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Falcons Postgame Quotes - 8/19/2010

Atlanta Falcons players and head coach Mike Smth comment on their preseason game against the New England Patriots at the Georgia Dome on Thursday, August 19, 2010.

Matt Ryan, QB

On facing the Patriots and their ability to keep the ball away from the defense...

"I think that they had a pretty good time of possession tonight, but that's kind of their M.O.. They do a really good job with that. Their defense is good. [Patriots Head Coach] Bill Belichick always has those guys ready to go with a good scheme. I think we did some things pretty well and we have a lot of positives to draw from. Now it's about getting back to work, continuing to improve and make sure that we're peaking at the right time."

On advice to the younger players...

"The biggest thing is to keep hustling, keep working hard and continue to improve. One of the things I think we've done pretty well is we haven't made the same mistakes twice, especially in the first unit. When you have good guys, I think that's the sign of a good team and a good offense. Trying not make those mistakes twice. That's some of the things that you tell those young guys."

On having a combined practice followed by a pre-season game with the Patriots...

"I thought it worked really well. I thought that we had two really productive practices with New England earlier this week and then we went out and played tonight. Again, there were some positive things that we can draw from it. All in all, I thought it was a good experience and it gave us some really good work against a 3-4 [defense], which is going to be prevalent for us at the beginning of the season. I think that work that we had with them is going to pay dividends throughout the year."

Mike Peterson, LB

On the play of the defense in the first half...

"It definitely wasn't up to our standards for a Falcon defense. We had a chance to go up against one of the elite offenses in the League and get a chance to use them as a measuring stick. Tomorrow and Saturday, it's back to work for us and we have a lot of work to do."

On the impact of the roughing the kicker penalty in the first half that extended a Patriots drive...

"It was definitely a momentum shift, especially being the last drive for all of the starters out there. We wanted to go out on a good note. All the mistakes that we had are correctable, which is a good thing. We'll go back to the drawing board and go back to work."

On the Patriots' game plan and their push up front...

"They were able to run the ball. You have to tip your hats to them. They're a pass-happy team and I think that everybody on the defensive side of the ball and everyone in the stands think that they're going to throw the ball. When they come out and run it, sometimes it's a shocker to you. That's not an excuse but it's just great game planning and a great scheme by them."

Curtis Lofton, LB

On the play of the Patriots' running backs and third down situations:
"They had a really good plan for us. Usually teams pass the ball in those situations, but they ran it. It kind of caught us off guard. We just have to be more ready to squeeze the gaps down and stop the run."

On improvements that can be made going into next week:
"We're going to have to see it on film. Off the top of my head, I can't really think of too many. I know that we have to stop the run. That's first and foremost. We can't have people run the ball against us."

Harry Douglas, WR

On what you thought progressed in the game:
"Just learn from the things I did, I thought I was a little rusty. Other people may not, but I know how things are supposed to be. Just learn from it and try to progress each day, and each week and have no setbacks. Try to just progress and keep progressing."

On the importance of getting reps in a real game:
"I think it's real important. You can't really imitate a game, you can't really imitate when you are going against a team. You can practice against yourself, but when you're going against another team it's a big difference. The reps I took tonight were great for me, to get back in the swing of things."

*On how he feels after the game:
*"I'm feeling pretty good. I'm not sore, the knees not hurting at all. I take it as a plus, my knee progressed."

Mike Smith, Head Coach

Opening Statement:

"Alright guys, tonight we obviously didn't play anywhere near the level we need to play if we're going to be the football team that we want to be. It is the preseason, but we still didn't play at the level in any phase of the game where we want to be. We made mistakes in all three phases. There's a lot of hard work to do and a lot of evaluations we have to make so that we can play better and improve as a team. Some of the things that stood out, we couldn't get off the field on third downs. They converted on some third and 12, third and fourteens. Actually one of the touchdowns they scored was on a third down and twelves. It was our Achilles heel in the previous season and it's something that we have got to get fixed."

On the offenses inability to get into the end zone:

"We started fast, moved the ball down and got on the plus side of the 50 and then we stalled out in these first two games. It's definitely something that we are going to have to improve on. It's something that we're going to have to address. Again, I think in all three phases we were not very efficient."

On QB John Parker Wilson and his extended playing time:

"I thought that he did make some good decisions. I think he was 14 of 25 for 98 yards. The one interception was there right before halftime, it was a fourth down situation he was just trying to make a play there. I thought he made some pretty good decisions. That was one of the things that we wanted to do in this game, give him an opportunity to play against some of the seconds before we put him in a mop up situation."

On DE Kroy Biermann and his performance:

"I thought Kroy had a big play, the ball was on the ground and we didn't get the ball. It was a sack, caused fumble and we don't get the ball. It was a big play. I think he's changed his body since he's gotten here. He's worked very hard with our Athletic Performance team and I think he's going to continue to improve. I've liked what I've seen from Kroy in these firsy two preseason games."

On if Biermann is competing for a starting spot:

"There's no doubt about it. Production is what it's all about and Kroy is definitely making a statement with his play in these first two ballgames."

On the back-up quarterback situation:

"I don't believe that you can have too many quarterbacks. Chris (Redman) is an experienced quarterback, he's played in this League and started games. John Parker Wilson was a college free agent and we felt that it was very important for us this preseason to get him some game experience to see where he fits in terms of our quarterback depth."

On if he saw anything in particular on all the third downs New England converted:

"Before watching the films, one of the things that I think is that we were not convergent on the football very well. We were not taking the grass, which is something that you've got to do to be successful on defense. I thought we were breaking down, we were too cautious. We weren't playing with very good leverage. Those are all things that are correctable and I can assure you starting tomorrow those things will be emphasis points with our entire defensive unit."

On the injury to DT Corey Peters:

"That I don't know guys. In terms of the injuries I don't know anything. I have not had an opportunity to speak with the trainers or the doctors. I think we'll have a much better feel sometime tomorrow on where these guys are at."

On if there are any similarities in the five offensive series by the first team in terms of the inability to get in the end zone:

"I don't know that there's any real common thread. We've been looking at different things in terms of what we wanted to do. We wanted to start the game off last week running the football. Our first two plays this week were throwing the football. We wanted to try to get going in the passing game. I think what's happened is when we've gotten into certain field positions we haven't been as effective. You've got to convert on third downs and we had some makeable third downs. I felt like some third and fives, some third and sixes, and those are really tilted towards the offense."

On the status of players returning from injuries next week:

"Yes, again we're on track for those guys to come back and play next week barring any unforeseen setbacks in the next couple of days. It's going to be nice to see when we have our full compliment of players out there. CB Dunta (Robinson) has not participated since early on in training camp so it's going to be good to see him back out there. I know he is itching to get back out there."

On whether or not DB William Moore will play next week:

"We're hoping that William Moore will play as well. We think that most of the guys we've been holding out, we've been targeting this third preseason game. Again, that's going to depend on how they respond and the next couple of days."

On the decision to go for it on fourth and long rather than kick the long field goal:

"Well, K Michael Koenen has kicked long field goals. It was a decision that at first we thought we'd go out there and try out. Then I thought better of it and felt like it was the more prudent thing to work on our fourth down and thirteen play, you just never know if it's going to come up during the season."

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