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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Q. What did you think after you looked at the film from the Detroit Game this weekend?
"There was some good, some bad, and some ugly. The great thing about the bad and the ugly is that it's all correctable. That's what we worked on today as a staff. This is a process. In this preseason, just like last year, our goal is to get to the opener as healthy as we can and to have our players ready. We're going to be very systematic in how we approach it in terms of rotation. Hopefully we'll see improvement from game one to game two in the preseason."

Q. How are you health wise?
"We have a long list of guys that were held out from practice today. Chris Houston missed practice, Tony Gilbert, Kroy Biermann, Thomas Brown, Edmond Miles, Jason Jefferson, Robert Ferguson, and William Moore (were also help out). I don't think any of the injuries besides William Moore and maybe Jefferson, will go past a day or two. Those guys may even be back out here this afternoon."

Q. What did you think of D.J. Shockley's performance in the game?
"I thought all of our quarterbacks played well. I thought D.J. threw a nice deep-ball to draw the pass interference, which led to our touchdown that we scored in the second half. He's going to get an opportunity again this week to rotate. We're going to rotate all four quarterbacks for about the same amount of plays, but probably in a different order."

Q. Does a quarterback who is inexperienced have to really step ahead of the other quarterbacks during preseason in order to win a position?"No, I don't think so. I think we just need to feel comfortable as a staff, and that's part of the preseason. Not just with the quarterback position, but in our defensive line as well. They're competing and we're going to evaluate and make a determination on who we feel is going to best help us in the games. I don't think that you have to concern yourself too much with the competition and how its going to shake out this week because we have three games before we have to make a decision."

Q. How did you feel about the performances of Chris Owens, Tony Gilbert, and Eric Weems during the Detroit game?
"I think the most encouraging thing coming out of the game, besides the way our first unit moved the ball, was the play of our punt returners. Both Weems and Chandler Williams did a nice job returning the football. That was something we wanted to get a really good look at. Eric had an encouraging return.

Q. How is Von Hutchens looking?
"We're still easing him in from the foot injury. That is a tough injury to return from. He has not gone through two-a-days. He's a one-a-day guy right now and we're hoping that he will start practicing twice a day."

Q. With some guys out in the secondary, does that give you more of a chance to look at Chris Owens?"It certainly does. It is an opportunity for us to get a lot of snaps with Chris. I thought Chris played very well against Detroit. It was a learning experience for him and all of our young players. It was their first opportunity to play in an NFL game, albeit not a regular season game. It was a little different than the scrimmages that we've been through, and I anticipate that they'll play a little better this week."

Q. How did you think Peria Jerry played during the game?
"I thought Peria played well. He was explosive. We felt like through the first few weeks of practice, that he has done very well. He probably had as many snaps, if not more, than any of our defensive linemen. Again, we're going to play that rotation and it is probably going to be a little bit different this week than it was last week across the board."

Q. What did you see early last year in your punting game and when did you realize that you had something special?
"I think that it is a collaborative effort. Our punter (Michael Koenen) is a very good directional punter so we can cut the field down. He did a great job of putting the ball to the sideline. The scheme that we used in terms of punting and overloading it to where he kicked helped us. I think that goes hand in hand. It's not just the punter, but the long snapper and the guys that are covering the kicks. Michael is an outstanding directional kicker. He's not one of those big legged guys that's going to boom at 70 yards and up. He's going to directionally punt. When you have a directional punter, it helps your coverage."

Q. Going into the year, how do Chandler Williams and Eric Weems size up to you?
"Both those guys were bright spots in the game on Saturday afternoon. To have a 34-yard punt return in your first game is impressive. He (Eric Weems) also caught the ball well. He let the ball hit the ground one time, but I think that's a learning experience. I thought Chandler did some good things as well. We'll try to give some other guys some opportunities in the next three weeks."

Q. How do you think Thomas DeCoud did in his first start?
"I thought Thomas played well. He made a nice saving tackle in the red zone in the first drive with the screen play. He got the guy down on the ground. We got to play another down and it was a big play for us. Thomas is playing well. He got a few more snaps than the rest of the starters just because he has not had as much experience."

Q. You had quite a few penalties. Is that normal for a first preseason game?
"I think so. Out of 10 penalties, only five of them were accepted. We did have 10 penalties on the offensive side of the ball. Two of the three that were accepted, we weren't able to overcome. They weren't able to continue the drive so they were drive stalling penalties. There was a big penalty on the defense where we had the interception and had the ball inside the 10-yard line, but that play was called back. Then we had two plays on special teams that weren't accepted, but still, they were penalties. I like to play penalty-free football, especially on special teams. I think the guys will play a lot cleaner this week."

Day 17 -- Monday, Aug. 17, 2009
9:30 a.m./3:45 p.m. Practice
@FalconsJMoore "Words of the Day"

TRANSCRIPT:Head Coach Mike Smith recaps the first preseason game * NOTEBOOK:Owens reviews first NFL experience at cornerback * FEATURE:Falcons offensive line searching for some depth * VIDEO:Head Coach Mike Smith | Eric Weems | Mike Peterson * BLOGS:J. Michael Moores' blog posts from Aug. 17, 2009

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