Transcript: Smith Post-Practice Interview

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Head coach Mike Smith
On practice today:

"Generally, this our situational day. I think we got some things accomplished. We got some things that we need to fix tomorrow as well. I think we got a little bit more clarity on some of our players and where they are health wise. You know we only had two guys on our injury report, and they look like they made it through as full participants today. That's a very positive thing."

On Corey Peters:

"I don't know if the decision has been made if Corey is going to play or not. He is way ahead of schedule in terms of when this injury occurred back in late December. It's almost unheard to even be back out on the field as a full participant, so he's doing a great job."

On Lamar Holmes growth from last year:

"They have a very good defensive line. That's probably the strength of their defense. They've got some guys that can hold the point against the run, and they've got some guys that can rush the passer. Anytime you get to play against guys like that, and you get an opportunity to play as much as Lamar did you're going to learn. I think he's shown maturity from last year to this year. He's done a good job for us. He's an offensive tackle in the NFL."

On Jake Matthews:

"Jake is well, well beyond his years in terms of being prepared. I had a nice visit with him before practice, and he's about as even keeled as you're going to get. He made the transition from the right side, to the left side seamlessly, and I think he's going to make the transition from 'quote' the preseason games to the real games. I think all of our guys have to be aware, whether you're first year player, or a 15th year player, the first game of the season is the most taxing on your body and we need to make sure we got enough rest as possible. We did a couple of things a little bit differently in our practice today to take some work load off our big guys. We want to be as fresh as we can be at 1 o'clock on Sunday."

On Travian Robertson's absence:

"Travian has a personal matter that he's dealing with, and our thoughts and prayers are with Travian and his family."

On the crowd playing a factor this Sunday:

"We need to be loud on first and second down, too. It's going to be a loud atmosphere, and we need to do like we've always have done when our fans come out. They know when to cheer and when we're on defense they need to crank it up. When we're on offense they need to let Matt and that offensive unit do their deal. Let's make it as uncomfortable as we possibly can for the people that we're hosting from New Orleans."

On opening against a huge division rival:

"I think the League does a very good job in terms of the scheduling. I think that they take different divisions for a couple of years and match division games up. This is the second year in a row that we've opened up, and Tampa and Carolina. Then at the end of the season we're going to basically have the same sequencing. You can't worry about who they schedule you against. The opener is always an exciting game. It just has a little bit more weight on it because it's a division game, and we all know the quickest path to a second season is winning your division. To win your division you got to beat the teams that are in your division."

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