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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Opening Statement:"As I said yesterday, after the game, it was very obvious that we were beaten in all three phases of the game. I want to correct that and say that we were beaten in all four phases of the game, including coaching. I can't just say that it was just the play out there on the field. We didn't get the outcome that we liked; that was obvious and we didn't play up to our potential. That's the thing that I think is most discouraging. With that I will open it up for questions."

Q: Can you give us an injury update on your players?
A: "Gosh, we've got an injury list right now that's pretty long. I'm sure the one that you're most concerned about is our quarterback. We will know on Wednesday where he's going to be. He has made progress thorough the first week and as we said last week we're going to take this week-to-week and the next update will be on Wednesday. So, we're going to see where he is, in terms of his injury. The other guys that we held out of the ballgame, the other four starters, we're hoping that we're going to get them back out on the field as soon as possible. I know that's not necessarily giving you an MRI of our players, but I know that we're trying to get them back as quickly as possible. We had some guys that didn't finish the game that are concerns as well. And again, we will see how they settle down over the next couple of days and hopefully we'll have them out there on Wednesday."

Q: Can you share with us the severity of the turf toe injury that Matt has?
A: "Well I'm not a medical guy and I know that they grade the different injuries and, of course, we're encouraged because we're going to get a chance to see Matt out there on Wednesday. As far as the grade and all that, I'm not going to comment about that."

Q: You're hoping to see him at practice?
A: "No, we're hoping to see where he's at on Wednesday. If he can come out and participate then he's going to come out and participate."

Q: That's a pretty wide range of severity of that injury.
A: "Again, I know that some guys have missed short periods of time and some guys have missed longer periods of time. We're very encouraged with the progress that Matt's made in this first week."

Q: Did you keep Redman in the whole game incase he would have to start again next week?
A: "Yeah and Chris had taken all the snaps through the week. I should say the majority of the snaps and we felt like we wanted to get him as many snaps as we can. That was a decision that we made. I don't know if you're alluding to putting in J.P.?"

Q: Yeah.
A: "We wanted to continue to have him get as many snaps as he could get."

Q: After a game like yesterday do you have to watch how your players are reacting?
A: "Obviously it was the first time that we weren't really in the ballgame in the fourth quarter. There's no doubt about that since we've been here. But, in terms of how we're going to do business, we're not going to do business any differently. In fact, I talked to the guys today and I think that it's an anomaly the way that we played yesterday. That's how I look at it and, as I told the guys when we finished our meetings today, I wanted them to be like a windshield wiper and just wash that game right out of their mindset and that we needed to move on and put that behind us as quickly as possible so we can get ready for New Orleans. We had a very good, competitive game down at the Superdome when we played them earlier in the season."

Q: You called it anomaly, what did you see there?
A: "In my mind we didn't play Falcon football on a number of levels in all three phases. We gave up way too many explosive plays. We gave up two over 50 and one over 40. We fumbled the ball on special teams on the kickoff after the first drive that they had. So, basically they had two drives. We had one drive with a three-and-out. We gave up a possession there and you can't turn the football over and throw an interception that's returned for a touchdown. Those were the things that I think were very uncharacteristic of our team and it was the first time that we had to face not really having an opportunity to win it from the middle of the third period on."

Q: How do you explain the disparity of Chris' play from the Tampa Bay game to the Philadelphia game?
A: "We didn't play as well. Chris didn't play as well and we didn't play as well, obviously. I don't think you want to hang it all on one person. We didn't function as a football team very well yesterday, and again, in all three phases. Whether it's Chris or Matt, when you play well the quarterback gets the credit and he's going to get people talking about why we didn't play well. The criticism comes with that position. We felt going into it we had a good week of practice, a good week of preparation, and we obviously didn't perform up to the level that we have throughout the entire season and all of last year. That's the thing that's the most discouraging for me and our coaching staff is we felt like we had a good week of preparation."

Q: In the third quarter when Vick passed to Celek, was it third-and-12?
A: "Big pass, big third down and 12 conversion. I think yesterday, even though the numbers stated that we played third down efficiency well, I think that they only converted four third downs, I think those numbers are a little misleading. After the fumble we had them in a third-and-13 situation and they converted on a third-and-13 there in the red zone, which was a big play in the ballgame. We had them in a third-and-7 and we had a defensive penalty that kept a drive alive. Then on that third-and-12 that you're talking about, the ball was checked down about 8 yards short of the first down and he was able to run through and get them into a fourth-and-1 situation where they were able to go for it on fourth-and-1. They continued the drive after converting fourth-and-1 and went down and scored to put their 12th point on the board."

Q: Michael Koenen's performance?
A: "We had a great effort. I thought that Michael has continued to punt the ball extremely well. He had three inside the 10. One at the 1, one at the 7 and one at the 9. On one of those drives, the quarterback scrambled out and got the ball out to the 20. On another one we had an explosive play that basically flipped the field position and that's very important that we keep that field position in our advantage. I think that even though people look and say that the offense didn't do this and do that, we as a defense have to make sure that we hold up our end of the deal. When people are backed up and inside the 10-yard line that they're able to force the punt, that's one of the things that we want to do when we're backed up is we want to keep them there, force to punt and flip the field position in our advantage."

Q: What did you think of the defensive performance from the first half of the ballgame? They held the Eagles to only 13 points.
A: "I am encouraged with some of the play. The thing that's very discouraging is that you can't come back and talk about if we would've done this on these five plays, if we would've done that on these three plays, it would be a different outcome. And we all know about if's and but's right? That's the thing that's most discouraging, we are continuing to give up explosive plays on the defensive side of the ball and that's something that we have to correct. If we continue to give up explosive plays they're going to flip the field position on us and it's going to be a big disadvantage for us."

Q: Any reason why the turnover ratio was better for your defense earlier this season?
A: "We're not creating the turnovers. As I mentioned earlier, through the first five games I think that was the thing that we were doing extremely well. We were protecting the ball and creating turnovers. That's something that we're not doing right now. It's something that we have been addressing about attacking the football. It's something as a coaching staff; our players are talking about it continuously. We're right now, through this stretch, haven't gotten the job done."

Q: What did you think about Sidbury's performance?
A: "Lawrence has been a contributor on special teams. He played approximately a dozen snaps on the defensive side of the ball. Yesterday had his first sack so that's a positive. It was nice to see Kroy Biermann, our second year player, got his fifth sack. It was nice to see those young guys contribute. Christopher Owens went out and I thought played a solid game for his second start in some very difficult situations. So it's good to see those young guys get in there and contribute."

Q: What would be the key to getting the offense back in rhythm to move the ball?
A: "I think the thing that we have to do is go right back to what we've said from day one. We want to be a team that can run the ball affectively. Yesterday we didn't run the ball as affectively as we would've liked to. I think at the core of what we want to do is we want to be able to run the football. I think that's very important. When you run the football you usually have a good opportunity to win the time of possession battle and I think that's very, very important regardless of who you're playing. You want to control and have control of the football."

Q: What did you see out of Jerious Norwood as a starting running back?
A: "Not to make excuses, but I don't know that Jerious is 100 percent. He's fighting through that injury. I don't know that he's as explosive as he would be if he was 100 percent. Again guys, we're not going to use injuries as an excuse. But it was nice to see Jerious out there. Jerious is a guy that can create some explosive plays."

Q: Do you have to tell your players to stick together and don't pull apart after a game like this or do you have confidence in them that they will stay together?
A: "Guys, we've got a lot of football left to play. I'm very confident with the guys in that locker room. We've got a number of good men in there, good leaders. As I told you, basically I told them that I thought the performance yesterday was an anomaly. That's my belief; I believe that to the core and I believe that these guys will come out and bounce back from a poor performance. I don't have any doubt when we come to work on Wednesday that these guys will be prepared and ready to go and it's not really going to come from anything that I say, but it's going to come from the leaders in our locker room. We've got some really good leaders in all areas. When I say in all areas I mean in all the positions. I don't anticipate that there's going to be anything. We're going to come out just like we do any other week and prepare to go out and play the best that we can possibly play. Guys, the sky isn't falling, OK."

Q: Were there yards left out there by your running game?
A: "Well there's always, I think, yards left out there. When I say yards left out there, almost on every play there's something that you would like to see happen a little different. I don't think there's ever that perfect play."

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