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Transcripts: Falcons at Bucs

Head coach Mike Smith

Opening statement

"You can always count on close games when you come down to play an NFC South game and that was no exception today. I thought it was a very hard-fought game. I thought our defense did an outstanding job, again. They were put in some tough situations after turnovers and I thought our special teams did a very nice job covering kicks today."

On Atlanta's run defense

"I thought that our run defense played very well. [Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin] is an outstanding running back that had over 1,000 yards coming into this game. We knew it was going to be one of our 'musts' and I thought we did a nice job with our run defense. I thought we played the run extremely well, controlled the line of scrimmage. That is an outstanding running back."

On LB Sean Weatherspoon

"Sean Weatherspoon is one of our best football players. We've missed him the last three weeks and having him back was a big boost for us. Not only in the way that we play the run but the volume that we can have. We have him in there; he's very efficient at what we want to do and getting us into the right fronts based on some formations."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

On his 80-yard touchdown pass to WR Julio Jones

"Julio made a great play. We had one-on-one coverage. He inside released him (Tampa Bay CB Leonard Johnson) and just tried to get back to the outside. I tried to throw it down there high and outside so he could make a play on it. He did, he made a great adjustment. That was a really big play for us this game."

On the upcoming short week with Thursday Night Football

"It's going to be important for us with the short week to get some rest tonight, to get home, enjoy this win, but get some rest and get back to work tomorrow. We played New Orleans a couple of weeks ago, so that game and their schemes are probably still pretty fresh in our minds. We've done this before. We know how to handle it. It's just going to take a good effort this week."

On the running game

"I think it's important. We ran the ball effectively when we needed to today. I thought two touchdowns down in the tight red area was huge for us. Mike [Turner] did a great job of that. Quizz [Jacquizz Rodgers] did a great job of coming in and picking up some yardage for us as well. I thought in the four-minute situation at the end of the game we ran the ball really effectively. I thought we ran the ball pretty well today."

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