Transcripts: Smith, Ryan Press Interviews

Head coach Mike SmithInjury Report:

"Roddy (White) did not participate. Roddy's got an ankle. Paul Soliai, non-injury related, and Harry (Douglas) and Robert Alford. Jonathan Scott was back out with limited participation."

On William Moore's status:

"Going to see how he feels today. It was a contact day. We had a padded practice; want to see how he handles that contact practice. Then, I think we'll make a decision on Friday on what we'll do. He's eligible to come back, and he's working on his conditioning. He practiced last week on scout team, so we'll get a chance to see him for a couple of more days."

On whether he expects Paul Soliai to be back tomorrow:

"No. Paul Soliai will miss practice again tomorrow."

On what he's thankful for:

"That we live in the United States of America. That's probably the thing that I'm most thankful for is that we live in America because there's no greater place. That's the thing that I'm most thankful for."

Quarterback Matt RyanOpening Statement:

"Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. All the Falcons fans out there we appreciate and are thankful for you guys, and the support you give us all year. Enjoy your holidays, be safe, and enjoy spending time with your family."

What goes on in the Ryan household for Thanksgiving?

"It's quiet at the Ryan household this year. We've had family in for games this past weekend, and they're coming in this weekend, so the actual Thanksgiving day will be quiet around the Ryan household. We've got some work to do, but I'll enjoy it with my wife."

On the Cardinal's defense:

"Very good defense that we're going up against this week. They're obviously, as a football team, they've got the best record in the NFL. They're playing with a lot of confidence, playing at a high level. Defensively, they're really good at all three levels. The defensive line is rock solid, very talented. The linebacker corps has two guys that are playing now that are playing really well. Larry Foote is a guy that has played a long time with the Steelers, and this is a very similar system. Then you look at the back end, just a lot of talent in the secondary; two corners that have played at a high level their entire careers, and a safety coming back in in Tyrann Mathieu that is opportunistic, has great ball skills."

On what makes that defense so good:

"Well, they've done a great job of playing to their system regardless of who's been in there. They're missing some of the guys that have been really productive for them in the past, but the guys that have filled in have played well within the scheme. They put pressure on you with the scheme. They give you a lot of different looks week-to-week in their front seven, make sure that your communication from a run game and a pass protection standpoint have to be on point because they give you so many different looks, and so many different pressures. I think that allows their guys in the back end to play confident and be opportunistic because they trust those guys up there to get pressure."

On throwing nine picks the past two years against them and what can he learn from that:

"There's a lot to learn against this defense. They've played very well against us the last couple of years. That said, we're 1-1 in the last two years. I think probably the biggest thing is you have to be patient. You have to understand that they're going to make some plays. They're going to get you off schedule at certain times, but you have to continue to take what's there, and I have to do a better job than I've done the previous two times against them."

On having a chance to make the playoffs:

"You can't help but understand where you're at. Moving forward we've got everything we want right in front of us. Obviously, we can't change the previous 11 games, and what we've done up until this point; I just hope that we can control what we do moving forward. We need to play the football that we're capable of playing across the board for four quarters. If we do that, I still like the football team, and the locker room that we have. I still think that we can get it done."

On playing hard at practice and whether it carries over to Sunday:

"Absolutely. Competition during OTAs, during training camp, during the season it's huge. Practicing at a high level, and going against some of the premier guys in the League is going to make it better. They've got that on both ends. I think their DB's probably challenge their receivers just as much as their receivers challenge their DB's. I think that certainly helps, and I think, when you turn on the film you see guys that know how to compete and know how to make plays, and are opportunistic; when they get their chances they make plays. It's a very good core group of guys on that football team."

On how much stronger the team is now after all the adversity in the beginning of the season:

"I think it's a tight knit group. I think you learn about people, and what they're all about when you go through some tough times. Our guys have continued to battle, have continued to prepare the way that you need to work every week. You know that only gives you a chance, it doesn't guarantee anything on Sunday, but if you don't do it, it guarantees that you won't play well. I think our guys have bought into the idea that preparation is key, and we need to continue doing that moving forward, and then when we get our chances on Sunday to make plays we've got to make plays."

On going against Patrick Peterson, and how much does he likes Julio Jones' chances against him:

"We know going into it, Patrick Peterson is about as good as a corner as there in the League, and he's going to play at a high level, and he's going to make some plays. We also know that Julio Jones is about as good as it gets at the wide receiver position in this League. It'll be a good matchup if they're matched up one-on-one. We'll see what they'll do, in terms of how they'll match us defensively, but we also like our matchup. We always feel like if we get one-on-one with any of our guys, we have confidence that they're going to make plays."

On whether the 1-0 mantra is still the same:

"It hasn't changed. The objective is the same this week; it's somehow, some way find a way to get a win on Sunday. I think guys continue to buy into that."

On whether he has division pride:

"It doesn't matter. It is what it is at this point. Each year the League shakes out differently. Our division in the past has been as tough as there is, and this year the records are what they are. We can't worry about all that. We've got to focus on trying to play our best on Sunday, trying to get a win and trying to stay in the driver's seat in our division."

On whether he'll watch some football on Thursday:

"We'll work a little bit earlier, and get a chance to spend some time with family in the afternoon. I always do. I'll flick on the games when I get a chance and sit on the couch, relax a little bit and watch them. There's some good slates for Thursday. I'll watch just like everybody else."

On Eric Berry:

"I just wish him the best. I just know him from having played against him, and what a competitor and great player he is. In these kind of situations it puts everything into perspective, and I just hope he gets better, and hope everything goes well for him."

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