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Quoteboard: Falcons vs. Texans


Opening Statement:
"I knew we had a great week of preparation as a team on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It was going to take that. We knew facing a good outfit that we would need good preparation and we did. The thing that we thought about was the football. For us, to end up plus four today, in terms of turnovers was exactly like we like playing. It was a great job by the offense, and then the defense I believe scoring twice was just terrific. I can't talk about the balance on offense enough. Over 130-yards rushing and over 250 passing, that's when we're at our best. I think that showed today, but some guys really stepped up. We had some guys that were banged up, and other guys who just stepped up exactly like we like. Robenson Therezie was one of those, and then scoring two times on defense. It was a great team effort today against a really well coached outfit across the hall."

On Justin Durant:
"He had a strain in his elbow, so we decided to hold him out. I'll have more information on him tomorrow."

On whether he's surprised with Devonta Freeman performance:
"I'm not surprised at all. The amount of grit and toughness that he plays with, he just loves to battle. I thought it was a real demonstration of his toughness, and all of the energy that he brings to our team."

On Devonta Freeman in the pass-catching:
"Not only is he a good catcher, he can line up outside at receiver and run good routes, so he's a really complete back in that way. It's a real weapon for us. Knowing that we can have a chance to match him up on linebackers, and it's something that we're going to continue to do for sure. He's just got this relentless ability to keep competing. It's one of the things that I really most respect about him and his game."

On Kyle Shanahan:
"I think that's one of the things that make it so hard to go against the offense in the run game, and all of the things that we'll do each week to attack. Every time we're going out we just want to know that we can attack. We just want to make sure we can feature our guys in the very best way to allow them to play at their best. I think Kyle [Shanahan] really does a great job with that."

On who received the game ball today?
"We didn't give one out today. It was a great team effort, so there wasn't one man who stood up over another. It was just a really solid team effort all the way across, so it was really great to see that. We've got a long way to go in terms of improving, but that's the thing about our team. They just keep getting better, and that's where we're headed."

On Desmond Trufant:
"I think they challenged him some outside. We expected that. We knew it was quiet for a little while, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen all the way throughout the season. He just answered like he always does. He had two fumble recoveries today. We couldn't be more pleased with his game. He works at it extremely hard. Those are the things that you don't see behind the scenes of why he is so good. He just relentlessly works at getting better."

On the offensive line:
"I think just the communication and toughness with this group. They keep getting closer and bonding even more. They've got a terrific front, in terms of style and the attitude that we play. There is no surprise how close these guys are getting. It's been a big factor for us. It really has. Their closeness, connection, and toughness has been a real big factor for us starting off."

On QB Matt Ryan exceeding his expectations:
"The only thing I think he exceeded my expectations on is the competitor that he is. For all of the guys here, they knew. For us going against him, we knew he was really good. Then there's another level of focus that he has, so you don't know that part going against him because you aren't here every day. I just found out how tough of a competitor that he really is, so that would probably be the thing. He loves to challenge. The relationship between him and Kyle Shanahan is so good because they both keep trying to push it further."

On how much better QB Matt Ryan can get:
"I think he would tell you a lot, in terms of his footwork, his mechanics, and decisions. He loves to attack and we're going to do that every chance we get. I love his aggressive style. We're going to keep trying to get better each week."

On running the ball against Texans:
"We knew we would have our hands full. They're a good outfit, and we've got a good outfit as well. We knew this challenge was going to be right there for us. We've got a lot of confidence and faith in our offensive line, and our system in general. It takes all 11 for us to run the ball. That's part of our philosophy offensively. You can see this group really getting close, and the connection they have for another and how hard they want to play for one another. That part's really coming through."


On the key to jumping out to a 42-0 lead:
"I thought two things specifically; I mean obviously the run game is huge. I thought we ran the ball extremely well the entire day and our offensive line stepped up to the challenge. That's a really good front 7 and I thought our guys played extremely well. But, the third-down conversions and our success in the red zone, to me, was the key to our success. We were able to keep those drives going, and then obviously when we got into the red zone we capitalized with touchdowns."

On Devonta Freeman's early Success and what it adds to the offense:
"It's huge, the run game in general, but Devonta the last two weeks has done a great job in showcasing how good of a player he is. But I also think our offensive line has just played really well, and our tight ends. The combination of those guys in the run game has been really, really good for us and is one of the reasons we've been successful these past couple of weeks."

On Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder's performance against JJ Watt:
I thought Jake Matthews and Ryan Schraeder did a really nice job for us today. I mean there's no let up when you're going against JJ Watt. Then on the other side you're going against Jadeveon Clowney, you've really gotta bring it every snap. I think we let up two sacks, but all in all I thought our pass protection was rock solid and again I think those guys got after them in the run game.

On Desmond Trufant:
"Throwing against Des in practice, you know, he's tough to go against. You love to see him make plays when the ball is on the ground, to be able to scoop and score. He's as good as it gets at corner, he made some plays today in man-to-man coverage that were awesome to see."

On the Texans ability to slow Julio Jones' torrid pace:
"Obviously people are gonna adjust to Julio with what he's done the first three weeks of the season. There were some adjustments by their safeties, playing over the top help and giving you advantageous looks to the other side, to kind of force you to throw to other guys. But when they do that it opens up opportunities for other guys, I thought Leonard Hankerson did a great job for us today, I thought Roddy White did a great job, Devonta catching the ball out of the backfield is another huge matchup for us. So I thought our other guys stepped up and did really well."

On Finding Freeman on the wheel route:
"Just going through the progressions. Obviously that's great design by Kyle and our offensive staff to get that up and try to put our guys in good position. It was one of those things where I saw it and just wanted to give him a ball he could catch."

On whether Coach Quinn approaches the season in quarters like the old regime:
"He made mention of it after the game today, that it was a good start to our first quarter of the season. But how I see it and how I think everybody in that locker room sees it is that we're gonna enjoy this win today but we've gotta get prepared for next week. It's about getting the job done on Sunday, enjoying Sunday night then finding a way to have the best week of preparation you can have for next week. I think that will be the focus for everybody.

On the Falcons run game:
"For us, the run game has been awesome these first four weeks of the season, and I think we're getting better week to week, which is encouraging to see. As a quarterback, there's nothing better than to be able to hand that ball off on first and second down and be able to get into third-and-two, third-and-three or get first downs on first and second down running the football. It makes it easier because you end up seeing a lot more advantageous looks to throw the football.

On what it's like to see your running back in the clear:
"[Laughs] You just don't wanna screw it up in that situation, you wanna give him a pass he can catch and go make a play afterward."


On today's winning effort:
"It is a team effort.  Coach Dan Quinn does a hell of a job getting us to come out and compete every day in practice. He makes practices a lot of fun. It is just a whole team effort."

On the offensive line helping the running game:
"Our offensive linemen does a great job creating lanes for us to run in.  They have just been grinding hard.  People can say what they want to say all the time, but as long as we believe in each other, that is all it takes."

On taking advantage of being the starting running back:
"Chances do not come around often, so you just have to take advantage of them when you get them.  I am just blessed to have to play in the NFL."

On leading the NFL in touchdowns:
"I do not really pay attention to stats right now, but it feels good to just score and be able to get a win.  Getting this team victory is the most important thing.  Individually, I want to be the best player and all, but we want to go to the Super Bowl."

On the holes that the line has been able to create:
"They create some real huge holes, and sometimes I go in there untouched.  In the NFL, the whole thing is so quick, so you have to hit the holes when they open and they opened some big holes."

On being the first running back to score seven touchdowns in the first four games since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005:
"LT [LaDainian Tomlinson] is someone who I grew up watching.  I liked a lot of the things he did.  He kept the ball, he was a physical runner, and he made you miss.  He was one of those guys that I always watched when he came on TV, so I could get better."


On the effectiveness of the defense:
"I was able to make some plays to keep it going.  You know we got a pretty good team here.  If we keep working and doing what we are doing, then we are going to have a pretty good year.

On the depth at wide receiver:
"Yeah, we have a lot of playmakers. We have a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things: myself, Roddy [White], Julio [Jones], Nick [Williams], and [Devin] Hester when he comes back."

On being ready to play on Sunday:
"You know that we prepare the right way each and every day.  We do what we can.  Coaches prepare us the right way.  We take it to practice, and we take the mindset to the field, and do all of the things the right way."


On the teammates already being ready in August:
"There's never really a point where you think, it's something that's there or it's not. I mean this team is very close and I know that. I go in and I go hard every day for my teammates and I know that they'd do the same and that's something special.


On the ball popping out accidentally:
"Yeah we'll take them however we can get them.

On looking up and seeing the ball:
"Yep, pretty much, and that's what we preach every play is to go after the ball and it showed. We've just got to keep it going now."

On today's start:
"It' a great start, it's a great feeling. We worked so hard throughout the week with the preparations, the coaches give us a great game plan and we go out and execute it. We believe in each other and it's really starting to show."

On getting some passes thrown his way:
"I think they probably threw to me five or six times. I enjoyed the time I was there to make a play and that's my job. I want to make it hard for whoever comes to my side. I'm just thankful for my teammates, the D-line puts pressure on the quarterback, we get great communication on the back end. So whenever the ball comes my way I just want to be there to make a play."


On his hands being good during today's game:
"I've got good hands like AllState."

On getting another win:
"Well I think we've got something good going on here. I talked to the guys today and I told them that you know, let's see what we can put back together. The previous three games we start off good or we start off slow and we end up finishing the way we wanted to. But I just want us to go out there and play four quarters the way we're supposed to and that's what we did today."

On the defensive effort today:
"Yeah we played well together, playing our style of ball and have fun man. The sky's the limit for us."


On the effectiveness of the defense:
"We utilized our vision in this defense. You know, going after the quarterback, reading his intentions, etc. We have a bunch of guys that can fly around in the zone defense, and at the same time we can match anybody man-to-man."

On the Texans' struggles at quarterback:
"Absolutely, you want to do that. You want to make a team one-dimensional and make them beat you in the air. You want to stop the run. I actually thought [Ryan] Mallett did a good job today. It was not his reads that were bad. We were running to the ball and forcing turnovers. He was throwing some great balls today."

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