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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

Head coach Mike SmithOn WR Roddy White:
"Roddy has an ankle injury. He will not play in the game this week. Moving forward beyond that, he will be on the same plan as all of our starters for the final preseason game."

On FB Bradie Ewing, LB Robert James and RB Jason Snelling planning to play in the next game:
"Yes it is. [RB Jason] Snelling will be back practicing with us tomorrow.  We anticipate WR James [Rodgers] and FB Bradie Ewing to start our work week on Tuesday, which is our normal work week start for a Saturday night game. "

On LB Stephen Nicholas not finishing practice:
"LB Stephen Nicholas did not finish practice.  He left the field and I don't know a whole lot more than that. When I find out I'll let you guys know."

On how LB Sean Weatherspoon looked at practice:
"It was great to have Sean back out there. The energy that he brings is evident. I think he needs to do some conditioning, simply because he hasn't practiced a couple weeks but great. No limitations whatsoever, so anticipate that he will be ready to go this week as well."

On anticipating TE Tony Gonzalez for practice tomorrow:
"Yes I do.  That is very good news. Tony will be participating, as we stated early in training camp that he was going to play in the third preseason game. We're starting the preparation for our third preseason game this week, so he will be here with us tomorrow.  We're excited to have him back with us out on the practice field as well."

On feeling as though he has accomplished what he needed to during camp:
"We've had a lot of things to work on. Even though we're breaking camp, we still have two more preseason games.  We'll go through this week as a dry run in terms of preparation, so we'll switch gears a little bit. We still have some things that we need to clean up and some areas with a lot of things we need to clean up.  The big thing for us as a staff is to continue this evaluation process. There's a number of young guys who have done some really good things over the first two preseason games and we need to get a chance to really evaluate those guys and figure out how were going to put our 53-man roster together. "

On looking better across the board from Week 1:
"Absolutely, I felt that that the areas we thought we needed to improve in we did.  Still made a lot of mistakes, but we wanted to improve our running game and I thought that we did that. I thought the offensive line did a nice job; the backs were outstanding in terms of making the right decisions. We wanted to stop the run, we did that better. That's a team that has a pretty good running game, for that half anyways when we were out there it was good.  It wasn't a full game, but I did like the way that our guys played. It was much improved not only for individuals but for units as well.  We still have to fix some things on special teams, the young guys that could be helping us; they've got to do a much better job, especially in our punt protection and coverage."

On the punt return touchdowns:
"We operate in preseason games with the first group taking one half and the back end guys taking the second half.  We have a lot of work to do, in terms of schematics and having the guys understand what we want to do. We have to punt the ball a little bit better as well. We didn't punt it as well in Week 2 as we did in Week 1. I thought in Week 1, we punted the ball outstanding. It's a lot of young guys, a lot of correctable mistakes that we made, but we can't be giving up touchdowns on punt returns."

On T Lamar Holmes and T Ryan Schraeder in week 2 versus week 1:
"I thought they took a step forward. Of course, when you run the ball like we did and we had some explosive runs, when you do that your controlling the line of scrimmage. I thought both of them took a step forward. Again, it's going to be a learning process for those guys.  It's going to be a big week for them because we're going to play our starters a little bit longer than we have in the previous two games. It's going to be a great evaluation for them to go into the third quarter and I thought they improved from Week 1 to Week 2."

On how game planning will affect how to prepare for Tennessee:
"It's going to affect us quite a bit in terms of how we practice. We will now go to scout teams, we've just been out here running plays against each other, Falcons on Falcons. Our coaching staff, we've broken down film of one preseason game.  They are playing tonight so we will get the second preseason game in and we'll use some of the film from last year as well and go through the process. We'll have scout teams, where we'll try and simulate the Tennessee Titans offensives and defensives, so the younger players will have a new role. The number of snaps we're going to get will be reduced, simply because we are going to have to prepare both are offense and defense."

On Brian Banks and Theo Goins not playing:
"Again, as you get further down the preseason, get into week 2, 3, 4, not everybody on your roster when you've got 90 guys is going to get an opportunity to play in the ball game. We'll definitely in Week 3 and Week 4, hopefully in Week 4 more than three, those guys will get their longest evaluation."

On those particular players having more work to do to make the roster:
"No, don't read anything in to that at all, in terms of who played and who didn't play. This is an evaluation process that doesn't go through one preseason game. It goes through starting in OTA's all the way through the final preseason game for the guys who are going to make our 53-man roster. "

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