Transcripts: Smith, Ryan Press Conferences

Head coach Mike Smith
Opening statement:

"I thought it was two halves of a football game. The first half we didn't play nearly as consistently as we needed to I thought we did a good job in the second half of the ball game to come back from the deficit that we had." 

On the first half:

"We didn't execute in the first half. There were a number of plays not only on offense, but on defense. We really had a hard time slowing them down in the first half. That is a very good football team. They have the best record in the NFL. We played much better in the second half than we did in the first half."

On Julio Jones's performance:

"When Julio is healthy and when he and Matt (Ryan) are in tune with one another they are as good as any in the NFL. He is as good as anyone in the NFL. He is hard to cover, he has great speed, and he has great hands. He is an elite wide receiver. He is one of the best, if not the best in the NFL."

On being involved in a shootout:

"I knew that they had been playing well on offense. Aaron Rodgers has been moving that offense against every team that they have played. I knew we had an opportunity to move the ball on them. Our offense did a very good job in the second half of creating some explosive plays. We started the second half fast and I think that changed things up."

On the Falcons' run defense:

"We had a hard time tackling that big back. Obviously there at the end when we wanted a stop to get the ball back to our offense and we had an opportunity to do that and we gave up the big explosive run. We did not tackle well across the board tonight, but they fought extremely hard. That is a big back and we didn't do a good job of getting multiple sets of pads on that player."  

Quarterback Matt RyanOn rallying back after trailing 31-7:

"I thought that everybody battled. We were playing against a really good football team in Green Bay, up here where they play extremely well. We had no quit, but we put ourselves too far behind early on. When you make mistakes going against a team like that it is tough to overcome. Unfortunately, we just weren't able to make enough plays to overcome what we did in the first half."

On Julio Jones:

"Julio played really, really well tonight. He competed really really hard. He showcased on the national stage the kind of player that he is. That kind of production is huge for our football team." 

On still being involved in the playoff chase:

"The opportunity keeps coming up for us. I think collectively we need to seize it. We are at the point in the season where it is time. We have to play the kind of football that we are capable of playing for 60 minutes. We are in the mix, but we need to win football games. You have to clean up the four or five plays that kind of cost us tonight, and I think we can."

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