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Transcript: Mike Smith post-practice interview


Falcons head coach Mike Smith gives injury updates on Sean Weatherspoon, Michael Jenkins and Curtis Lofton on the first day of preparation for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns

On the balance of the Falcons' offense:

"I think it's advantage when you can be a balanced football team and are able to run the football and throw the ball effectively. If you're on balance, it keeps the defense off balance, and that's what we're trying to do. It may not always come out yardage-wise, but with snaps that something that we always want to look at. Even in situations, we want to make sure we're balanced in all the situations that we can be."

On Matt Bryant NFC honor:

"That's a great honor for Matt and a great honor for our team. He could've probably gotten it last week, as well. He's had two good pressure kicks for us at the end of the ballgame. Again, it's an operation that takes center, holder and a kicker and the guys blocking up front. That's a great honor for Matt."

On Sean Weatherspoon:

"On our injury report today, you'll see there will be three guys that did not take their normal snaps. That was Michael Jenkins, Sean Weatherspoon and Curtis Lofton. Those were three guys that did not take their normal reps that they would normally take. They'll be on our injury report. It was good to see Spoon back out there. It's a long season and these decisions that we make aren't always going to be based on this week. I think last week that was something we based our decision on with it being a long season with Sean Weatherspoon."

On Brent Grimes:

"He does some amazing things of the field to show his athleticism. Anyone who's been around Brent has seen him jump over six trashcans. He can do some things. He's like a contortionist with his body. He's got some special traits when it comes to athletic ability and flexibility."

On the Vikings' acquisition of Randy Moss:

"Randy Moss got traded to the Vikings today? Well he's a good player. I guess when you add a good player, you probably help your football team. I would have rather seen him in the AFC, I can assure you that."

On facing a team coming off a win versus a loss:

"I really think you can't put a whole lot into records these first five or six weeks. The team that we're getting ready to face is a team that lost by two points, three points and seven points. We can all say those "should have's" and "could have's" whether you're 4-0, 3-1, 2-2 or 0-4. That's how close it is. Our guys know we have to be prepared each and every week. We have to realize there's not a lot of difference between the No. 1 team and the No. 32 team in the league. We try not to look at the records. We try to be very objective with what their strengths are, what their weaknesses are and put a game plan together with what we feel will give us the best chance to win."

On Peyton Hillis:

"He's a very strong running back. He's a guy that runs with his pads down. He runs north and south. The last two weeks, he's played against two really good defenses. He had 144 yards rushing against Baltimore and over 100 and some change against Cincinnati. He also catches the ball very well out of the backfield. I think he's their feature back. He's got 322 rushing yards, I believe, through the first four games. Really, the first two games he was a spot player and actually was taking some snaps at the fullback position. He's a big, strong back and we're going to have to put our pads on. I told the guys today it's going to be a two-chinstrap game, there's no doubt about it. Everybody needs to pack an extra one because it will be a physical football game."


On giving up passing yards:**

"Statistics can be deceiving, as we all know. You can do some things right in the game, whether it's against the run, or against the pass or you pass the ball well. The bottom line is getting the ball in the endzone. If you don't finish drives off, then you're not going to win. If you're giving up big plays, and able to play good redzone defense, and that's what their defense is done. They are No. 1 in the league, I believe, in touchdown percentages in the redzone, so they've got a very good redzone defense and both their offense and defense are No. 1 in third down in short yardage. Those are conversions. If you're leading the league in defense doing that, it says a lot about your guys up front. They have some big guys up front starting with their nose tackle, No. 92 (Shaun Rogers). He's big."

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