By Matthew Asher
It’s déjà vu all over again for the Falcons regarding their post-practice Q & A with the media. For the second week in a row, the biggest story was the arrest of a Falcon following the team’s victory over an AFC West team. And for the second week in a row, Falcons head coach Mike Smith was deliberately ambiguous in his verbiage about the player in question.
Unfortunately for the media, Abraham did not comment on his Monday arrest on charges of obstructing both police and firefighters. In fact, he didn’t speak to the media at all. When the locker room was open to the media following practice, Abraham was nowhere to be found. While he was at practice, he was escorted off the field by two of the team’s public relations officials before the Q & A session began.
If this next part sounds familiar, you’re exactly right.
On Tuesday, Smith spoke about Abraham’s arrest. “Anytime anyone in our organization shows up negatively in the paper we are very disappointed as an organization,” Smith said. “There are certain policies and procedures that we have to follow in terms of the NFL and this is a legal process and we’re going to let the legal process and run its course.”
Anyone care to guess what Smith thought about Michael Turner’s arrest the previous week?
“First and foremost, any time a player sheds negatively on our football team and on our organization, we are very disappointed,” coach Mike Smith said. “This is a legal matter, and it’s very well-defined how we have to proceed with it through the league, and we’ll let this process run its course.”
Smith wouldn’t comment about Abraham’s availability for the upcoming game against the Carolina Panthers. The same thing happened regarding Turner against the Chargers. Turner ended up playing a significant role in the Falcons victory over San Diego.
Not all questions were about the recent arrests, however. With NFC South rival Carolina coming to the Georgia Dome, many of the questions were about how to stop Cam Newton and the Panthers offense.
Unlike the quarterbacks Atlanta has faced so far this year, Newton is a much more physical player who can use his feet effectively when the passing game breaks down. “We have to account for him as a runner in the offense,” Smith said. “He’s not the guy that’s going to distribute the ball. He’s going to be a guy that you have to account for.”
Over the past few years, the two teams have always played each other very closely. While Atlanta swept the series last year, it wasn’t easy. In the second match of the season, Carolina jumped out to a huge lead, but Atlanta was able to come away with a 31-23 victory. “Every week in this League you’ve got to be prepared to play because if you’re not prepared to play then you’re going to get your tail kicked” Smith said about preparing for the game.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta sports related. His work can be found on Examiner.com.