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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


Falcons head coach Mike Smith talked about how comfortable he is having Matt Bryant as his kicker during him press huddle with the Atlanta media Wednesday

On why practice was moved indoors:

"It was too windy and the wind chill got us."

On the injury report:

"In terms of the injury report we had four guys who didn't participate. DE John Abraham, RB Antone Smith, RB Jason Snelling and WR Roddy White. Guys that had limited participation were DE Kroy Biermann, WR Michael Jenkins, LB Curtis Lofton, S William Moore, and WR Eric Weems. Those were the guys that didn't practice today or had limited participation. Biermann was his ankle, we were holding him back. Michael Jenkins with a quad, Curtis Lofton it's his normal maintenance, it's his knee that's listed. S William Moore will be listed with a thigh and WR Eric Weems with a pectoral."

On RB Michael Turner being involved in the passing game as well:

"Everybody thinks about Michael as a ball carrier, but Michael can catch the ball out of the backfield. When the progression tells our quarterback to throw it in his direction we've got a lot of confidence that he'll catch it."

On Turner reasserting himself as the leader of the running game:

"Last year was a tough year for Michael in terms of how he missed so much time. He spent a lot of time working with our Athletic Performance Department in the offseason. I think he had obviously the best offseason since we've been here. We talked early on about him understanding what he's got to do after having a season with a bunch of carries like he did in year one and I think he understands that. He really worked to cut his body fat and his weight down. He's been lighter this year than last year and I think it's really helped him and helped us."

On CB Brian Williams playing nickel back:

"Brian was our nickel back last year until he got hurt, and then he was kind of held back in the offseason because of the knee surgery and we didn't get an opportunity to work him like we would have liked to in training camp. I think he's really progressed especially over the last five or six weeks in the role as the nickel. Our nickel is a guy that not only has to match up with the third receiver but he also has to be able to play the run because in certain fronts he's part of the run defense and he's also part of the rush defense as well. Brian has a very good understanding of that position for us."

On Tampa Bay's safety position after placing S Cody Grimm on injured reserve and releasing S Sabby Piscatelli:

"We became aware of it yesterday in terms of we knew that there was going to be a placement on IR with Cody Grimm with the injury that he sustained in the ballgame. We became aware of the roster move that they made. I guess they feel that with the other guys, the one they brought up off their practice squad, and S Corey Lynch. We've seen Lynch, he's been a valuable player for them in special teams, one of their what we call game wreckers on special teams. He's a good football player."

On how OT Tyson Clabo and the offensive line overall have performed so far this season:

"I think Tyson and our entire offensive line is really having a very good season. The right tackle position doesn't always get the same props as the left tackle, but more and more people are moving their rushers around. There are certain games where the right tackle is going to get their number one rusher just as much as the left tackle and I think often times that's overlooked. I think Tyson is having a very good season for us and I think our entire offensive line over the last five weeks is playing as well as they've played since we've been here."

On whether there would any interest in bringing Sabby Piscatelli:

"No, there would be no thought in terms of that. We like our roster where it's at. We like the 53 guys that we have on our roster right now. We're not interested."

On how comforting it is for him to not worry about K Matt Bryant:

"It's very comforting. The games come down, so often, to a big kick in the fourth quarter. Whether it's with five seconds to go or one minute and 45 seconds to go. It's the way that the game is now. I think 29 percent, through week 11, of the games in the NFL were three points or less in terms of the spread. When you have a kicker that you have confidence in, especially when you have a kicker that you have confidence in at a distance that we have with Matt Bryant it's very comforting. To know that if we don't get the ball in the endzone and we get the ball inside a certain yard line we've got a pretty good high probability that we're going to make the field goal."

On Matt Bryant being acquired last year and now playing so well:

"The kicking position is probably one of the most unique positions in the NFL in terms of it's not an easy job and when you're not successful it becomes very apparent very quickly. Every time that he's out there on a snap, in the case of Matt, he's out there trying to score points for our football team. He's not our kickoff guy so every time he's out there it's very important that he's successful in his tries and I think he's having a very good year. He's probably having a year as good as any kicker in the League right now."

On getting his third consecutive winning season:

"We've got our own internal goals and I can assure you even last year they were much higher than having a winning season. It's good for us in terms of knowing that we're going in the right direction, but I can assure you that our goals are a lot higher than just having winning seasons. We want to be a team that is able to sustain a level of play where we're going to be a relevant team late into December and January."

On DE Lawrence Sidbury's progression:

"Lawrence is a guy that has been up and down throughout the season. When we start to put together the back end of our roster on the 45 a lot of it has to do with special teams and you're looking at different body types and what roles guys can play. Lawrence has had his opportunities to play certain weeks and other weeks based on the health of our football team we make decisions that we think are going to give us the best chance to win. He's coming along very well and I think we've got a lot of depth in our defensive line which is a good problem to have. We've been very fortunate that we haven't had any significant injuries where we've had to lose some playing time with any of our defensive linemen except for one game."




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