Head coach Mike SmithOpening Statement:
"I really liked the way we started tonight's ball game. I felt that we got off to a fast start in all three phases. The energy level was very good, in terms of playing offense, defense and special teams. We controlled the line of scrimmage, moved down the field, took about seven and half minutes off the clock and scored. We got a three and out on defense, and in between that I thought our special teams played well. We did not execute at all in the second half of the ball game. We had way too many penalties. I think we had 10 accepted penalties, and there were probably four or five where there were penalties called, and the ball was completed and they were not accepted. That's an area of concern; it has been all preseason, not only for the Atlanta Falcons, but for the entire National Football League. Hopefully, we will all get this figured out before the start of the regular season."
On how refreshing it is to see explosive plays on offense with Julio Jones and Devin Hester:
"Again, you're excited about the weapons that we have on offense. We've got some guys that can make some plays when we get the ball in their hands; they showed that again tonight. We're looking forward to making the corrections and getting onto the next game."
On his thoughts about some of the penalties:
"Well, there was one that was definitely chippyness. We had a sack, we had them in a punting situation where they were going to be punting the ball inside their own 10 yard line, and we had a personal foul penalty that gave them a first down, and they went down and ending up kicking a field goal, instead of us having the ball on the plus side of the 50, we ended up giving up three points, and you can't do that. We have got to get that fixed. I don't think it's' just the Atlanta Falcons, I think it's across the National Football League here in the preseason, in terms of points of emphasis."
On his thoughts about the defensive play in the first half:
"I thought we played a good first half except for the long play. Again, what you see out there when you don't know what the call is, don't try to put a culprit on it. There's 11 guys out there, not just one giving up a big play."
On whether or not the big play given up was Desmond Trufant's fault:
"Trufant was part of the issue."
On the chemistry between Matt Ryan and Devin Hester:
"I think it's been very good thus far. We've got an explosive player that can help us on offense and special teams. Those are the types of plays that you saw tonight that we'd like to see in the regular season because it's going to help us win a lot of games."
On Dezmond Southward:
"That was a head injury. Yes it was. That announcement was correct. We'll get an evaluation here from the training staff later on tonight."
On how he thinks the offensive line played tonight:
"I thought they did a nice job. They did. That's a defensive front over there that's got some guys that's played in Pro Bowl's. They come off the edge, and I think that both of those guys did a nice job, and I look forward to the continued competition at the right tackle position next week. We'll figure that out here over the next ten days before we get to the regular season."
On whether he feels some position battles were won tonight and his feelings on the nickel position:
"I don't think there were any battles that were won tonight. Again, I'll have to watch the tape, and we'll make those determinations. When I say we'll watch the tape and make those determinations, but there were some guys that made some very impressive plays out there on the field."
On making any cuts tomorrow morning:
"We have until earlier in the week, but when we've made a decision on how we'll go with our roster moves we will announce them."
On concerns of being too aggressive on the field:
"God, I certainly hope not. We are a detailed orientated organization from top to bottom in everything that we do. So, I would certainly hope not. Is there some aggressive play? Yes, there is some aggressive play. We want to be an aggressive football team, but we have to make sure that we when the play is over there's not a yellow flag on the ground."
On players stepping up for teammates:
"Absolutely, there was punch to the quarterback's face. I absolutely have no issue with that. Not at all. That is our quarterback, and their job is to protect their quarterback."
Quarterback Matt RyanOn having a good start in the game with the offensive line:
"One of the things we talked about during the week is that we wanted to start fast. I thought tonight we did a great job of that offensively. Second drive, I would have liked for us to have gotten some points out of that. We are in a second and one situation and on the plus side of the 50. To walk away with nothing there was tough. Penalties kind of hurt us there. So that's one area we can clean some things up before we get to the regular season. All in all, I thought, a pretty good start for us."
On WR Devin Hester:
"He did an unbelievable job for us tonight. That's something we've seen during OTAs and during training camp. When you get him out onto the practice field, everyone has been very impressed. He showed what he is capable of doing, with the ball in his hands tonight."
On feeling comfortable with the offensive line tonight:
"I felt very good. We ran the ball effectively. Our pass protection of the ball was really good. We've got some things to clean up, some protection stuff and some scheme stuff. We've got the same stuff that we want to clean up on the outside. All in all, across the board, it was a really good effort."
On the disagreement between the two teams on the field tonight:
"That's just part of how this game goes. It's a physical game; tempers are going to flair at different points. I was just trying to make my way to the sideline and in all honesty that's all I really saw. I didn't turn back to see what was going on. I know our guys were out there battling tonight. I thought our attitude was really good. Heading into the regular season here in a week, I think, we are about where we need to be."
On WR Harry Douglas' block on Julio Jones' touchdown: "That was the key to the play. Julio might have still outrun him, but you know those are the kind of plays that win games. You have guys making effort plays, down the field, to help a teammate out. We talk about it all the time, be the assist guy. Set up the play to score. Harry was the assist guy right there and that's huge. That's the kind of plays were going to need to make across the board. That's in order to be the football team and the offense we want to be."