Quotable: Wednesday Locker Room


Q: Was it a hot topic early in the year when the scoreboard in Dallas was hit?
A: "Yeah, definitely it was. That will come in play if you try to kick down the middle, but hopefully we can go to the side of that a little bit."

Q: Is there an over/under for how many times you hit that?
A: "I'm going to try my best not to hit it because I don't want my guys getting tired and have to go cover another kick. I'm trying to get the guys to do one kick at a time and we'll go from there."

Q: The punt and kick off return teams have been outstanding. What are the keys to that?
A: " Good placement on my kicks, guys getting off blocks and getting down field covering up that returner. Not letting them run around. We have faced some really good returners and they have done a good job of containing them and getting them on the ground."

Q: Not only that but the benefit of that is the kicker or punter doesn't have to be the last guy looking at a Devin Hester or somebody.
A: " When you get in the open field with one of those guys there's not a whole lot of hope for us kickers back there."

Q: Pregame do you try to leave your mark on the scoreboard?
A: " We'll see what happens. If I accidentally hit it then I accidentally hit it. But I would hate to have to pay for that thing; I heard how much it costs."

Safety Eric Coleman

Q: How important is communication on the field now that Brian is out and Chevis or someone new will be starting?
A: "Communication is the key to our defense. You know that every play there is something to communicate. Whether it's the strength of the formation or the coverage we're playing. There are different checks that need to be made. I think Chevis will do a great job of adjusting to that. He was our starting nickel last year and I think that it's going to be a smooth transition."

Q: Can you look at some things that Olsen hurt you guys with and he hurts a lot of people? But take that into this game against Witten and use it as a learning tool?
A: "Yes I definitely think that we can take what Olsen did against us. The week before Vernon Davis and add to what Witten's going to do. You know we've been facing a lot of good tight ends and it just continues. We've just got to keep to our game plan and keep getting to the ball. Hopefully we will be successful."

Q: Cutler and Romo... Are they similar type quarterbacks?
A: "Cutler and Romo, no. I mean I think that they're two different quarterbacks. They're both good at what they do, but I think they're definitely different."

Tight End Tony Gonzalez

Q: Talk about the Dallas defense.
A: "Well I think right now they're a little bit underestimated. We're not going to do that. They're a really good football team and have had some really good success. They've got some really good players on the defensive side of the ball. DeMarcus Ware, Ken Hamlin, obviously going against a guy who used to play here. It's going to be fun. It's going to be a great matchup and it's going to be tough, like they always are."

Q: They're 3-2 and just barely getting by guys. Is it just tough to get a victory in this league?
A: "Yeah it's always tough. I don't care what team you're playing. Any given Sunday you can get beat by any team. I don't care if the team hasn't won a game all year they're going to come out and play tough. They're coming off a bye week so you know that they're going to have something special for us. Like I said before, it's going to be a tough game and we have to just go out there and try to bring it."

Q: What is it like to play against Keith Brooking?
A: "He's great. He's a high intensity and a high emotion type guy. I'm sure that he's going to be ready for this game, as most guys do when they switch teams and play the team they used to play for. You would anticipate that he's going to be at his best."

Q: Defensively what kind of problems do they present?A: "Well they have that 3-4 scheme and luckily we have had a chance to go against it. But I think DeMarcus Ware will bring a lot of pressure. We've got to definitely prepare for someone of that caliber and he's probably the best in the NFL."

Q: What have been some of the keys for you facing the 3-4? How is that going to help you all?
A: "I think its great because we've had a chance to go against it. Really with that 3-4 defense it's in terms of recognizing. You have to give a lot of credit to (Todd McClure) because he's able to call out the defenses and let us know if it's a sub-front or if it's a 3-4 front. Then Matt recognizing all that good stuff, and they blitz a lot too. It's going to be a tough assignment for us, but we will be up to it."

Q: Tony, you guys' red zone batting average is pretty darn high the last couple of games. I know things always vary according to defensive schemes you're facing, personnel and so forth. But last couple of games, what do you think has lead to that red zone success?
A: "I guess keeping them off balance. I think last year, when the Falcons got down to the red zone you knew pretty much what they're going to do. They were going to try and probably run the ball in and for good reason; you've got one of the best running backs in the league. And we still have that, but now I think as we've matured with it. With me coming here, I am able to get up and down in the red zone. Jenkins is down there. Roddy's down there, and defenses have to say 'what are we going to stop here?' 'Are we going to load the box to stop Devonta Freeman or are we going to play pass defense and try to shut down Matt and the rest of the offense?' We're just try to keep them off balance and try to make plays."

Q: For an offensive line that hasn't given up a sack in a few games, are you surprised that the same line hasn't opened up any holes for Turner who finished with just 30 yards last game?A: "A little surprised but at the same time it's coming. Week in and week out you never know what's going to happen and defenses know. This game in the NFL if you look statistically, if you have a good running game, you're usually going to win the game. We have one of the best running backs in the league. So, you know when we go against a defense it's probably their main goal is to shut him down. Because once he gets going he's hard to stop and defenses know that. So that's why I think we've had to pass it a little more, because of the success he had last year."

Center Todd McClure

Q: Talk about the Dallas defense.A: "They've got a really good group upfront. Totally different guys, but they play really hard like the other group. They rush very well from the outside in that 3-4 scheme. They've got linebackers on the inside that can run and some guys up the middle that can stop the run. So it's going to be a challenge for us."

Q: What about the some of the mean guys that they have? Guys like Marcus Spears, Bradie James and Keith Brooking -- an old face that was here for a long time. There are a lot of guys who like to be physical when they get to the ball handler.
A: "Well that's our type of play. We like to be physical to so that will be a good matchup. We'll go down there; it will be 4:15 here and kick it off, suit it up and go play the game."

Q: Todd, (Brooking) is a guy who was here for a long time through training camps, practices and on the sideline. Long relationships in this league are somewhat unusual, but that's one for a lot of you guys.
A: "Yeah that was. Keith is a great guy and a great competitor. You turn on the film and you see he's still playing at a high level. He's bringing a lot of enthusiasm to that team and I'm sure this one means a little more to them. We're going to get Keith's best effort."

Q: After kickoff he's just another number on defense isn't he?
A: "Yeah, he will be just another number, but I'm sure that he will be a little extra excited. I'm sure there will be a little trash-talking going on, but hopefully we will try to keep his play making to a minimum. But you know that's going to be a tough task."

Q: Did it feel any different playing on Sunday night?
A: "It always does. If anybody tells you any different then they're lying. When you play on Sunday night or Monday night it's a different atmosphere. You come out in the stadium and you can just feel the electricity in the air. It's just something about it that's totally different."

Q: Speaking of stadiums. I know it is just a 100-yard field wherever you are, but this is supposed to be the Taj Mahal.
A: "Yeah we talked it over, the O-Line. We're going to have a punting contest and see who can hit the big jumbotron up there."

Q: What are you going to do if you do hit it?
A: "I don't know. I guess you got to go run and hide. We might put a little money up. We're really not going to do that (laughing).

Q: Good story though.
A: "Yeah, I am excited to see that place. It looks really nice on TV, but once the ball gets kicked off it's just another 120 yards of grass."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

Q: Are you a little surprised at your offensive line not allowing a sack since Week 1, but hasn't really opened to doors to the ground game and got Turner going?
A: "I think we've done a pretty good job in the run game so far. We've played against some tough defenses and teams pride themselves at lining up and trying to stop the run. Our offensive line is doing a great job. We're going to continue to work on getting both aspects of the offense going, run and pass. And hopefully we can continue to get better."

Q: Once again you've got a good defense with a player like DeMarcus Ware. When you're watching film is he a little scary?
A: "Those guys have a good defense. DeMarcus Ware's a great player. We're going to have our work cut out for us again. It seems like every week we're playing against a tough defense. You know that the beauty of the NFL, it's a challenge each week."

Q: Do you plan to run it right at Brooking?
A: "It will be good to see Brook. Obviously he's a teammate last year, a friend and a great player. From what I've see on tape he's doing a great job but with that said in the NFL there's a lot of turnover year in and year out. You're going to have to play against some friends at different times and you just have to go out there and continue to execute."

Q: Did you see that he still seems to have it with 18 tackles against Kansas City?
A: "Yeah Brook's playing well, doing a good job out there. His effort is so consistent week in and week out. He plays so hard, works and prepares so hard. We know how he's going to play because we know how he prepares."

Q: In that red zone you guys have a pretty good batting average the past couple of games. What has been some of the factors?
A: "Well I think good play calling down there. Mike has done a great job of game planning in the red zone. In addition I think guys have made some plays. Tony has had some big catches in the red zone, which has helped. Roddy, Mike Jenkins, and even Justin Peelle made some plays last week. Even some of the runs down there, Mike Turner has had some big runs down in the red zone, which helps you on those second down situations."

Q: What are you going to do to eliminate those early three and outs you had against Chicago?
A: "Obviously you want to start fast but when you go against good defenses sometimes that's going to happen. The biggest thing is you need to stay patient. Continue to stay focused on what you need to do out there. Understand that some guys on the other team are going to make some plays to and when you have the opportunity to make some plays you've got to make them. That's one thing I think we did a great job of this past Sunday. Not getting frustrated with getting stopped early, and when we had the opportunity to make the big play Roddy squirts out the backside for a 50 yard touchdown. That kind of got things rolling."

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