After the second playoff loss in two seasons Falcons players had plenty to answer for on Sunday evening. Atlanta can do nothing but forge ahead, taking what happened this season and in recent seasons, storing it in the memory bank and improve. For the Falcons, there's still nowhere to go but up. Following the game, many players talked about where to go from here. Head coach Mike Smith and Matt Ryan spoke about just putting things behind him. Todd McClure, a 13-year veteran, may have decisions in the future and Sean Weatherspoon and Dunta Robinson shared their thoughts about being leaders on the a defense that will need some positive words.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith: "We're going to start (Monday) in trying to make this team better. We'll have our exit interviews (Monday) and it's going to stink for a long time. You've got to move forward and work toward the next season. The 2012 season for us starts (Monday). We've got great expectations and we've got to fulfill them."
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan: "It stings. It really does. It takes some time to get over it, but that's part of the deal. There's really only going to be one happy team at the end of the season. Unfortunately that's not going to be us. We're disappointed today, but we'll move on."
Falcons center Todd McClure: "I've definitely had thoughts. I've been here my whole career and I'd love to be back. I'll talk with my agent and with these guys (Monday) a little bit and see where that takes us."
Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon: "I think you can look back at some of the things we did and take some positive things. We did have a pretty good season. We made the playoffs and won ten games, but it's not enough. That's what competitors have to look at. When the season is over and you don't reach your goal, you've got to figure out a way to reach that goal. You've definitely got to take some of the positive things, but you've got to use the negative things as well, the things that you did mess up on or the things you can't let happen again. That's something that all of our guys are going to do."
Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson: "Just stay hungry. Next year is a new year. Make sure you're doing the right things in the offseason and remember the goal. The goal for us is to win a world championship. Keep that in mind and let that motivate you in the offseason. Let's report here with the same feeling and get rid of this feeling. Put it behind us and say let's do whatever it takes not to have the feeling we've had for the past two years."