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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Opening Statement
"We didn't play our best. It was not the type of effort we needed to go into a hostile environment and win. In my opinion, we did not play well in all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams. We are going to get an opportunity with the bye week to evaluate a number of areas, and we will evaluate them all. We will get that done this week and start prepping for San Francisco."

Q: What did you see in your running game against New England? Is that one of the areas that you are going to evaluate this week?A: "Yes. The run game, along with everything, we are going to evaluate everything we do. We did not play the run game very well yesterday. We were not gap-sound, and any time you're giving up six, seven, and eight yard runs, someone was probably out of a gap. That was definitely the issue yesterday. We definitely need to evaluate, not only the defensive line, but the linebacker fits and the secondary. Just like when you are talking about pass defense, all three units are involved in defending the run and we did not defend (the run) as well as we would have liked to in the game yesterday."

Q: Comments on Trey Lewis' performance...
A: "Well Trey had a number of snaps and he definitely had some rust on him. It was his first real competitive situation in maybe almost two complete seasons at this point in time. Trey can play better than he did and we know that, and just because Trey Lewis and not Peria Jerry was in there at defensive tackle – believe me that was not the reason that we could not defend the run. We do not want to even insinuate that at this point."

Q: Players not being in the right gap – why does that happen? Is it a mental mistake by the player?
A: "Well I think one of the things that you have to look at is that often times when things get hairy, one of the first things to go – and it's just human nature in the game of football – is technique. Guys are trying hard; believe me the effort was there. We played hard, I just don't know if we played smart all the time against the run."

Q: It looks like you are 3–5 in the games that Michael Turner does not go over 70 yards. Is that surprising at all that you want to run the ball and if you are able to get him going it usually works for you?A: "Yeah, it's not a bit surprising. The main tenant of our offense and our philosophy is that we are going to be able to run the football. When we run the ball successfully, we enhance our chances of winning the game. It's just not Michael running the ball, it's all of our running backs. When we run the ball effectively we enhance our chances of winning."

Q: Are the holes there?
A: "Well, yesterday we only had 45 offensive snaps and we had 15 rushing attempts. In terms of gross yardage yesterday, we would have liked to have had more opportunities. I think the guys are blocking well up front and we have haven't been running it as effectively as we would like, but it's something that we will address and are addressing right now."

Q: How much of yesterday's effort might be a reflection of a young team that is mentally not at the point yet to where they can bring the same effort on the road?
A: "Well, we are a young team and I told our guys all through the week that it's hard to win at home, it's hard to win on the road, and it's hard to win in the NFL. We have played better at home and I think for the most part you'll see most teams do. I don't think it should be a mental block. When we go out on the road, we need to go out and make plays, just like we do when we are playing here in the Georgia Dome. I think that our guys have to have a mind set that wherever you play, when an opportunity arises, you have to make the play. That is something that we will continue to work on."

Q: You had that deep pass to Michael Jenkins. Were you guys going deep enough? Would that have backed some of the people off of the run game? Do you need to take more shots down the field?A: "Our offense is predicated and designed on how people are defending it. If they are defending us to allow us to take deep shots, than we will take deep shots. If they are defending us with a defensive scheme that doesn't allow us (to take deep shots) than we are not going to bang our heads up against the wall. Again, it's all predicated on how they try to defend us."

Q: Comments on the performance of the Falcons pass rush...
A: "Well, we have not rushed the passer well the last two games, as well as we did in the first game. Schematically yesterday, you saw that they were in a lot of two and three tight end formations. They had 50 snaps to where they had two or three tight ends in the ball game. Conversely, as they played the New York Jets, they had 70 snaps with one tight end in the ball game and three wide receivers. Schematically what they wanted to do yesterday is to protect their quarterback differently than they did the week before. I think that is what this game is all about. You can't really talk about what happened in the previous games because each team is going to make adjustments and they made the adjustment to go with the two and three tight end formations yesterday. 50 of the 85 snaps yesterday were in two or three tight end sets."

Q: How critical were the seven penalties yesterday? Will they be address this week?
A: "Believe me it was addressed at the team meeting. They were very critical penalties. We had a roughing the passer on the opening drive that would have put us in a winnable down and distance. We also has the offensive pass interference and we backed that up with an off sides penalty that got us into a more difficult down and distance. We want to play aggressively, but we want to make sure that we play smart."

Q: Where does Tye Hill stand as far as competing?
A: "Well Tye is going to have a real good opportunity this week because we are not going to be in a game plan situation, we are going to be working on getting the Falcons football team better. Tye is going to get an opportunity to really play in our scheme this week. We'll take a good hard look at Tye this week and see where he is in term of verbiage and understanding our scheme."

Q: How close is William Moore to be playing and how close is Jerious Norwood to coming back?
A: "I would anticipate that both of those guys will be at full speed when we get ready to go to San Francisco. It wouldn't surprise me one bit. William has been practicing over the last week and we will ramp him up this week in the bye week and see how that hamstring is."

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