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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Head coach Mike Smith
On the tempo of today's practice:
"The tempo I thought was outstanding. It looked like the Falcons practicing against the Falcons and that's what we really wanted to get accomplished. We'll get an opportunity to go out and compete against one another on Thursday night. We'll go out there and tackle and do those things."

On whether or not the mixture of matchups is a benefit of the combined practices:
"Yeah it is. We wanted to have us work against different groups. One thing that we wanted to make sure of over these next couple of days is that we get work against everybody. We want to see some of our young guys against their better players and I'm sure it is vice versa. I thought it went very well. I thought both staffs did a great job and logistically there were no issues and it ran very smoothly."

On monitoring WR Julio Jones' reps in practice today:
"Julio only went through limited reps today. Mainly precautionary in terms of watching his load and we'll continue to do that, not only with Julio but with all of our guys."

On the development of the young corners and getting to see another team in practice:
"It's great for our young corners. They've been competing against two really good receivers but they've also been competing against some of our down-the-line guys. This gives them the opportunity to go out and compete against different guys running different routes, different route combinations, not looking at splits and knowing what route is going to be coming. It was a good learning experience for them. Probably more so tonight when we watch the tape than what happened on the field."

On the healthiness of the team:
"We're still pretty good. I haven't really talked to the trainers yet in terms of what came out of this practice, but there was some contact. It was a very competitive practice. I think we got what we wanted out of it. I'm sure that the Bengals did as well. Sean [Weatherspoon] did not finish the practice. He left the practice and I don't have any update on that right now."

On having a joint practice and not competing against your own team:
"It's wonderful. Marvin [Lewis] and I worked together. I consider Marvin a mentor to me in terms of how we practice, and I thought the guys executed extremely well today. They had an understanding of what we wanted to get accomplished and we were able to do that the entire practice."

On whether or not he would be able to do a joint practice like this with another coach he wasn't as familiar with:
"This is the sixth time we've done this, and basically every time we've done it it's been with guys that I know very well or have worked with. I think when we put the plan together we actually talked about how we want the practices to go. I think everyone was obviously on the same page with as smooth as it went today."

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