Coach Munchak's Friday Practice Report

*(on Colin McCarthy's health status)

*He is just sore, the knee is still a little stiff so we just loosened him up a little bit early in practice and then let him sit out to see how he is tomorrow and make a decision on him over the weekend. (Dave) Ball will be out one more week. (Barrett) Ruud will be questionable, he practiced though. (Gerald) McRath will be questionable but again, he practiced. Nate (Washington) wasn't feeling well so he went in.

*(on how he feels about Tim Shaw if he is forced into duty due to injury)

*He has gotten a lot of reps which has been good. We have a comfort in him just like we thought like when (Barrett) Ruud was hurt if he had to play last week then he could have helped us. He played a little last year so I think he has a lot of confidence and they have confidence in him. That gives us another guy who can play the spot if we have injuries as we go through the game depending how these things sort out this weekend.

*(on Dave Ball's recovery from concussion and if he will be a full participant in practice next week)

*Yeah we probable will next week to get a full week of just being back at it and go through the whole week. They will probably check him out Monday and assuming he is OK, so far so good. Everything is looking like he is heading in the right direction. He hasn't overworked or done a lot of physical stuff and not much contact so this way we will be able to do that next week for him.

*(on if he is worried about Dave Ball and NFL players' long-term health regarding concussions)

*Yeah, he has had some history of it but again, everyone is being more safe this year and being smart with it so I think we have done all of that and it seems like next week he will be available.

*(on if he suffered concussions as a player)

*They didn't care so much about it back then but I never had a bad one where I missed a game or anything though.

*(on if he has concerns about what kinds of health issues may be an issue later in life)

*There is no doubt for players, the more stories like that you are hearing and the studies they are doing, there is no doubt that you can't do what football players do and know have some consequence for it at some point. Some guys may be more immediate than others, but at some point all of those hits catch up with you whether it be your knees with knee replacements or your hips or your back. In this case obviously your head affects you more. I know it's hard to figure out how to correlate those things but there is no doubt that if you are hitting people with helmets all day for so many years, there is going to be some consequence from that. It's a shame to start seeing some of that.

*(on if it's imperative to get off to a hot start against Atlanta)

*I'm definitely hoping that we saw as a team how valuable that is and how it sets the tone in a lot of ways. I know you say that verbally but we finally went through that. It took us eight weeks to score a touchdown in the first quarter, but I think it's a good feeling and it was good for them to see how much different the game plays out or at least heads that way when you can do that early. Hopefully, because of that we will have a great chance early in this game to do something like that to get points on the board so we can get some momentum early, especially on the road.

*(on how Atlanta's defense has been able to keep teams out of the end zone)

*I think they are a team that doesn't take a lot of risks, kind of the bend but don't break kind of thing and they are just talented. When you get down there it's a little harder and there is less area to work in no doubt. They have been successful getting people to kick field goals and not give up the big play. They have done that everywhere on the field it seems like. They are not going to come after you as much as some other teams are and they take less risk of giving up the big play. You have to really earn it against them. You have to be patient enough to know that you have to methodically get down the field and especially in the red zone. We have done well in the red zone and so have they, so this will be a great challenge for us to get sevens, get touchdowns not field goals.

*(on the importance of Todd McClure to Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense)

*Well I think when you have a center that has played so long and is smart, I think that's almost like a quarterback having a comfort with someone that they have been playing with for a long time since he has come in the league. He makes the call. Centers do a lot more, it's almost like having a good catcher. Certain pitchers sometimes only certain catchers so I think that it's one of those kinds of things that you have that comfort that during the game in the heat of the battle, if the quarterback misses a check  then maybe he will make the right check and those kinds of things. I think it's a comfort thing.

*(on if quarterbacks look for certain receivers on certain downs)

*Sure, I think it's more about certain routes. I think quarterbacks know the receivers and what routes they run well so on certain plays they are probably thinking ahead of time where they may go. They are going to look at the coverage in the beginning to make sure it works but I think you get some of that. In the heat of the battle or on a big down you are going to lean more towards a person that has a knack for making the big play in general. You can't do it too much because the defense knows that you are doing it too so you have to be smart and I think that is where Matt's (Hasselbeck) more unpredictable with the fact that he does spread it around. I don't think there is anyone that is going to say that the Titans go to so and so on this situation because we have shown that we are spreading it around between the backs and tight ends the receivers.

*(on simulating the crowd noise at practice)

*We did it some other times during the year and I think that we have had the music available to just keep their focus that there is going to be more noise there than this quiet here. Since we had the stuff out we thought we might as well use it. We have been using it at different times for away games just for certain periods. Third down periods when we assume there is going to be a lot of noise, or goal line like today where there is going to be a lot of noise. Get those guys focusing more…It was irritating and that was the main thing to just be irritating for everybody to have to listen to and know that during the game you are going to have to really concentrate. If it's a big play going in then there is going to be a lot of noise.

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