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Transcript: Mike Smith post-practice interview


Falcons head coach Mike Smith spoke more on the Dunta Robinson hit on DeSean Robinson last weekend during his huddle with the Atlanta media Wednesday

On the team's reaction to CB Dunta Robinson being fined:

"The League came down and there was a fine, of course that's a League matter. The guys are supportive of Dunta and I know that he's going to go through the appeals process. He's already started that."

On whether in his opinion the hit was legal:

"I stated the other day what I saw and it's not really a place for me. It was a penalty that was called, so it was a penalty."

On whether they are going to start talking to the players about tackling:

"We've talked to our guys about how we tackle since the rule came out. We had a seminar with the officials and the coaching staff in the spring. We had a seminar with the players talking about the definition of a defenseless player, now that we've got more than just the quarterback being defined as defenseless. We've always talked about the target to be lowered. I think regardless of how you try to target the guy it's always going to be a moving target and I think there's going to be incidents that a guy is going to have contact with the head and the neck area because the targets always moving. You're talking about split-second reactions that guys are going to have to make out there."

On whether a form tackle would have been within the rules on that play:

"You guys have seen the play and it was, I think, a bang-bang play. Like I said on Monday, two guys were going for the ball they were competing for the same thing. It was a split second where it would be a legal play and a split second where it would be illegal. It was deemed that, the officials threw a flag on it so it's a penalty."

On Dunta Robinson's status:

"Dunta is doing much better. Of course he had a concussion and he is under the League protocol in terms of his recovery and when he'll be able to come back to practice. Hopefully in the next day or two he'll get out here and be able to move around and run around a little bit. That's the NFL League protocol based on when a guy can get back and participate."

On whether the physicality of Wednesday's practice was planned:

"We felt like we needed to get out there and work with our pads on by design, in terms of getting some work. We needed to get some work with our pads on, the last two Wednesdays we did not have pads. We felt like we needed to get out there and work on our pad level. I do have some injury stuff too. TE Justin Peelle had sports hernia surgery yesterday. It was identified that they needed to go in there and do the surgery so he is going to be out for four to six weeks. RB Antone Smith missed practice with a shoulder and we're anticipating to see how he feels in the next couple of days. Right now, Justin Peelle will be out four to six weeks."

On LB Sean Weatherspoon:

"Spoon, as I announced Monday he will be out for the game this week. We're going to hold him out until after the bye week to allow him to get back. It's a long season and we feel like it's in the best interest for us and for him not to rush him back."

On the four-to-six week absence of Justin Peelle:

"Justin is our second tight end and he's been an integral part of what we've been trying to do over the last three years. They were able to go in and relieve the sports hernia. The surgery is not a major deal, he was in and out. He's in the training room recuperating today. It's going to be a four to six week recuperation. TE Michael Palmer will be called on to step up and play for us. I thought that Michael stepped in admirably in the game the other day, so it's going to be an opportunity for him to come in."

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