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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


**On the injury report:

**"We had a number of guys that didn't participate in practice today. Tony Gonzalez didn't participate. William Moore didn't participate. Julio Jones didn't participate. Garrett Reynolds didn't participate. John Abraham didn't participate. Todd McClure didn't participate and Christopher Owens didn't participate. Those are all from injuries in the ball game. The two of them (Abraham and McClure), of course, didn't participate in ball game. We held all those guys out. In terms of status for this weekend, there's one guy that will not play and that will be Julio Jones. He'll be out this week. We hope to get him back. He worked with our training staff today, did some running around so he's already back on the field working. We are hoping that after this week, we'll get him back the following week."

**On whether WR Harry Douglas will move into the lineup in Jones' spot:

**"It will be a rotation. Eric Weems will get snaps. Kerry Meier will get snaps. One man's misfortune, I've said many times, is another guy's opportunity."

**On WR Kerry Meier:

**"We feel very good about Kerry Meier and his athletic ability. We haven't done a whole lot of four-wide sets, so he hasn't had an opportunity to get many snaps but he'll get his opportunity this week."

**On the trouble that quarterbacks, like Carolina QB Cam Newton, that can extend plays with their mobility:

**"I think it does. In terms of the quarterback that can extend the play, it puts stress on all three levels, simply because your pass rushers are chasing that guy, so that puts a lot of stress on the guys that are rushing the passer. Then, depending on what type of patterns they have called when the quarterback breaks contain or starts to scramble, they have different rules, so it puts stress on the linebackers and they to cover guys deep down the field now. For example, if they're running a crossing route, they see the quarterback start to scramble, they're going to turn up the field. The guys that are running deep routes may be running back at the quarterback. Each play has its own specific scramble rule and it does put stress on the entire defense. Our guys, that's a big emphasis point starting today, is that you're going to have to cover longer. This is a guy that has shown in the first five games that he can extend plays and there's that fine line of when you come out of coverage; we've seen it happen and he's launched the ball 60 yards down the field. They do lead the League in explosive plays, meaning plays that have gone for 20 yards or more. They're number one in the League so they've got a very explosive offense that can cause you problems in a lot of areas and one is the quarterback with his ability to scramble, extend plays and put the pressure on your entire defense."

**On the last time he had to prepare for the option:

**"It's been a while since we've had to defend the option. Again, that's part of their offense. In terms of what they're doing, they have multiple packages. We've got to make sure that we are sound because the quarterback is a ball carrier. He's their leading rusher down in the redzone, especially down there in the redzone and that creates a completely different dynamic. Most of the time, you don't have to concern yourself with the quarterback and you've got an extra hat. When the quarterback is considered a ball carrier in the numbers that you put together out there, now you've got even numbers and now somebody has got to get off a block and make a play. I think they do a very good job scheming it, especially there in the redzone. I think he's had five rushing touchdowns."

**On Julio Jones injury:

**"Hamstring, yes. Again, he was out today working with our athletic performance staff and actually out there running. That's a very good sign."

**On the specific of the other injuries:

**"Tony Gonzalez, it will be listed as an elbow. He has an elbow that was art of the aftermath of the game on Sunday. John Abraham, I think officially is a hip/groin and will be called a groin. Todd McClure is a knee and Chris Owens is in the concussion protocol. Reynolds is an ankle."

**On if it is difficult to get players back within one week in the concussion protocol:

**"It is all on the individual. There's really a number of steps that they have to go through and they have to graduate from step one to step two and it can't happen in the same day. It has got to happen by a different day, and it depends on when we get through that first step. Right now, he's in step one of the protocol."

**On how the team is preparing knowing that they have these injuries:

**"This time of the year, you come to expect that you're going to have guys that are not going to be 100 percent healthy. What we have to do is we have to prepare during the week and make sure that we have the right workload. We've got to have contingency plans in terms of if this guy can play, how we are going to put our 46-man roster together. But you've got to prepare for it and it really is important that you maintain the proper workload so you don't get more guys injured during the week."

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