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Transcript: Mike Smith postgame news conference


Falcons head coach Mike Smith addressed the defense giving up explosive plays, the inability to establish a run game and how Dunta Robinson's injury affected the the defense after Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles

Opening statement:

"Obviously today was a tough afternoon for our football team in all three phases: offense, defense, and special teams. We gave up way too many explosive plays. You're not going to put yourself in the chance to win ball games when you give up the explosive plays that we gave up. Defensively, Philadelphia definitely took advantage of the mistakes that we made. We've got a whole lot of work to do, obviously, as a football team, and we will make the corrections and move forward. But it was a very tough day for the Falcons but we will get the corrections and get moving on. And with that, I'll open it up for questions."

On what led to Philadelphia's early explosive plays:

"They did. We did not produce anything on our first drive. It was not a very good punt. We ended up starting our first defensive drive at the 50 yard line and they moved the ball down the field and scored, basically in two plays, on the reverse. Mental errors and then the 80-plus yard touchdown too. We were in a coverage that should not have the ball thrown over our head and the ball was thrown over our head. That happened twice today and you cannot have the ball thrown over your head in those coverages."

On how difficult it is for QB Matt Ryan when the running game isn't established:

"I think it's difficult for any quarterback. You want to have a balanced attack and we weren't able to establish. But it's very difficult when you fall behind, 21-0, in a football game. I will say this, there was a chance for us when we came back and made it 21-10 and then had them in a 2nd down and 13 and was not able to get them off the field and have them complete that ball basically in a two-play drive. Again, when you don't have your balanced attack, it makes it a little bit tougher. I thought that, always, it's never as bad as it seems and it's never as good as it seems. We will make the corrections and we will move forward."

On if the team was ready to play:

"Well, the way we performed, I would say no. But before the ball game when you're asking, if we were ready in our preparation, I thought we had a very good week of preparation. We had very focused group of men ready to go. But obviously with our performance today, whether it was we were not ready, they were the better team today. My hat's off to their coaching staff and their players. They beat us very soundly."

On how CB Dunta Robinson's departure impacted the defense:

"Well, he's a very integral park of our defense. That was a scary hit by the way, for both guys and I know our guy's going to be okay. I certainly hope (WR) DeSean (Jackson) is as well. But, the next man up has to come in. When you lose a starter, we anticipate that the guy that's playing behind him steps up and makes plays and we've been able to do that through the first five games of the season."

On if he knew anything about Robinson's condition:

"No, I don't. I know I saw him after the ball game and he seems to be fine. Of course, it was a very violent collision between those two guys. And that's really all I know. I know that he was not going to be able to come back in the ball game."

On getting WR Michael Jenkins back and trying to get him involved early:

"Well, Michael Jenkins is an integral part of what we want to try to do offensively. It allows us to distribute the ball to more players. I think Michael made a couple plays out there and it's going to be good in the long run that we're going to have Michael available for us for the rest of the season."

On WR Jeremy Maclin's second touchdown:

"Big backbreaker. We fought back, we had the three and out to start the second half. It was a big backbreaker in terms of we went out there and we drove the ball down the field and were not able to score a touchdown, had to kick a field goal, went for it on fourth down, kept the drive going. And again, the coverage that we were in, the ball should never get over our heads and it did and we've got to make sure we address that as a football team, of course on the defensive side of the ball."

On if he was surprised by the Eagles' motions and reverses:

"No. And again, not surprised at all. This is a team that runs reverses, runs the ghost plays, which are basically the fake reverses. Jackson, I think had nine carries in the first five ball games, something that we prepared for. We did not execute. There was nothing that we saw that was anything different than what we anticipated. But when you go out there—and I don't know exactly how many plays they ran—and you're down 14-0, it makes for a long day for your team. But I know that our guys will bounce back. It's a long season, there's sixteen games, this is just one of them. We did not perform up to our capabilities today."

On if anything QB Kevin Kolb did surprised him:

"I think Kevin Kolb is a very good quarterback. He threw the ball effectively today. We did not defend very well, but he threw the ball effectively. So I think he had a very good performance against the Atlanta Falcons today."

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