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Replay: Patriots Unfiltered Wed Dec 08 | 12:00 AM - 11:55 AM

What They're Saying: Atlanta Falcons

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Atlanta Falcons coaches and players discuss their upcoming game against the New England Patriots.

On facing the Patriots...

"They've played well. The last four or five weeks they've played really well. I think what he said is true when you watch them. They're fundamentally sound and play physical and they're tough and they play for four quarters. That's been their recipe for success for a long time but certainly, the way that they're playing this year and always think they're well coached and I always think they're a tough football team. That's certainly what you see when you turn on the tape."

- Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan

"It's an exciting new challenge. The Patriots are a very good team. Very disciplined. They do the right things. It's been a great culture since they've been around. It's a great opportunity for us and we're excited about it."

- Falcons Linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji

On the Patriots defense...

"I think the one thing they don't get enough credit for is how physical they are. They're physical, they're going to jam you. It's going to be a good pro football game. That's why you can see that's what most of his teams have. They improved as the season goes on and that's what they're doing right now."

- Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith

On Bill Belichick...

"Well, we all strive to reach the record he's got for Super Bowls. He's somebody that's done it at a high level for a long time with a lot of different styles of teams. I think the one thing they don't get enough credit for is how physical they are. You know, even the runs. I mean, you watch them play right now and they're doing a heck of a job. They're as physical as any team and if you go back and look at the defenses he coached with the New York Giants to how they built that Cleveland team, they're big physical teams, that's one thing nobody's ever given enough credit for, and they're physical as hell. That's how they played in that kind of environment in the AFC East. They play a lot of cold games. They got a big physical team, and that's what they've done this year. They're playing really efficient on offense. They're asking the quarterback; he's going to make the right read for them. They're playing really well as a team. They got it and went out and spent a lot of money in free agency. They got a really talented defense. They're physical, they're going to jam you. It's going to be a good pro football game, and that's why you can see as most of his teams have, they've improved as the season goes on and that's what they're doing right now."

- Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith

"I have tremendous respect for the man. If he's not the best football coach ever in the NFL, then he's certainly among the top couple. He can beat you in so many ways. They can run the ball and win a game and they can throw the ball and win the game. I've seen them go no huddle for a quarter. Now, it looks like they run the ball a lot with all these two back formations that we haven't seen, but don't be surprised if they throw the ball every down. They can change overnight. There's been so much continuity with him [Bill Belichick], Josh [McDaniels] and Ivan Fears."

- Falcons Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees

On Mac Jones...

"He played at Alabama. He's smart, he's efficient. He's doing a really good job for them. Can tell he's doing what they're asking them to do."

- Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith

"I haven't seen him play a lot, to be honest. Just from the opponents we've gone against. Just a little bit here and there. But he looks poised. I've been impressed. I mean, nothing seems too big for him. He goes out there and just continues to compete and make good plays for them. Seems to get them in the right plays and right protections and those kinds of things quite a bit. So, of the little I've seen, I think he's done a good job."

- Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan

On facing the Patriots on Thursday night...

"These are the games that everyone is watching so you want to perform at your highest level. At the end of the day it's a normal game just in primetime, but same preparation, same everything."

- Falcons Tight End Kyle Pitts

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