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Atlanta Falcons Postgame Quotes 11/18

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith, Quarterback Matt Ryan and select players comment on their 25-0 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Head Coach Arthur Smith

On when he knew RB Cordarrelle Patterson wouldn't be available and how they planned to replace his production:

"We worked him out about two and a half hours before kickoff, give or take. Didn't think it was in the best interest. Obviously a guy that wants to play. He's a big part of this team. But it wasn't going to be – wouldn't be good for him. But two hours and a half before kickoff.

You have contingency plans. When you go in there, can't ever just be one for one. He's a special player. Tried everything we could. Clearly it wasn't good enough. Credit to New England."

On missed opportunities on third-and-short and fourth-and-short:

"Sure. Yeah, I mean, it was obviously -- we knew it was going to be a physical game, it was slow moving. We had our chance down there. We tried to go in a huddle on third-and-one. As we backed up, tried to make a play, then get sacked, then the penalty on the field goal. It kind of snowballed from there in that possession.

Too many times we were behind the sticks. When you do that against a really good team, that's why they consistently win. We're going to get there. I promise you that. We're going to continue to fight, get out of this thing.

It's been obviously -- last two games haven't been good enough. But it's a long season. We got seven games and we're going to figure this out."

On the lack of production in the running game:

"Sure. I mean, there wasn't a lot of things that we did well tonight offensively. I mean, you don't score points, you don't take advantage when you do have the opportunity. Like I said, a low-possession game. Defense fought and fought. Our guys fought. It's not like they didn't fight on offense. But we didn't do enough to put us in a chance to win at the end."

On how to improve offensive line play moving forward:

"Well, I think you got to look at everything. We'll take this weekend and do a lot of self-reflection. Like I said, we're going to get out of this hole because we have to and we will. We got the right guys to do it."

On whether QB Matt Ryan injured his toe and an update on him:

"We'll look at it first thing in the morning. Obviously he finished the game. We took him out at the end when there wasn't going to be enough time left. Like all our players, they'll come in tomorrow, get treatment, we'll see what the doctors say about them all."

On whether QB Matt Ryan was affected at all by his toe:

"I think if anything – it's a tough game. You're playing on a short week. You're going to have to alter plans if you think. But Matt's a warrior. He's going to keep fighting. That's what all our guys did.

If something comes up, you got to have a contingency plan. That's every player. That's what we tried to do tonight. We tried to adapt. It wasn't good enough. So we'll go back to work and we're going to get out of this hole, like I said."

On what gives him confidence the team will bounce back:

"Because we've done it before. It feels ugly right now and in this moment. Yeah, you feel obviously pretty poor when you go there, you get to 4-4, you get a big win. You guys all watched the last two games. We've done it before. Like I said, it's continual improvement. You hope not to ride the roller coaster. We got to fix things and we are going to get them fixed and we'll get them fixed in a hurry."

On what part of the recent offensive struggles has been the most disappointing:

"Well, I don't know there's one thing you say it's the most disappointing. I mean, we're not executing. We're getting ourselves -- there's too many penalties that are putting us behind. You get into some of the fundamental mistakes you're making up front or on the perimeter, I mean, so everything.

We got to go in here, use it as a mini bye, do everything we can to self-reflect and get it fixed because there's a lot of things. I mean, it's everything we got to look at it. It's never one thing.

A lot of times it looks like, 'Hey, this guy missed this block.' We may have had a protection call, guard may not have come down with him. Those are things that happen unless you don't know the play call and the scheme."

On whether QB Matt Ryan might be trying to do too much due to missing offensive weapons:

"No, I don't think -- I don't know if people try to do too much. These guys, they're all sitting there trying to win. As the game gets down, you feel it, you can feel it as a coach, guys are pressing, trying to make a play. Certainly there's moments. It's happened at different times at a lot of our positions.

I know he's a warrior. He's going to come back. We're going to work and get it fixed."

On the decision to run with RB Qadree Ollison instead of a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-short:

"Well, you get different looks. I think the biggest misnomer, if you get certain looks and you like them or you're going with a play you felt pretty good about.

People package plays all the time. If you may not get the look you want, like I said, obviously everything's on the table. We got to look at it, we got to fix it."

On whether QB Matt Ryan has the option to sneak it in short yardage if he gets a look he likes:

"Every offense in the NFL people package plays. Watch New England tonight, whether they hit the helmet, do the throw thing, it's very center issued. People call them audibles. They're not really audibles. Most people package plays now.

I'm not going to get into every single detail of our scheme. But that's pretty common in the NFL, how people package plays."

On what gives him confidence offensive line play will improve:

"Well, a lot of it is about matchup. Like I said, it feels bad now, but we have had some success this year and moments. We've got to look at the matchup, maybe schematically what we're doing. It's not all on the offensive line. We've got to get things fixed all over the offense. That's where we're at.

You sit there and you ride the roller coaster, you feel like you're improving. Obviously the last two weeks clearly not good enough. But they've done it and we're going to continue to work. That's the only thing we know how to do. That's what it is. We're going to play seven more games. As bad as this feels, a lot of things can happen in seven games.

If we hadn't done it at all, sure, you'd be, 'All right, what are you going to realistically do?' But we have and we will get it fixed. All the options or on the table. We're going to look at everything."

On the decision to switch up the personnel in the defensive front:

"Yeah, I mean, a lot of them, you're on a short week. If you got guys that are maybe a little banged up, where you're at in the season, you got guys that maybe are fresh, comes to matchups. We knew it was going to be a pretty physical game, so that's why we made the decisions we did up front."

Quarterback Matt Ryan

On the difficulty of not having Cordarrelle Patterson on the field:

"It's always tough when you don't have some of your guys out there. C.P. has been such a big part of what we've done offensively. But the rest of the group, we didn't do enough to be as productive as we needed to be. It's always tough when guys are out, but it's never an excuse. You've got to find a way to get the job done. Wasn't a good enough effort from us on the offensive side of the ball."

On his toe and what the Patriots did to limit Kyle Pitts:

"[My] toe is fine. I think it will be okay moving forward. I thought they had a plan coming in to try and disrupt some of the things that Kyle does for us, whether it be dropping guys into zone underneath, some of the crossing routes he had, some of the corner routes that he had, then trying to jam and reroute at the line of scrimmage. Credit to them. I thought New England had a good plan and played very well."

On the pressure New England was able to generate:

"I think that's one of the things we've got to watch the film. Again, I thought they did a good job defensively of trying to create internal pressure and stressing some of the things we do. We certainly have to be better than we were today. But credit to them. I thought they played well.

On whether his toe impacted his ability to throw and/or move around:

"I don't think it impacted throwing. I moved fine. I didn't think it impacted it too much."

On what he said to his teammates on the sideline:

"Just get guys going, try and create a spark. When it's not going that way, you're always trying to find the thing that's going to connect, click, get guys going. It was saying, we don't need to do anything extra, we just have to do what we're coached to do and do it really well. Across the board, myself included, we didn't do a good enough job of that the entire night."

On the offensive struggles over the last two games:

"It's been a tough five days offensively. It's just across the board. We haven't thrown the ball well enough. We haven't run the ball well enough. I've got to be more accurate. We've all got to be more effective with what we're asked to do in terms of the game plan. We got a nice little extra few days to take a deep dive into what we can do better moving forward. We certainly got to take advantage of that."

On whether there is one thing that is particularly disappointing from an offensive standpoint:

"Well, lack of production. Whatever that is caused by, that's the most disappointing. I think our defense did a nice job keeping us in the game the entire night well into the fourth quarter, making it a two-score game. We had chances. We've got to find a way. Whatever it is, whatever we have to do moving forward, we got to find a way to be more productive than we've been."

On what gives him the confidence that the team can turn things around:

"Well, there's also evidence throughout the year of what it can look like. That's what you have to look at. I know the last two games, the last five days, have been tough. I mean, there's no question about it. It's been frustrating. There has been production and good play throughout the year. We got to find a way to get back to that."

On having two consecutive difficult games:

"I think that's where you got to have -- that's where good leadership comes in, keeping the belief there. Seven games to go. Certainly, everything is still right in front of us. It's got to get corrected. That's the biggest thing I think in these types of situations. I've been through all kinds of different situations throughout my career. I think good leadership, holding people accountable, making sure that we're getting the things corrected that we need to get corrected. Those are the two things I think will be key."

On whether he has any doubt he'll be able to play next week:

"No. I felt good enough to go in the second half. I think I'll be good to go."

On his impressions of Mac Jones:

"I thought Mac did a nice job. He's done a great job all year. He's been really efficient, accurate with the football, made some great throws tonight into some tough coverage. I thought he played well, and I think he's played well most of the year."

On the interception he threw while targeting Kyle Pitts:

"It was man-to-man coverage. I was trying to lay it out in front. It felt like there was a lot of contact. We didn't get a call there, so it was trying to put it over the top, give him a chance to run and make a play. Didn't work out."

On New England's plan to take away Kyle Pitts and not having Cordarrelle Patterson available:

"Having gone against them, having watched them in the past, that's one of the things they're very good at. When C.P. wasn't able to go tonight, when we found out, you obviously come into it saying, Okay, probably next in line would be Kyle. He still did some good things for us, for sure. But credit to them. I really think they played well.

On the team's difficulty running the ball:

"It's one of the things we got to do better. We got to find a way. It sets up so many things. It slows down pass-rush, helps you set up some of the play-action pass you're doing. It wears out the defense when you run the ball effectively. That's something we certainly would like to do better."

On the possibility of running a quarterback sneak on the third-and-1 and/or fourth-and-1 plays:

"We had two chances. The third-and-1 and the fourth-and-1. Art [Arthur Smith] felt like both were going to be successful for us. In terms of a sneak front, they were kind of loaded on the inside. I don't think it would have made a difference."

T Jake Matthews

On moving forward after two losses:

"It's frustrating. It's not who we want to be. It makes you angry. We know we're better and we have to fix it and that's what we intend on doing."

On thoughts about the stats:

"Not good enough. Not acceptable. It takes all of us. I have to do a better job and as a group up-front, we have to do a better job. It's hard to pinpoint one thing. We just have to execute better, and we will watch the film and proof on it. We win next week and get this thing rolling. That's what we intend on doing."

On steps to fix things:

"I think just executing. We know what to do and we just have to do it. We got to have confidence doing it and make it happen. It's hard to give an answer and solve it right here, but it's a lot of stuff. We'll take the film out and figure it out. It's definitely a group effort, that's the biggest thing."

On what he says after each hit:

"Try to correct it. It's a special thing being a part of the offense line. It's five guys working together like that, and we all have to do a better job and that's our priority. Don't let anybody touch the Quarterback and have to improve on that. It's frustrating but it's a long season."

On how he keeps this from falling apart:

"Just regrouping. That's the beauty of the NFL. You get an opportunity every week and these last two weeks are nowhere near where we want to be as a team and it's not what we want to be known for. We have another opportunity next week and we win there. Like I said earlier, we start this thing and get rolling. It's a long season."

CB A.J. Terrell

On the team's mood after the game:

"Just having short-term memory. Just have to finish games, play complete quarters, and bounce back and get ready for Monday."

On the challenge of bouncing back after back-to-back lopsided losses:

"Like I said, just having short-term memory. Like the last two games we played, just have to come together, play a complete game, and just dominate."

On Coach Arthur Smith's postgame message to the team:

"Just bouncing back, get the bodies right during the break, and come in Monday and just get back ready to work"

On the team still believing on making the Playoffs:

"Definitely. That's the mindset we have to keep. Like I said, another game next week coming up, just have to put this in the rear-view window and just move forward."

On next steps to get ready for the Jacksonville Jaguars:

"Get our bodies right. These next couple of days, get our bodies right leading into Monday and just getting a head start watching film and get ready for them."

RB Qadree Ollison

On the mood in the locker room following loss:

"After any loss, it's disappointing. You know, you never want to come out after a game with a loss. But honestly, it's also optimistic at the same time. We've got a lot of the season left and it's nowhere near being over for us. Everybody I think is ready to get back to work and move on to Jacksonville and really start making a push because there's still a whole lot of the season left and we're far from out of it."

On what it's like on offense when the team is unable to sustain drives:

"It's obviously frustrating. We want to and have to be able to execute and help out the defense and put points on the board. When you go out there and really don't do that, it's frustrating. But I think the biggest thing for us is continuing to keep working and keep grinding and keep our head up and chin up at all times."

On first impressions of why the offense was unable to perform up to expectations:

"I think we shot ourselves in the foot a lot with just little things and little penalties. When you're playing a team like New England, the thing that New England is really good at is not beating themselves. So you kinda have to play like a really, (doesn't have to be) flawless (game), but you can't have the little penalties and you can't beat yourself and for figurative terms, shoot yourself in the foot. And we had too many little (things) that put us in first-and-15s or stuff like that, so we've got to better with that."

On assessment of personal performance:

"I mean honestly, I don't think it really matters because we didn't get the win. I wanted to try and definitely bring a spark and bring a different type of running style to the offense, especially with CP (Cordarrelle Patterson) not being able to go. I know for a fact he wanted to play, so I was thankful and grateful for the opportunity. I really just wanted to bring a spark and really just do my job — that was the biggest thing this week is just doing your job."

On any advice Cordarrelle Patterson gave before the game:

"CP, that's my big bro. He really took me under his wing. He's the same person every day, no matter if it's game day, practice, off day. He's the same person and he pretty much told me it's just football. At the end of the day, that's just what it is and what we've been doing our whole lives — don't make it really bigger than what it is. You know, it's just football and I know everybody knows that."

CB Darren Hall 

On the change that need to be made moving forward for the seven games left in the season:

"Just continue to get better and do your job every day. I know myself, I could just do my job better every day. Continue to thrive and get better, know the playbook, know the game plan, and just continue to get better every day."

On the mood in the locker room after the loss:

"Yeah, we're upset, however, we know we're still in this. It's a long season, we still have seven games left. You never know, we could win the next seven games and be at the top of the division, so just continue to get better every single day."

On why the team's performance was better against the New England Patriots than against the Dallas Cowboys:

"I think we just all did our job. We kept the team key's pretty simple, just do your job. Don't do anyone else's job, don't worry about if anyone else is going to do their job, just be focused on yourself and doing your job every single play which then we will have a better chance at winning."

On whether or not he was on the field during Nelson Agholor's touchdown:


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