Transcript: Smith Press Conference

Head coach Mike SmithOpening Statement:

"As I said after the game last night that was a tale of two halves. We were very inconsistent in the first half of the ball game, and were able to make some adjustments at halftime, and come out and create some explosive plays and get some stops against a very good football team. We fell short of what we wanted to get accomplished in Green Bay, and with that I'll open it up for questions."

Injury Updates:

"That was a very physical football game that was played last night. Both Julio (Jones) and William (Moore) are guys that are sore this morning. Julio has a hip injury, and William Moore has a foot injury. We're hoping that these guys will be ready to go at the end of the week. How much practice time they're going to get? We don't know that at this point in time, but it is our intention to do everything in our power to have these guys ready to go against Pittsburgh."

On Robert Alford:

"Robert Alford is continuing to work with our trainers, and there's not any update. We're hoping to have a better idea of where he's at, in regards to his injury in the next 48 hours or so."

On how pleased he was with offensive line play:

"I thought the offensive line did a very good job in the game. They gave up the one sack, but they were able to – especially there in the second half – provide the protection that Matt (Ryan) needed to distribute the ball. I thought they did a good job in the run game as well, especially there in the second half. We didn't abandon the run game. We had some efficient run plays there in the second half that allowed us to keep drives going, so I thought they did a very good job. Again, we knew that these guys were going to improve each week that they were out there together, and this is probably week six or seven that they've been together."

On the Aaron Rodgers fumble in the first half:

"The play was ruled dead. They had called the player down. That's what I was told. Of course we had the penalty on that play as well, it was half the distance to the goal line. We did hit the player late."

On the pass rush against Green Bay:

"We had a very hard time getting the quarterback on the ground. There were 13 plays that he extended in the game last night. I was watching the tape on the flight home, and again this morning, there were 13 plays that I felt, as I watched the tape, that he extended. All 13 weren't successful and efficient plays, but a number of them were. He did a very good job of avoiding the rush. We had some opportunities. So yes, we only had one sack, so I would say that the pass rush did take a step back. That's a very hard guy to get on the ground. He has a knack for stepping away from pressure and extending plays, and he did an outstanding job in the game last night."

On what bothered him the most about the run defense:

"Yeah, we had some misfits obviously there at the end of the game. The 41-yard explosive run we misfitted. Again, when you misfit a run there's a chance you're going to give up a lot of yardage, and that's what took place on that particular play. We didn't tackle well. Our tackling not only in the pass game, but in the check down game was a concern. We've got to get multiple pads on the big backs because they're going to run through one-on-one opportunities. Our tackling and our leverage was not very good. I can recall a couple of times we had three guys pursuing to the ball and had him within three or four yards, and we had seven missed tackles on one specific play. It was a check down play, but we've got to be much better. So my concern coming out the game was our tackling. We didn't tackle well. We didn't get the quarterback on the ground. We did give them some different looks, and forced them to move around, but when he moves around he's just as dangerous as he is when he's there standing in the pocket. That's why he's playing at the level that he's playing at right now."

On Le'Veon Bell:

"Well, he's going to have a challenge very similar to what we had in the game yesterday. If it wasn't there down the field they were going to check the ball down. Their backs were very active in the passing game yesterday, and the running back that we're getting to face this week has had 200 yards of total offense the last couple of weeks. He's not just doing it carrying the ball; he's doing it catching the ball as well. It's going to be a challenge for us. They've got a big strong quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger that's hard to get on the ground. He doesn't move like the quarterback we played this past week, but he does extend plays, so there's going to be some things we definitely have to be better at in this ball game this week than we were last night."* *

On Matt Ryan:

"I thought that he had a very good second half to the game last night. Not only he and Julio were in synch, but he and Roddy were in synch. Roddy had a couple of big conversion catches, as well as Harry Douglas. Matt was feeling the field and seeing the field, seeing the pressure and distributing the ball. He did a very good job. It was one of Matt's better halves. Again, that first half of the game, guys, was not the type of game that we are capable of playing, and we have to play much better."  

On the chemistry between Matt Ryan and Julio Jones the past couple of weeks:

"Again, when they're in synch it's difficult to slow those guys down. Julio's an outstanding wide receiver. In my mind he's the best in the NFL. I think over the last two weeks you're not going to find two guys that are going to put two games back-to-back like that, and of course for a receiver to have a big game the quarterback's got to be able to distribute the ball, and he's done a very good job, Matt has, of distributing the ball. They've been in synch. They are seeing the coverages out of the same spectrum."

On Roddy White's play last night and whether he was 100% healthy:

"Roddy is a guy that's going to fight through injury, and he was injured. He's had an ankle injury. He played, by the way, the most snaps of any wide receiver in the game last night. It's hard to keep him out. When you look at the play count Roddy had more snaps than any of the wide receivers. When Roddy had his opportunities, and the ball went his way he made some big time catches. I think that's why we threw the ball so efficiently there in the second half of the game."

On his thoughts on Cam Newton:

"I hope that he's feeling better. Anytime anybody's in an accident you're always concerned, so we wish him the best, and wish that he has a speedy recovery."

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