San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith talked about the offensive coordinator change for the 49ers and how difficult it is for a West Coast team to travel east during his Wednesday conference call with the Atlanta media.
On new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson:
"We're adjusting with it and running with it. It's an unfortunate part of the deal that happened to Jimmy (Raye), but Mike is stepping up and we're excited with what he's bringing to the table. We're getting ready to go for Sunday."
On problems with the passing attack:
"I don't know if there is any one thing. Sometimes I think it's what the defense is giving you depending on the play call and things like that. I don't know. I think it's something that we're conscience of, but I don't know if there's any one thing to point to as far as a reason go."
On getting back to the same performance they had against the Saints:
"It's exactly that, just learning from the Saints. We did this last Sunday. We're just putting it behind us and get ready to go this Sunday. We know that's not who we are, that's not who we want to be, and we're trying to get back on track. It's exactly that. I think it comes with preparation, doing the details and getting ready to play obviously a good team this Sunday."
On Frank Gore as a pass catcher:
"He's always been that. I don't know if he ever got the reputation, but since his rookie year and second year in the league, he's led the team in catches more than once, I believe. He's a guy that's always had that in his game. I think he gets a lot of attention because he runs the ball so well in between tackles, but he's a really versatile guy. I think that's why we try to do so much with him. He's definitely a guy that we feel comfortable throwing the ball to."
On the Falcons' defense:
"They're playing fast. That's the thing I see right now. They know what they're doing, but they're all playing fast. There's a lot of speed out there on that side of the ball. They all run well, they can tackle well, and I think that's part of the deal. When you're playing that fast and you're running to the football, you get the fumbles, you get the picks, and things like that. You have to be sharp, obviously, when you you're playing them because of the quickness out there and the speed out there. "
On how to counter Atlanta's physicality:
"No question, we're getting ready for a physical battle. I really feel like they're both physical teams, but I definitely feel like Atlanta is a physical team. We're getting ready for a four-quarter war. No question."
On how Mike Singletary handled offensive coaching change:**
"I think he felt like he put a lot of thought into it and made the decision he felt like was best for the team. He told that to us, the change was made, and we have to move forward. It's a tough business. No one said this was easy. It's hard. With that, we have a lot left ahead of us, starting this weekend. You deal with it but then you move on. You've got to get ready to go."
On a effects of an East Coast game:
"It's tough. It doesn't get a lot of attention in the NFL, but it's tough — West Coast teams traveling East. Even the traveling two time zones doesn't get much attention. If you're traveling two time zones, you're kicking off at noon. Really, it's the same thing as traveling to the East Coast and kicking off at 1 o'clock. It's tough. When you talk about the time clock, you're eating pregame meal at 5 o'clock or 6 o'clock in the morning. You're out on the field at eight o'clock or nine o'clock your body time and trying to get ready to go. It's a difficult adjustment. It's hard. I don't think it necessarily gets enough attention. You look at the history of West Coast teams traveling East and the numbers aren't great. It's something that we're going to have to deal with and do our best with."
On the progression of Falcons' defense:
"It's tough to say. I didn't play against them last year, so I didn't watch the film. They played really well against us, but it's kind of the same thing I talked about before. They're confident over there, they know what they're doing and they play fast. They have a lot of speed, and that speed definitely shows up. They know what they're doing. They're definitive, decisive and they all run to the football. I think that's what really shows up on film."
On meshing with Michael Crabtree:
"I don't know if it's necessarily us working out the kinks, but I think it's just the offense continuing to find out what Michael does well, and the positions we're going to put him in to make plays. We didn't have him last year for camp, and really this year again because of the injury, so we really missed him for all of camp. It's an adjustment we're making. We're kind of behind the ball coming out of camp, and really trying to make up ground now."
On Ted Ginn Jr.:
"He's doing well. It's unfortunate that he got a little banged up, but we're excited to get him back when that does come. He's a guy that has a very unique set of skills. You're' talking about world class speed and ability to really stretch the defense that you don't really see often. He's someone that we look forward to getting back and helping us win some games."
On the injury of Josh Morgan:
"That's probably a better question for him. I'm not really sure what's going on there. I really, honestly don't know."