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Quotable: Head Coach Mike Smith


Opening Statement
"I thought last night's game was an example of all three of our phases contributing to our outcome. I think on offense, even though we had a slow start, we got an opportunity to get into our no-huddle. When we got into our no-huddle offense I thought it changed the tempo of the game and allowed us to move the ball efficiently. I know that the first four drives we only had one first down. After that, I think we went 14 or 15 plays, went 119 yards and scored two touchdowns which allowed us to go into halftime leading the game 14-7. I thought defensively our guys played very well, especially in the red zone. To have the red zone efficiency that we had in the ballgame, where they had four opportunities, and three times they came away with no points was huge. The turnovers down in the red zone are very big. They probably had a field goal in hand on those three occasions and we were able to stop them. There was a big play by Thomas DeCoud to get the interception on the first drive. I thought Jonathan Babineaux and Coy Wire had that big goal line tackle and recovered fumble which really took the wind out of their sails. Our special teams unit took it very personal this week. We were playing the number one rated special teams unit in the NFL and they wanted to see how they matched up. I thought they did a very good job, especially in the return game. Eric Weems and the blockers did an excellent job. The 61-yard return in the fourth quarter that set up our final score was huge. "

Q. Can you update us on Brian Williams' status and other players who were injured?
A. "Unfortunately for Brian, and for us, he will be put on reserve-injured. He will be having knee surgery at some point in time over the next couple of weeks. It's going to be a big loss for us, but it's going to be an opportunity for another player on our squad. As far as the other injuries, I'm just going to hold that until Wednesday. That move will be made today."

Q. Can you talk about what he did as far as stabilizing that position for you?
A. "Well, Brian is a very competitive guy. He has been very successful and efficient in this Leauge at his two prior stops. Of course, I was very familiar with Brian and had an opportunity to coach him in Jacksonville. He came in and when opportunities have arisen for him to make plays he's done it. He's been around the football and I think he's been a great addition to our defensive unit through these first five games. He will be missed. "
Q. Was that an ACL injury?
A." It was ACL and some other things. From what I understand, it will be a reconstruction."

Q. What are the chances you would have to trade?
A." That is a question that Thomas (Dimitroff) would have to answer. With the trade deadline coming up tomorrow, we'd have to be real quick. We have some guys that we feel are ready to step up into that role. It will be an opportunity for Tye Hill, Chevis Jackson, and Chris Owens to get some more playing time. We'll have a different look with our 45-man roster when we go to Dallas this week."

Q. Chevis had the nickel spot before Brian was here. When a new guy comes in, do you have to build him back up?A. "No, Chevis handled this very well. In terms of not getting as much playing time, I know personally he was disappointed. Again, all of the decisions we make are based on what we feel like are best for the team. I think that Chevis accepted it and now he's going to get another opportunity to play and I think he'll make the most of it. He's got a lot of snaps. He played about 600 snaps in 2007 in our sub-package."

Q. You said Brian helped the team because he knew the defense so well in Jacksonville. Will he still have that informal role?A. "I would think that Brian will continue in that role. Brian is a guy that has played a long time. He is a guy that is a competitor. I know we anticipate that he will be rehabilitating his knee prior to the surgery. He'll be around and I know Brian has been doing this a long time. He'll be in the meetings and he'll be a guy that will be able to help us and still impact our defense."

Q. What kind of opportunities will this bring?
A. "This will be an opportunity for Tye Hill, Chris Owens and Chevis Jackson. Tye is a guy that did not go through our OTA's and did not go through training camp. He was a late addition. It is very similar to the situation that happened last year with Domonique Foxworth. There is a learning curve and Tye has been working very diligently to learn our defense. He's going to get an opportunity this week to step in and compete for that corner position."

Q. What led to the decision of the no-huddle offense?
A." It's something we discuss each week between myself and Mike (Mularkey) and the offensive staff. We sit down and talk about if we want to have the no-huddle up this week or when would we like to do it. We basically tell our guys on Saturday evening what are plans are with the no-huddle. We had plans to get to it based on the situation of the game, field position, time of the game and it came at the right time for us. Matt (Ryan) and the offense did a very nice job running that no-huddle offense, and they got us into the right place. There was a big play to Roddy White for his touchdown. Of course the touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez in the back of the end zone I thought not only was great in terms of moving down the field, but I also thought it was very good in terms of time management on the clock. We were able to go down and score and basically do it with not time on the clock, and not give the ball back to the Bears. "

Q. What makes the no-huddle work so well for you?
A." It changes the tempo and it changes your substitution pattern. Not only on the offensive side, but the defensive side as well. It hinders the communication of the defense. It's pretty prevalent throughout the League. Some quarterbacks run it better than others. The guy in Indianapolis does a pretty good job with the no-huddle and it's something that we have been very comfortable with. We started back in the fourth game of last year running the no-huddle offense."

Q. You got kind of thin with the running backs yesterday. How does that stress Jason Snelling out?A. "Jason did an outstanding job in the game last night to be thrust into that role two weeks in a row, and not getting a whole lot of practice snaps. He's done a nice job. Jason is a very integral part of our special teams, as well as Ovie Mughelli. It puts stress on the rest of the roster. I think we'll have to continue to make adjustments in regards to the rest of the roster. When a guy moves up, it changes somebody else's role in terms of special teams."

Q. There have been a lot of changes on special teams.
A. "Yes there has and we continue to play very good special teams. As I mentioned, the return teams did a great job with the kickoff and punt returns. We had a 20 yard punt return and we were able to flip the field position. Then we had the 61 yard return to match the score when they tied it up 14-14."

Q. Talk about the function of the offense in the San Francisco game, and in the Chicago game.
A. "Well, I'd like to say that they are good teams that we faced these past two weeks. But when you watch the tape, it's really not about them, it's about us. I think you can say that every week. When you win or lose, the outcome is not about the opponent. It's about us and how we got out and perform. When we go back to last night, I thought our guys did an outstanding job. They stayed focused. We talked about how there was going to be a lot of emotional energy in that building from the very beginning. It was going to be very important for us to take that emotional energy and turn it into focused energy. Sometimes emotions can be all over the place. I thought that our team handled their focus very well. On the sidelines we made adjustments. They never blinked, they never flinched and they were very workman like last night in the Georgia Dome."

Q. This is your fourth straight week with no sacks?
A. "Yes, this is our fourth-straight week with no sacks. Again, that's attributed to our offensive line, quarterback, tight ends, and protection package that our coaching staff has put in. Coach Mularkey and his staff have done a wonderful job keeping our quarterback clean. I also think it's special to note that we had three turnovers last night. Defensively, we were attacking the football. Over the last two games, we've had five turnovers. Brian VanGorder and his staff put together an excellent game plan and we executed it very well. With that being said, when we play at night our 24-hour rule goes to 16 hours. The game was over at midnight so we're not going to go until midnight talking about this game. We're going to get on to Dallas. In fact, we've turned the page upstairs already. We're on to Dallas. It's going to be a big challenge. They're coming off of their bye week. Their going to have an opportunity to get healthy and we're looking forward to getting an opportunity to play an NFC East team. It's a conference game, and conference games to me are the most important game besides the division games."

Q. In the last two games the opponent's quarterback has been the leading rusher.
A. "Well yes, the quarterback has been the leading rusher in the last two weeks. Again, I thought that we did a very good job stopping the run the last two weeks. We did a nice job last week. We let the quarterback get out. We have been getting the quarterback off the spot. We have been putting pressure on the quarterback. I think our blitz packages have been efficient. The thing that we have to work on is our rush lane integrity. That's something that we have to do. We don't want to give those quarterbacks the opportunity to gain those few yards. We will work on that. There are a lot of things that we need to work on after watching the tape. There's a ton of things, whether you win or lose. The tape is never as good or never as bad. We're going through that scenario right now. Our players are off today. They'll be off tomorrow. We'll come in Wednesday and start game planning for the Dallas Cowboys."

Q. When you say the other corners have a chance to compete, is that for playing time or the starting position?
A. "We're going to have to have a starting nickel because Brian was playing our nickel position. Brian was starting in our base defense as the corner. He and Brent Grimes started the game this past week so it will be for both playing time and the starter. We're down a starter at the corner and the nickel position as we speak right now."

Q. That will leave an open roster spot.
A. "That is correct and we will be making a roster move here in the very near future."

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