Q: Do you or can you know much about the Dolphins going into Week 1 based on preseason or do you go back and look at last year?
A: "Well you look at last year, obviously they are going to throw in some new stuff. But at the same time they are going to stick with what works. Obviously they did pretty well last year. You know Joey Porter is going to be coming, they are going to be pretty strong against the run. It's something you just go out there, but as the game goes on Coach Mularkey going to make the adjustments and hopefully it will work out for us."
Q: Do the Dolphins standout for their physicality?A: "I'm a firm believer there is no such thing as an easy game, easy victories, there's no such thing as a down team. We are all professional athletes and they are all physical up front . They are all 300-pound defensive ends and tackles and all that stuff. It's going to be tough and it is the first game of the year so everyone is going to be excited to play balls out."
Q: Is there any difference in Week 1 from the other weeks?A: "It's at the beginning of the season and we made it through the preseason pretty healthy for the most part. The first game of the year you want to set the tone for the rest of the year. That doesn't mean if we don't go out there and play like we want to that the season is over with, but you definitely want to go out there and make a statement that we have been working this hard all off season, preseason and now lets put it together and see what we can do."
Q: Is it nice to be opening up the season at home?
A: "Yeah, anytime you can open at home is an advantage. From what I can tell so far through out the preseason this is a great home field advantage out here in Atlanta, so we are going to need the fans loud and ready to go cause we are going to be ready to go."
Q: Will it be different for you walking out for the first time in a Falcons uniform?A: "I think I have gotten over that and I feel that I am Falcon now. I feel pretty comfortable here now and I'm looking forward to going out there with my teammates."
Q: Is the chemistry where it needs to be before the first game?A: "Yeah, and I'll say that all the way to Week 15. I'm never satisfied and I don't think anyone else on this team is. I don't care how good you can be or how good you are going to be, we have to go out there and keep working and get on the same page. Once you look back you can always say I could've done this different, I could have done that different and that's what you keep working for and keep trying to pursue. That's what makes you great. It's that simple."
Q: Are there enough footballs to go around in this offense?A: "Yeah, I think there will be. I was telling someone the other day that I have been around long enough. I've caught enough of balls and had my heyday. It doesn't mean I can't go out there and still perform. I'm still going out there and I fell just as good as ever. But at the same time it doesn't matter to me. You are, right there are a lot of players on this offense that can do well, that can hurt you, and for me go ahead and do it. Lets just go out there and keep these chains moving. That's all I am worried about and getting a victory."
Defensive End John Abraham
Q: You played with Chad Pennington when you were both with the Jets; can you speak on what you expect from him Sunday?
A: "You know he's a smart player and he's going to get the ball out. They do a good job of protecting him also, so I know Chad's going to be ready to play. Chad's going to get the ball out as soon as he can."
Q: You look at this defense, it's kind of had fluxuating parts throughout training camp. Are you guys ready once Game One starts?
A: "You know we really don't have a choice. You can't replay the games so you have to be ready and I think we will be ready. We've got a lot of young players, but they're stepping up and becoming NFL players. Sometimes you got to get a little negative before you get positive and I think that's really helping us."
Q: Wildcat formation, the Dolphins really started the craze with it last year. Are you aware of that, are you watching film on that as you head into this game?
A: "Yeah, I think everybody is. They definitely made it something to look forward to and something you don't want to look forward to. We are doing our best to get everything down and make it as simple as possible, but it will be a tough thing to adjust to."
Q: What are the Dolphins strengths offensively?
A: "The leadership they have with their running backs they have and their quarterback. I think they do a good job protecting the quarterback. They leave a lot of people in to protect Chad and let Chad get the ball out. I think that's there best strength."
Q: Difference between week one and the feeling in Week 12 or 15?
A: "Just that this is probably the best you're going to feel for the rest of the year. But, hopefully we can come out fresh and look good out there for the first game."
Running Back Michael Turner
Q: Game one; are you guys ready as an offense?
A: "I think we are ready. We showed a lot of potential in the preseason, and now it is time for it to really count in this week coming up."
Q: This team is 7-1 starting out in the Georgia Dome, is that any kind of advantage?
A: "Oh yeah, we want to take care of home. The fans were great last year and hopefully they will keep it us this year and we will give them something to be excited about this year."
Q: Watching Miami on film what really stands out, what do they do well?
A: "They are a physical team and they have a sound defensive front. They have Joey Porter and Jason Taylor to lead them with good veteran leadership. But, we are just going to come in there and try to do our jobs on Sunday."
Q: What do you say to those critics saying: "He carried the ball too much, he can't repeat?"
A: "I don't pay attention to that because I am the one that has to go out there and run the football. I believe that coach is going to put me in the best situation to run the football this year."
Q: Is there enough footballs to go around in this offense?
A "(Laughs) It doesn't seem like it, but we are an unselfish team and as long as we get the win I don't think anybody cares."
Q: You look at these two teams and they're almost parallels in the NFC and AFC. First year coaches went to the playoffs, no one expecting anything. Is there pressure (on both teams) as this season starts?A: "I wouldn't say that its pressure, but something we want to build on from last year. We want to capitalize on what we did great last year and keep rising to our goals this year which will be the Super owl."
Quarterback Matt Ryan
Q: What kind of problems do the Dolphin's defenses present?
A: "Well, you know they have some talent in the front seven. I think there book ends in the3-4, Jason Taylor and Joey Porter do a great job and so we are going to have our work cut out for us. I think having played San Diego in the preseason there are some similarities but not a whole lot. Those similarities will help us out."
Q: How different is this week for you compared to one year ago this week, with a year of experience and success under your belt?
A: "It's a lot different coming into Game One then it was last year. I think just understanding what you need to do to prepare heading into the first game. I'm a lot better served than I was last year. I feel more comfortable and I feel I will be ready to go as the game rolls around and I think we will get the same result as we did last year."
Q: This is where it officially starts. Tony says hey I'm open, Turner says hey give me the rock. Are there enough footballs to go around in this offense?
A: "Yeah I think so. That's a good thing to have. We have guys who make plays and work hard during the week. It's nice to have them make plays and score some touchdowns, but the biggest thing is we got a group of unselfish guys around here who want to win first and foremost. And when you have that, guys who will do whatever to win football games, it makes it a lot easier."
Q: How much can you really know about an opponent with the way things change every year?
A: "You know it's tough. I think it is one of the more difficult weeks to prepare for because you don't have much game tape on that team from this season. It's tough to take a lot from the preseason. You look at Game Three, you look at some of the different scenarios they're put in at the beginning of the year, but again there's not a lot on tape. Mostly it's just scheme, trusting that the defensive coordinator and coaching staff there hasn't changed much from what they did last year. We will look at a lot from last year, a lot from the preseason; make our decisions and game plan from there.
Q: Is it an advantage to start the season at home?
A: "Yeah, anytime we get the chance to play in the Dome, especially with the fan support that we have had throughout the preseason and really late in the year last year. I'm excited to get down there, I'm excited to see what the atmosphere is going to be like, what it's going to be like when we are on the defensive side of the ball and they are out there screaming and getting loud. It will be a lot of fun to play in front of the fans in the Dome on Sunday."
Safety Erik Coleman
Q: What do you expect out of a veteran quarterback like Chad Pennington?
A: "I know Chad is a very intelligent quarterback. He definitely controls the offense. If he sees something on defense he will make the checks. He is very intelligent, he has great touch on the ball, and he is very accurate and very dangerous."
Q: Are you watching film on their offense? How do you get prepared for the Wildcat?
A: "I think you have to (watch film). Because it's been shown on film if you don't study for it then they will hurt you with it. They hurt a lot of teams last year with it and it is something that you definitely have to go over and try to prepare for. It's very difficult."
Q: You have a lot of new faces on defense, guys that were just brought in last week. How do you, as one of the leaders on defense, kind of acclimate them into your system?
A: "Just try to spend some extra time with them in the meeting room. Out there on the field make sure you communicate and keep that line of communication open, and make sure you're on the same page. All these guys know how to play football, they have played before. Everybody has played cover one and cover two, blitz coverage. It's just a matter of how you play it and communication.
Q: Besides the wildcat formation, what else are you watching out for from the Miami offense?A: "They have two great running backs. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are physical, quick, very athletic running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield as well. Teddy Ginn is an extremely fast wide receiver, so they have a lot of weapons on offense and they're a tough football team. So, there is a lot to prepare for."
Q: Is the key to stopping the wildcat a scheme that accounts for that eleventh position?
A: "I don't think that there is a scheme to stop it. I just think that you get eleven guys to the ball and be aware of it. You saw earlier, last season, when teams weren't expecting it and they didn't know how to play it. So, you just have to be aware of it and play it from there."
Q: Isn't it just basic misdirection football?
A: "Part of it is a lot of misdirection, but you have Ronnie Brown back there, who can throw the ball. So you can't really just jump on one thing."
MORE ON THE FALCONS-DOLPHINS GAME:
NOTEBOOK:Falcons prepare for Dolphins Wildcat formation * QUOTABLE:Head Coach Mike Smith talks about the Dolphins * VIDEO:Click here for interviews, features and more from Dolphins week * EXPERT'S TAKE:Jay Glazer shares his thoughts on the Falcons in Week 1 * BLOG:J. Michael Moore covers the Falcons in J. Mike's Missives * MONDAY NOTES:Addition of Williams gives Falcons options in secondary * TRANSACTION:Falcons waive Butterworth, add Bruggeman to practice squad * TRANSACTION:Team waives safety Jamaal Fudge * PREVIEW PACK:More info on the Falcons-Dolphins game * TIME MACHINE:Frank Kleha taks a look at momentum in season openers * GAME INFORMATION:Parking, directions and other info about Week 1 * FALCONS BLOGS:More coverage and news on the re-designed blog site * DEPTH CHART:Click here for the updated Falcons depth chart * ROSTER:Click here for the updated Falcons roster * QUOTABLE:Player quotes from the Falcons locker room on Wednesday