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Transcripts: Falcons vs. Saints

HEAD COACH MIKE SMITHOpening statement:

"I felt like the effort in the ballgame was good and gave us a chance to win the football game. I like how we started the game; we liked how we started the football game. I felt like we played well in spurts. Again, there were some situations in situational football that we didn't win. Unfortunately, we didn't get the outcome that we wanted."

On how he was trying to work the last drive:

"Well, if we would have gotten some yardage on third down, it opens up your playbook. There is not a whole lot of great fourth and fifteen or fourth and fourteen plays. We felt a like field goal and then get an opportunity on the plus side of the two minute with three timeouts, get an opportunity to get the football back and field goal wins the game. Unfortunately, we did get the football back, we missed the field goal, we got the football back but with only a desperation play left with five seconds. "

On giving up big plays to Jimmy Graham:

"We did. Again, there are some situations that have been our nemesis all season long. Explosive plays are one of them. We're not where we want to be in terms of playing defense, in terms of explosive plays. When you give up an explosive play, you're going to give up points on that drive; it's just statistically the way it is. We've got to get better at it. Again, there are always positives, there are negatives in every football game, but I did think the guys gave the effort. We just didn't execute all the plays we needed to execute."

On the offensive line:

"We've got to continue to work with the guys that we have. We've got some opportunities to maybe bring some other guys up that haven't been active. There are a number of things. We've got to be better schematically. We've got to make sure we're putting them in their best positions as a coaching staff in terms of the things we're asking them to do. Entirely too many pressures on the quarterback in the football game tonight. "

On fighting through some of the adversity:

"Absolutely, much better. I thought that we responded to some momentum changes, to some adversity in the football game, but still not good enough. When you don't win, it's not good enough."

On going for it on the third down:

"Yes, you always go through that mental process in terms of the decision you have to make, but there are not a whole lot of fourth and fourteens. We felt like the field goal, we had I believe 2:28, so we had a timeout before the two minute. We used the two minute as a timeout, and we were going to have an opportunity to get the ball back with the offense to only have to kick a field goal to win. Matt Bryant has kicked a lot of clutch field goals for us and given us an opportunity."

On how to get Darius Johnson to bounce back from the red zone fumble:

"Darius is a strong young man, who has come a long way in a short time in terms of undrafted free agents. Plays like that are going to happen. Unfortunately, it happened at a very bad time for our football team, but he will bounce back. The guys in that locker room will help him. That play did not lose the football game for us. There were many plays that were factors in us not winning the ballgame."

On Darius Johnson's play overall:

"I thought Darius did a very nice job. He did a great job in his matchup. They were matching their corners and most of their coverages, so he was going against the same guy almost every snap. I thought that he did a nice job in his match up. He was one on one the majority of the time."

On what the official said to you on the Matt Ryan hit in the first quarter:

"That was not a penalty, because there was not a flag thrown. Again, we will have to wait and see what happens later on in the week. The explanation I got was it wasn't a penalty. They didn't see any contact to the head or neck area, and of course what they see is what it is."

On the turnover opportunities:

"There are plays that you'll say 'gosh that is the season'....we are breaking on the ball, we are going to intercept it, two guys aggressively going towards the football. The tough thing was we injured one of our players and he had to miss some time because of that collision as well, guys trying to make plays in those situations."

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