Skip to main content

Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


On his observations on the first day of rookie mini-camp:

"I think our guys are excited about playing football. Their energy was outstanding and we've got a lot to learn in the next two days to get these guys up to speed with the rest of the team for when they start working out with them on Tuesday."

On his impressions of G Peter Konz:

"I thought Peter did a nice job. Of course, Peter is being cross trained at two positions. He spent most of his day at the guard position, but he did also take some snaps. I think it's obvious, he's a big strong guy."

On T Lamar Holmes and why he did not participate in practice:

"Lamar's got a minor issue with his foot and it's more precautionary right now. We will try to get him back out here; it won't be here in this mini-camp. I think it'll be closer to when we start our OTAs at the end of the month. It is something that became evident in his post-draft physical."

On how the coaches are approaching getting the rookies ready:

"It's great to be back out. We get an opportunity to coach and that's what we enjoy doing the most. For us, as the Atlanta Falcons staff, this is our first rookie mini-camp. We've always had our mandatory mini-camp two weeks after the draft where we've had all of our players in, so the sequencing is a little bit different this year. Actually, this is the first time that I have ever had and been involved with a rookie mini-camp, so it's new to me. We've got substantial numbers, but not really a whole lot. We are light at a few positions. We've got to slow things down and not run as many plays as we normally would do in a practice."

On how holding a rookie mini-camp helps the players adjust to the NFL:

"My observation from the first day, and again this is the first time I've ever done it, is that it allows them to kind of ease into it, whereas in the past we've had our mandatory mini-camp and all of our veterans are here and I am sure it's a little daunting. This is a little easier way to work into it. We slow the installation down, in terms of the coaching staff and these guys get an opportunity to learn it at a slower pace because the guys that have been with us have been doing it for so many years. My first impression of it is that I like it."

On when the drafted players arrived and how much time he has been able to spend with Konz in particular:

"They arrived yesterday. We've had some phone conversations. I know that the offensive line coaches have had in depth conversations with him. Peter is a guy that is very passionate about the game of football. He likes to be physical and he plays a very physical style of football. I am looking forward to watching him mature and learn our system as we go through this 60-day period that we have with the rookies."

On how the team benefits from rookie mini-camp:

"We get an opportunity to expose our guys to our system and we get to do it at a slower pace. That is probably the biggest thing that we get out of it. Then there will we some guys, we've got some guys here that are here on a tryout basis, we get an opportunity to evaluate them. That gives us a chance to see more guys. We have a 90-man roster limit that we have to work with, but we've got an opportunity, at least this weekend, to get exposed to some other guys."

On where G Mike Johnson fits in with Konz being cross trained:

"I think Mike is right in the middle of it. Unfortunately, Mike had to be placed on injured reserve last year and did not have an opportunity to come out and compete. He missed time in training camp last year, so I think it's going to be very competitive offseason, not only on the offensive line but all across the board. I think you'll see a stepped up attitude from the coaching staff and the players that are here. Even though it's May right now, I think you'll see the guys are very passionate and ready to go. The two weeks that we've been working with our guys prior to this they have worked extremely well, most of it being with the strength coaches though."

On FB Bradie Ewing:

"Bradie is a guy that's very athletic, can adjust and he is a guy that has pretty good hands. He doesn't have the statistics in college, as far a running the football so you think he is just a lead blocker and that's all he does. He does catch the football, catches it very well and he has good hands."

On releasing FB Ovie Mughelli:

"When you have to make decisions on your roster they are always tough. Especially with a guy that has contributed and helped us have the success that we've had. It was an organizational decision and we wish Ovie the best. We've got to move on. Our roster is always changing. It's never going to be the same and we've got to move forward for the 2012 season."

On new offensive line coach Pat Hill:

"Pat's getting acclimated. He was involved in the draft process, in the evaluations, that is something that he hasn't done in the last 15 years as the head coach at Fresno State, so we wanted to get him exposed to that again. He is learning our system and again, going from a head coach to a position coach you have to worry more about some more minute details and have a little different focus, but Pat has done a great job. The guys love working with him. He is very collaborative and interactive and I think the guys are going to enjoy working with him."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content