Skip to main content

Transcript: Mike Smith postgame interview


Opening Statement:

"Guys, we talk all the time about starting fast and sustaining our level of intensity and our level of play for 60 minutes. We also talk about we want to be able to run the football and possess the ability to finish games. I thought it was evident today that we did that in those three principles. I thought in all three phases of the game we played well. With that being said there's still a lot of things that we to get corrected. Way too many penalties. We had, I believe six penalties for 75 yards. Those are going to hurt you in close games. I was really pleased with the men in that room, and the men out there on that field the way that they responded today."


On RB Jason Snelling:**

"I mean what can you say about this guy. He had over 180, I think 180 yards, total yards…182 yards and three touchdowns. Just says a lot about the depth of this team that our personnel staff has put together over three years. He's just a darned good football player. Not only running the football, but catching the football. I thought our offensive line opened up some nice holes, not only for Jason, but for when RB Michael (Turner) was in there."

On whether RB Michael Turner was going to return in the second half:

"No, when the score went the way it did there in the second quarter we were not going to put Michael Turner back in the ball game. We had to rely on Jason. Some of the things that we had to do schematically and formationally we had to adjust because really we only had two healthy running backs and one of them was our fullback in Ovie Mughelli."


On whether Turner's injury was significant:**

"I don't think it's significant. He was talking about going back into the ballgame. He was cleared to go back in so I don't think it's going to be anything significant. I have yet to talk to the trainers and have my postgame meeting with the trainers. But that's my belief."


On the defense:**

"I thought that our defense did some very good things. Again, we had an eight-man spacing issue. When you give up an 80-yard run it just absolutely chaps you. I know our coaching staff, we'll get that corrected. We can't be giving up those explosive plays in those situations. All in all it was good to see some of our young players play. S William Moore in his first start I thought that he was a very active player. He had the interception there right coming out of the second half which was a big, big series for us as a football team. Had another opportunity to make some plays. From the naked eye, we made some mistakes and he made some mistakes, but I was very pleased with the way that William handled his first action (as a starter)."


On the defense holding the offenses to two touchdowns in the first two games:**

"Well through the first two games, and again, it's a long season. This is a young defense that's learning. Defensive Coordinator Coach VanGorder and his staff have done a very good job bringing these guys on and when guys have to step up and come in and play when a guy goes down they've done a nice job. You cannot give up those huge, explosive plays. They're going to come back eventually and get you. They got us last week and this week we were able to overcome it. But you can't give up big plays. They are flying around, they're a fun group of guys to be around, a fun group of guys to coach. I thought they've done a nice job for the first two weeks. We still have to become more consistent if we want to be the type of defense that we really want to be."


On the defense holding them on third down:**

"0-8 on third down efficiency. This is again, been a subject of discussion in this room at other times. It's also something that in the offseason, as you guys know and through the preseason it has been the number one emphasis of our defensive staff is for us to be efficient on third down and win third down and limit your exposures to offensive plays. When you limit exposures to offensive plays it helps your chances and enhances your chances of being successful. We've done a nice job in these first two ballgames."


On whether the offensive line penalties were a concern**:

"Yes, it is a big concern. We want to try to play penalty free. The other concern is on our side of the ball we had two unnecessary roughness (calls). We're going to play on the edge. I don't know, I'll have to see the tape in terms of if it was a flop or an unnecessary roughness. No, you can't go through that sequence like we did there and be as efficient as you want to be as a football team. It will definitely be one of the many things that we have to address this week as we go through the process of putting this game to rest in the next 24 hours and moving forward."

On what made the offense more effective in today's game opposed to last week:

"I think that we did some things that are more characteristic of the way we play football in terms of the way that our guys play on the offensive side. That is playing with a very aggressive style. Playing with a very physical style and I thought that we were the tempo setters in the game today and I think that's very, very important for any successful team is that they have to set the tempo and control the tempo."


On whether the injuries to RB's Jerious Norwood and Michael Turner were concerning:**

"I don't know that there was concern, I don't know that there were doubts. We felt very confident in Jason Snelling and his ability to run the football. We had a package in place, we always have a package in place that if we went down to one back and it happened to be our fullback that we have plays that we can run and protections that we can basically operate with in the ballgame. It was a concern but I never really felt that was going to be an issue running the football. Especially with the way that our guys started this game in the way that they set the tempo."


On FB Ovie Mughelli having as many carries as he did today:**

"It was great to see Ovie run the football. Ovie is a guy that spends most of him time leading a ball carrier through the hole. It was good that Ovie had an opportunity to run the ball and I thought that he ran it very effectively. I think it shows that we do definitely have some depth on the offensive side of the ball as well."


On QB Matt Ryan's improved play:**

"Matt had three touchdown passes and had a 117.3 quarterback rating. I thought that he operated more effectively. I thought that his accuracy was a little bit better in this ballgame and I thought that when we asked him to do things in the no-huddle sequencing that he did a good job there. Again, all of these young guys, we're a young team that has a lot of experience. When I say we're a young team that has a lot of experience, our third year players that were in our first draft class have got a lot of snaps under them. But there's still a learning curve that we're going through as a football team. You're always going through a learning curve and you hope that it doesn't stay as steep. You want your guys to do the things they're capable of doing all the time but there is a learning curve. I thought Matt did a very good job running the offense and operating in the confines that we have in our offensive scheme."

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