now we're working to find out who number two and number three are."

Q. What has D.J. Shockley done to show you he's made a lot of progress?
A."D.J. is more familiar in the offense. Last year, he was just a year removed from his ACL. Physically he's moving a lot better, and he's a lot more familiar with our team in terms of calling plays and our verbiage."

Q. Other than Harry Douglas, who is ruled out because of injuries this week?
A. "William Moore is ruled out this week. We want to have as close to a full boat as we can when we go out there. We've have some guys that have some nicks and bruises and we hope that over the next 48 hours they'll be ready to go. William and Harry are definitely out. Moore had a procedure done on his knee. We anticipate that it will be two to four weeks before he gets back. It happened about the fourth day of camp."

Q. It's amazing that guys like Brian Finneran and Todd McClure have maintained such a good quality during their careers in the NFL. What are you're thoughts on that?
A. "There's no doubt about it. Those guys are special guys to have played in the league as long as they have. Todd has been the anchor of our offensive line for this organization for a long time. Brian Finneran is a special story because he missed two consecutive seasons, came back and was able to regain the form that he had. He does a great job in mentoring the wide receivers. He's a guy that doesn't mind coming out and contributing to our special teams. Both of those guys are really good team players."

Q. How exciting is it for you to finally get a real game with Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan?A. "Well it's going to be interesting to watch these guys. They're not going to play the entire game like they will when we kickoff in September. Its going to be nice to see them get out there and operate against another defense. Matt, Tony, Michael (Tuner), Roddy (White) and those guys will get a limited number of snaps, but we'll get a good look at them. We hope that they are very efficient when they're out there."

Day 13 -- Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009
8:30 a.m./3:45 p.m. Practice**@FalconsJMoore "Words of the Day"

TRANSCRIPT:Smith talks about prep for preseason schedule * NEWS:Team launches new youth football programs * BLOGS:J. Michael Moore's blog posts from Aug. 13, 2009 * VIDEO:Head Coach Mike Smith | Roddy White

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