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Transcript: Mike Smith Interview

On the run game since Miami:

"We have not run the ball well since we played the Dolphins.  Again, sometimes I think it's the looks you get.  That dictates it if you're facing the eight-man fronts where they're not having to roll up on your wide receivers.  That will make it tougher sledding to run the football.  We've got to control the line of scrimmage, whether they're in a seven-man front or eight-man front.  We've got to do a better job.  As I said yesterday, it is just not the offensive line.  It is the running backs, if we have a fullback, tight ends and the wide receivers. So, it is going to be critical and we've got to do a good job in terms of scheming to put our guys in the best possible position.  We've all contributed to not running the football in the last few weeks."

On Carolina being 2nd in the League in run defense in rush defense:

"They're playing at a very high level, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, but they have a very good front four as well.  They do a very good job of knocking the line of scrimmage back.  They went out and drafted the two big kids in the first and second round as run stoppers.  They are doing a very good job, especially Star Lotulelei.  He is an explosive football player."

On any offensive lineman doing a good job run blocking:

"I think we've all had some positives and we've all had some negatives.  I don't' believe we have done it consistently enough in terms of running it well.  It's really not about one guy when you're run blocking; it is about the unit up front.  They've got to work together and see it out of the same eyes.  We just haven't been consistent, in really the last three games, it's really stood out. "

On coaching them the mentality to just knock the guy out of the way:

"I don't' think its lack of effort.  I don't believe that at all.  The effort has been there, we just have not won the pad level on certain plays.  Sometimes it's at the point of attack, sometimes it is away from the ball. I think it kind of mirrors what our football team has been.  As I said before, we've been consistently inconsistent.  I think more so in our run game than anything."

On the tactics being used against Tony Gonzalez:

"It's not odd; I think it's something that has happened in four games now.  I thought that we had a clarification in how it was going to be officiated.  It was officiated differently the second time we played.  Again, I think we're all working at it.  We are working at it in ways to defeat it, but I think we're all working at it at a much higher level in terms of what is legal and what is illegal, in terms of how it will be officiated."

On getting a chance to talk to the officials beforehand:

"We have conversations before the game.  The League has video conferencing that they send out, in terms of how it is going to be officiated.  Again, it is a human game.  We're all trying to do it the right way, players are trying to play the game, coaches are trying to coach and officials are trying to officiate it."

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