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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview


Falcons head coach Mike Smith said defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux would miss Sunday's game against Philadelphia at the Georgia Dome because of a knee injury suffered in last Sunday's loss to the Bears

**On the first day of practice this week:

**"It was a good practice. A little warm, but I thought the guys came out here focused and ready to start our week. I really like the way that they worked."

**On whether they change the practice schedule to accommodate changes that need to be made:

**"You work on the things that you didn't do well and those were the emphasis points in practice today. In terms of changing the practice schedule, we've worked this schedule since the first day we got here and we're not going to change it in terms of what we're going to do. We're just going to emphasize the things that we did poorly in the practice today and then get into our game planning more in depth tomorrow."

**On the injury report:

**"We had some guys that didn't practice today. Of course, Todd McClure did not practice. Ovie Mughelli did not practice. Harry Douglas did not practice. Jonathan Babineaux did not practice and Chris Owens did not practice. There were five guys that did not participate in practice today. On a positive note, we got Corey Peters back out onto the field today. It was good to see him out here practicing and we'll know a little bit more tomorrow on all of these guys in terms of where they're at."

**On the first-team offense against the first-team defense in practice:

**"On Wednesdays, that's something we do every week and that's what it's for. It's for us to go out and really compete. Get our competitive juices going and it was a very spirited session and it was no different than what we've done in any of our Wednesday practices. We always try to get some good against good on Wednesday and Thursday."

**On the progression of Kelvin Hayden and James Sanders:

**"They've had a crash course over the last two weeks and I think they've done very well in terms of picking up our defense. It's just going to be a matter of time getting a comfort level of putting them in. They're definitely a lot further along this week than where they were last week."

**On simulating Philadelphia's speed:

**"Well, it's hard to do. They're one of the fastest units in the League. We have to make sure that we're taking the right angles in practice. You can simulate your angles by telling them when you think you've got the right angle, you need to take it a little bit further because those guys are going to be running a lot faster on Sunday. That's something that we have to do each and every week but this week probably more so because they have speed at the running back, wide receiver and quarterback position."

**On whether or not Michael Vick presents a larger distraction this week than the team experiences on a typical week:

**"Not at all. This team has always been a team that we go out and play a game and regardless of the outcome, we move on to the next one. We learn from the experiences we had in the previous game and we move forward. I think we're all anxious because it's the next game and we want to get out on the field as quick as possible. The guys in that locker room are very mature guys and that know that each and every week is a new challenge. We're starting our week and getting ready for that challenge."

**On the relationship between last year's opening day loss and this year's:

**"There are similarities. I tell our guys that there are three time frames that you live in. The first one is the past . You want to learn from the past but you want the past to be a springboard for the future. The second one that you can live in is the future and you can sit and worry about the future that may not occur but we can't concern ourselves with that. The one that you want to live in the majority of the time is the present. That's what we try to do. Each and every day, we want to come out and be our best. We want to learn from the past but we can't live in the past nor can we look forward to the future about what's going to happen because it may not materialize. That's how we approach it. We try to live in the now and be the best that we can be."

**On Owens' and Douglas' injuries:

**"Chris Owens, on the injury report, will be an ankle and Harry Douglas is a head and he is in the protocol to return to action."

**On Babineaux's injury:

**"That's a knee injury and he is definitely out for this ball game. I wouldn't want to comment on further analysis on when he's going to be back, but he definitely won't play this week. "

**On the team's plan to improve through acquisitions during the offseason:

**"Every team is in a changing mode from season to season. We made a move on draft day that we felt like made our team better. We made a move in free agency right before the season started that we felt like made our team better and we made a couple of moves at the end of our training camp that we felt is going to make our team better. That's the goal of our entire organization is to be the best that we can be and we're always trying to improve. I think every team in the League is doing that. There are different situations and different scenarios that every team is going through to be able to do the moves that they feel will make them better."

**On an extra sense of urgency this week:

**"Not at all, in terms of a sense of urgency. When you don't play well, there's a sense of urgency to want to get back out on the field just to have an opportunity to play better. This is a very long season. We did not start the season the way that we wanted to start it, plain and simple. This is the last time I'll talk about it and we'll move on. But we know what the task at hand is. This is a very good football team. We've got to have our game plan in place and we have to have very good execution; much better execution across the board than we had last week for us to win."

**On the principles of defense that are required to stop Michael Vick:

**"Mike is a guy that last year had an outstanding season; a Pro Bowl season…21 touchdowns, only six interceptions. Rushed the ball very well for over 6 yards per carry. He rushed for almost 100 yards (against St. Louis last week). What you have to do is you have to be very disciplined in everything that you do because he can throw the ball. He has a very strong arm. He can make the throws and if the throws aren't there and you aren't disciplined with your pass rush, then he's going to be able to hurt you with his feet. It's a big challenge for our defense because he can throw the ball and run the ball and he can hurt you doing both of them."

**On Vick becoming rattled after being hit:

**"I think every quarterback in this league, when you get hits on them, they're not feeling as good as they were before the start of the game. I think that's always one of the things that you feel like is a must that you have to do as a defense each and every week is try to get the quarterback off of his spot and out of his comfort zone."

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