HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT
What was the reasoning on leaving the first team defense in longer than the first team offense:
"I was pissed. I was upset. I was asked this question earlier about how long they were going to play, I said some of it was performance based. We started off again playing too tentative not stopping them on third downs and letting them run all the way down the field. That's not what we do. We don't do that in practice. I was upset about that, but they responded."
What can you do to get that message across it's been three weeks in a row:
"Well, I think they got the message after that. I don't really care about it being three weeks in a row. I don't care about that. What I care about is that we get better."
How much is that recovering against 2nd and 3rd teamers, that's all they can do because that's who is on the field:
"They're playing. They're playing their schemes. I mean we gave up big plays. That's something we have got to work on. What are we supposed to do, not do that Paul (Kuharsky)? We did what we were supposed to do. We stayed in the game. We played better and then they came out."
Is there a concern on their play:
"We'll I think they got the message now. You know it's a preseason game. We didn't game plan for these guys. We tried to play. They have got good players out there, while it's not acceptable, we played too tentative. We gave up big plays. We have got to continue to work to get better."
On the other side of the ball what about the play of the offense:
"I thought Jake (Locker) played well. We didn't start out well and ran the wrong routes but overall I thought he did well. We still had 450 yards of offense. We scored points. We did a lot of good things for who it was against. We are working together to get better."
QUARTERBACK ZACH METTENBERGER
On his overall assessment of his performance in the game:
"I did some good things, but I made a few mistakes. I was able to start a couple of drives there and get a score there at the end."
On his good zip on the ball:
"Yeah, it's just my job. There's a few throws that I would like to have back. Overall, I think I did okay tonight."
On how training camp has gone thus far for him:
"I'm moving along quick. I'm picking up this offense at a good rate. Coach Woods is definitely hard on me, but I need that right now to really sustain what I'm doing and continue to progress and get better."
SAFETY GEORGE WILSON
On picking up the win:
"Everything that they got in the first half, we gave it to them, with missed tackles, penalties, miscommunication. They moved the ball down the field on us pretty consistently. As we got going in the second half, some of the second group got in there. We talked about having a different approach, a different outcome. It showed out there. Guys were out there flying around, excited, having fun. Win your individual battles and take it one play at a time."
LINEBACKER KAMERION WIMBLEY
On slowing teams down early in the game:
"To get off the field we have to execute and eliminate penalties."
LINEBACKER DERRICK MORGAN
On allowing three scores early in the first half:
"It's definitely a concern. We're definitely going to look at the tape and be very critical of ourselves and try to correct it. It's not what we're about and not what we pride ourselves as a defense. We definitely have to get better. Good news is it's preseason and it doesn't count for nothing. We definitely have to clean it up and be very critical of ourselves and get it right."
DEFENSIVE TACKLE SAMMIE HILL
On addressing concerns and making improvements through preseason:
"That first drive for our defense, we don't want anyone to go out there and go on a run like that. That is something we definitely have to get better at throughout the season and before the next game. We can't go out there and let guys go up on us. You can't always comeback."
SAFETY BERNARD POLLARD
On Devin Hester and Julio Jones touchdowns:
"The number one thing is, we can't make mistakes. We're making mistakes to beat ourselves. Not tackling, whether it is in the run game or the pass game. It was two slants that beat us. Two slants that got 14 points and that kills you. That shows the toughness of our football team to fight back. One of the biggest things right now, we have to learn from our mistakes. We really do. It's the third preseason game and it's continuing to happen. It's still training camp. We're still trying to get at this thing. The tackling, the mistakes, we have to get better at that. We have to gel as football team in this new system as well. "
HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH
"I really liked the way we started tonight's ball game. I felt that we got off to a fast start in all three phases. The energy level was very good, in terms of playing offense, defense and special teams. We controlled the line of scrimmage, moved down the field, took about seven and half minutes off the clock and scored. We got a three and out on defense, and in between that I thought our special teams played well. We did not execute at all in the second half of the ball game. We had way too many penalties. I think we had 10 accepted penalties, and there were probably four or five where there were penalties called, and the ball was completed and they were not accepted. That's an area of concern; it has been all preseason, not only for the Atlanta Falcons, but for the entire National Football League. Hopefully, we will all get this figured out before the start of the regular season."
On how refreshing it is to see explosive plays on offense with Julio Jones and Devin Hester:
"Again, you're excited about the weapons that we have on offense. We've got some guys that can make some plays when we get the ball in their hands; they showed that again tonight. We're looking forward to making the corrections and getting onto the next game."
On his thoughts about some of the penalties:
"Well, there was one that was definitely chippyness. We had a sack, we had them in a punting situation where they were going to be punting the ball inside their own 10 yard line, and we had a personal foul penalty that gave them a first down, and they went down and ending up kicking a field goal, instead of us having the ball on the plus side of the 50, we ended up giving up three points, and you can't do that. We have got to get that fixed. I don't think it's' just the Atlanta Falcons, I think it's across the National Football League here in the preseason, in terms of points of emphasis."
On his thoughts about the defensive play in the first half:
"I thought we played a good first half except for the long play. Again, what you see out there when you don't know what the call is, don't try to put a culprit on it. There's 11 guys out there, not just one giving up a big play."
On whether or not the big play given up was Desmond Trufant's fault:
"Trufant was part of the issue."
On the chemistry between Matt Ryan and Devin Hester:
"I think it's been very good thus far. We've got an explosive player that can help us on offense and special teams. Those are the types of plays that you saw tonight that we'd like to see in the regular season because it's going to help us win a lot of games."
On Dezmond Southward:
"That was a head injury. Yes it was. That announcement was correct. We'll get an evaluation here from the training staff later on tonight."
On how he thinks the offensive line played tonight:
"I thought they did a nice job. They did. That's a defensive front over there that's got some guys that's played in Pro Bowl's. They come off the edge, and I think that both of those guys did a nice job, and I look forward to the continued competition at the right tackle position next week. We'll figure that out here over the next ten days before we get to the regular season."
On whether he feels some position battles were won tonight and his feelings on the nickel position:
"I don't think there were any battles that were won tonight. Again, I'll have to watch the tape, and we'll make those determinations. When I say we'll watch the tape and make those determinations, but there were some guys that made some very impressive plays out there on the field."
On making any cuts tomorrow morning:
"We have until earlier in the week, but when we've made a decision on how we'll go with our roster moves we will announce them."
On concerns of being too aggressive on the field:
"God, I certainly hope not. We are a detailed orientated organization from top to bottom in everything that we do. So, I would certainly hope not. Is there some aggressive play? Yes, there is some aggressive play. We want to be an aggressive football team, but we have to make sure that we when the play is over there's not a yellow flag on the ground."
On players stepping up for teammates:
"Absolutely, there was punch to the quarterback's face. I absolutely have no issue with that. Not at all. That is our quarterback, and their job is to protect their quarterback."
QUARTERBACK MATT RYAN
On having a good start in the game with the offensive line:
"One of the things we talked about during the week is that we wanted to start fast. I thought tonight we did a great job of that offensively. Second drive, I would have liked for us to have gotten some points out of that. We are in a second and one situation and on the plus side of the 50. To walk away with nothing there was tough. Penalties kind of hurt us there. So that's one area we can clean some things up before we get to the regular season. All in all, I thought, a pretty good start for us."
On WR Devin Hester:
"He did an unbelievable job for us tonight. That's something we've seen during OTAs and during training camp. When you get him out onto the practice field, everyone has been very impressed. He showed what he is capable of doing, with the ball in his hands tonight."
On feeling comfortable with the offensive line tonight:
"I felt very good. We ran the ball effectively. Our pass protection of the ball was really good. We've got some things to clean up, some protection stuff and some scheme stuff. We've got the same stuff that we want to clean up on the outside. All in all, across the board, it was a really good effort."
On the disagreement between the two teams on the field tonight:
"That's just part of how this game goes. It's a physical game; tempers are going to flair at different points. I was just trying to make my way to the sideline and in all honesty that's all I really saw. I didn't turn back to see what was going on. I know our guys were out there battling tonight. I thought our attitude was really good. Heading into the regular season here in a week, I think, we are about where we need to be."
On WR Harry Douglas' block on Julio Jones' touchdown:
"That was the key to the play. Julio might have still outrun him, but you know those are the kind of plays that win games. You have guys making effort plays, down the field, to help a teammate out. We talk about it all the time, be the assist guy. Set up the play to score. Harry was the assist guy right there and that's huge. That's the kind of plays were going to need to make across the board. That's in order to be the football team and the offense we want to be."
WIDE RECEIVER DEVIN HESTER
Thoughts on offense during the first half:
"We were very explosive today. I tip my hat off to the offensive linemen. They gave Matt (Ryan) a lot of time to deliver the ball and put it in the right place. As receivers, we came up and made some big plays. Last week we didn't play up to our part, so we wanted to make sure that today we came out and solved some of the problems we had."
Thoughts on touchdown:
"Like I said, the offensive linemen gave Matt (Ryan) a nice pocket to deliver the ball perfect, and I was able to make a move on the safety and get it in the end zone."
Corrections made on third down:
"We know that third down is very important in this ball game. Whenever we can convert successfully on the third down, it is going to be hard to beat us."
RUNNING BACK JACQUIZZ RODGERS
Thoughts of offense during the first half:
"We talked this week about coming out fast and putting up points in the beginning of the game. Everything was running great the first half, especially when Devin (Hester) ran it in the end zone; that set the tone for the game."
Thoughts on running back depth chart:
"It's a great chance for all of us to get more reps and show what we've got. I think we've been doing a great job of taking advantage of all the opportunities we've been receiving."
Thoughts on personal performance in camp:
"It's been good. I can always get better in different areas of my game. But I'm just going to continue working and polishing my game."
WIDE RECEIVER RODDY WHITE
"It felt like we left a lot on the field on a few offensive drives in my opinion. We didn't finish especially when we got the ball on the 50-yard line, got two penalties and then had to punt the football. It was unacceptable. That said, we were able to make a few big plays tonight. We had some explosive plays from the receiving core but we have a long way to go in terms of improvement. For example, I felt like we should've scored at least 28 points in the first half."
QB Matt Ryan spreading the ball around tonight:
"Absolutely, we have a lot of playmakers on this team. It is going to be tough to cover when we are all on the field at the same time. We want to make it tough for defensive coordinators to match up with us on the outside."
What were the keys to being better on 3rd down this week:
"I think it's important to get in a manageable distance on 3rd downs. The shorter the distance the better. I think last week against the Texans we continuously put ourselves in bad situations in terms of distance."
OFFENSIVE TACKLE JAKE MATTHEWS
On switching to left tackle:
"It's definitely an adjustment. The biggest thing is just getting comfortable and as the game went on I got more comfortable and it's just going to take more and more reps. I'm excited to get to work and check on this film and see how I can get better."
On working with Justin Blalock now:
"I've been working with Jon (Asamoah) the last few months, and I've only been working with JB the last 3 or 4 days now. Like I said, it's just going to take reps and time but I feel confident."
Feeling overall on the first team playing longer than past games:
"Started quick, but definitely need to finish better. That was one of the biggest things. Coach Smith said we need to finish. We had a quick start, but we've got to keep it going."
OFFENSIVE TACKLE RYAN SCHRAEDER
On his play last year:
"As far as gaining experience, it was a big year for me last year. Hopefully I'll be able to play a lot more and I'm confident in my abilities."
On importance of starting 3 games last year:
"I went against good pass rushers and was able to hold my own. Getting to start, especially when I'm trying to prove myself definitely helps."
On playing time confirming he can play in this League:
"I kind of figured it out early into camp last year. I had a good camp last year and that definitely sparked my confidence to play in this League. It's huge to be able to start. I don't like sitting on the bench."
On if his play last year will affect his playing time this year:
"It's all about what you do now. To be honest with you, it's not about last year, it's about what you do on the field now."
CENTER JOE HAWLEY
On losing Sam Baker:
"Sam went down. We've got a great player in Jake (Matthews) taking over. We've got a lot of great guys that have been competing for that right spot the last few years, so I think we'll be just fine. Just a little bit of an adjustment. Moving forward, I think we'll be okay."
On how Jake Matthews played:
"I think he played well. I need to watch the film obviously, but I think we as an O-Line played with a lot of energy and sustained our blocks. We had a few mistakes we need to correct, but we'll get back in the film room and improve, as we head into the season."
On the mistakes:
"Just little things here and there; finishing on our blocks, being able to read blitzes, game plan wise, handling the rush and getting hats on the right guys. I thought we did well in the run game
On run game with Stephen Jackson out:
"I think we've been really efficient in the run game the past few weeks. Coach Tice has been pushing the explosive part, so we want to get yards, big yards, in the run game as well as the pass game. Consistency has been good. We've been pounding the ball well."
LINEBACKER PAUL WORRILOW
On the defense's overall production:
"We felt good against the run. I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage pretty well. That one play was explosive. You know, that was the story last year, all those big plays that we would give up, so obviously that needs to be addressed. Overall, we did a good job up front."
On getting sacks coming off of blitzes:
"That was good, and that was something we want to do, especially in the linebacker room when our number is called to go in there. We want to make it eat. That is what we say in the linebacker room. We keep calling our numbers to get some pressure on the quarterback."
On shutting down the run:
"That is something we want to do every game. That is something we want to continue to grow on, and I thought today was a good step for that."
LINEBACKER PRINCE SHEMBO
What plays stood out to you:
"The plays that stand out to me are the plays where I messed up. Those are the ones that you wish you could have back, but besides that, I think we grew as a unit and we need to keep on going from there."
After three games, is it easier to judge yourself:
"Yeah, but every game to me has been a learning experience. First game, I was kind of hesitant. Second game, I knew I was going, but I was not reacting as quickly. This game, I was reacting a little better. There are still things I could improve on."
On his comfort level:
"The comfort level is increasing. I can tell during the course of practice and obviously I want to study more. It is what I do at home because it makes it easier to adjust to the game."