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Transcript: Matt Ryan Locker Room Interview

On this game being special going back home to Philadelphia:

"It's obviously where I grew up and still have a lot of family up there. It's always fun for them to be able to come to the game and maybe have a chance to see them afterwards for a second or two. Once you start playing, it's like any other week and you have to be focused and prepared."

On how the bye week was:

"Fairly easy. When you get to the point in the season and you get a break, it's always a good thing."

On wishing you had played last week since things have been going so well:

"You can't worry about it. That's the way the schedule was made, and we've played well up until this point but we haven't been perfect. We've got to focus on improving. I think the week off of rest is always a good thing. We're back and I think guys are fresh. I think we'll be ready to go."

On looking for anything different with their defense this week:

"I'm sure with the change in defensive coordinator they'll have a few things different from what we've seen thus far. As far as the personnel goes, it's going to be the same guys out on the field. They're personnel is very good. We've got to be prepared for adjusting to some things on the sideline, but again, studying the guys that we're going against and understanding how they play and I think we'll be fine."

On the Eagles seeming like a divisional opponent since he's gone against them so many times:

"It really has. I think there is a lot of familiarity between the two teams. We've played each other the last five years. Schemes have changed a little bit, but a lot of the players are the same. We know what they can do and they know what we can do. When you have games like this it comes down to execution."

On with a big game no one will ease back into the season off the Bye week:

"There are no easy weeks in the NFL. I think everyone got the chance to rest, but came back and we're fresh. We've got a really good opponent we're going against and it's going to require our very best. It'll be a good week for us."

On it being more important to get off to a fast start with a team that's struggling:

"It's important every week. That's one of the areas we need to improve. We haven't done a great job of that the last couple of weeks. Smitty talks about it all the time. We want to start fast and maintain that throughout the game. Regardless of what they have going on, I think that's a point of emphasis for us this week."

On reading what was being said about the Falcons during the Bye week:

"Not too much. It's nice to have baseball playoffs on and stuff like that so you don't have to pay attention to football too much. It's impossible not to see, but when you're a professional you have to be able to put it aside and focus on what's important. I think guys have done a great job with that."

On how much CB Asante Samuel can help out the offense about the Philadelphia defense:

"I think he can help out a little bit. Obviously, he's played with a lot of those guys and knows their tendencies. Those kinds of things. Strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day it comes down to execution and how we play on the field. I think it'll help a bit, but we still have to go out there and play."

On sustaining drives against a defense that's good on third downs at getting the offense off the field:

"Third downs are always important. Like you said, they are very good on third down. Their front four is the reason for that. They do a great job with pass rush. I know their sack numbers probably aren't where they've been in the past, but their pressures are right there. They force you to get the ball out of your hand probably before you're prepared to do it. We'll have to do a great job up front. We'll have to do a great job outside too of being prepared to get the ball out quickly."

On the game having more importance since QB Michael Vick is on the Eagles:

"Not really. I think having played against the Eagles so many times it's not something guys in here talk about or think about all that much, especially offensively. We don't face Mike on the field so not too much."

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