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What They Said: Falcons vs. Bucs


Falcons HC Mike Smith on considerations on taking out his starters:"Absolutely not. We've said from the very beginning that we're going to play this game to win. I think we did that. We just didn't get it done today. We were low on DBs when we started the game. We only had seven dressed. We were getting low where we were going to have to change our packages, but absolutely not. We were going to continue to play to win this ballgame.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan on breaking Steve Bartkowski's franchise TD record for a single season: "It's great. I know Steve Bartkowski very well, and he's a great guy and has been somewhat of a mentor to me since I got here. To even be mentioned in the same breath as him is very significant. It's a great honor, but at this point we want to put personal records aside and try and attain the team goals that we set out to attain at the beginning of the year."

Cornerback Asante Samuel on the Falcons approaching the playoffs after Sunday:"We have to do whatever it takes to get to a win in two weeks. We lost here two years in a row in the first round and we're not trying to have that bad taste in our mouth. We're trying to go out like warriors. We're going to practice like champs and we're going to play like champs from now on."

Falcons DT Jonathan Babineaux on how it felt to play Sunday with home-field advantage clinched:"We have to give the Bucs a lot of credit because they earned this victor. We just didn't play our best football today, that is the bottom line. We had full intention to play the season in its entirety. We wanted to use this game as a stepping stone to help create momentum for the playoffs in two weeks."

Tony Gonzalez on what having a week off means:"I think it's food for our team, especially if (John) Abraham is down for an extended amoung of time and Dunta (Robinson) the same thing. It's good to have a week off to get our guys back healthy. Believe it or not, it's an advantage. It's good for us to be at home, we are extremely tough to beat at home. I know the dome will be rocking in our first playoff game. We just have to make sure we match and exceed our opponent's intensity that we'e had all season that has got us to this point to be a No. 1 seed."

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