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Post Game Quotes: Falcons Vs Rams Press Conference

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St Louis Rams v Atlanta Falcons
Game_Onair_RobH_640x480_091613 Rob Hamilton
Rob Hamilton has spent the last 22 years in Broadcast Media across the...
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HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH

Opening statement:
“I thought that was a hard fought football game between two physical football teams, and we were able to prevail. We were able to make enough plays during the game to get the win. We obviously have a lot of things to correct.”

On holding on to the lead:
“I thought the start was very efficient, we moved the ball well, and made a big play on defense, scored on defense. Our third quarter performance was not up to speed. We have to do a number of things better. We did not run the ball efficiently and put ourselves in some situations we don’t typically like to be in.”

On Matt and Julio’s performance:
“I thought they had a very good game. Matt was (QB rating) 116 and I believe Julio had over 180 yards. They made a couple of very good football plays. Matt and Julio had a good game.”

On not running the ball due to the Rams defense:
“We ran the ball six times in the first half; we weren’t very successful at it. The way the team tried to defend us is going to dictate how we are going to attack them and was going to open up some opportunities to throw the football.”

On the injuries that occurred during the game:
“Obviously, there were a number of players that did not finish the game. I don’t want to get into any details. We will have an injury report Wednesday, but obviously, there were a number of players that did not finish the game.”

On having to make adjustments with the amount of injuries:
“It put a lot of guys out on the field that normally would not have the number of snaps that they had. It was compounded by using those backups or the guys that play on special teams. It was tough; a lot of guys stepped up on both sides of the ball today that were called on. Their role changed from the opening kickoff to the end of the game.”

On the Ram’s offense:
“We gave up some leverage on some plays. That was a good offense. That quarterback can throw the ball. I felt like for their second timeout they did a nice job. They will continue to get better as they have more experience.”

On Steven Jackson leaving the game:
“When you lose your running back for the game, it does change how you have to proceed. A lot of it had a lot to do with how they were trying to defend us and I think it opened up some opportunities and we took advantage of those opportunities. The lull in the third quarter was definitely a concern.”

On preparation for this week:
“It helps immensely. I told the team in the locker room after the game, I was very proud of the way they approached this week. We played a very physical game in New Orleans and had a long injury report, and we had some guys who spent a lot of time with our athletic performance group and worked hard to get back up to speed. The next man mentality is what the NFL is all about and I thought they did a good job.”

On Steven Jackson getting hurt on his touchdown play:
“Well, he didn’t play any after that touchdown.”

On the status of Steven Jackson:
“We will not have that injury report until Wednesday after practice.”

On Osi Umenyiora’s performance:
“I thought Osi put some pressure on the quarterback. We did not sack the quarterback in the game today, but I thought we had him uncomfortable. This is a guy who completed 71% of his passes last week. I do feel like we put him off the spot. He made some plays when he extended the snap. I thought Osi did a nice job. He scored a touchdown and any time a defensive player scores a touchdown, that is a big thing.”

On Julio Jones:
“Julio and Matt seemed to be in sync, seeing the defense the same way. When you have your receiver and quarterback doing that, you have a chance to be successful.”

On kicking a field goal on the second down with 16 seconds left:
“It was part of the formula. Sixteen seconds is the time to be able to spike a ball. If the ball would have ended up in bounds, we would not have had time to spike the football. We did not protect the quarterback on that previous play and did not want to risk not getting any points in that situation. Our cutoff for a spike is 16 seconds. You could throw the ball out of bounds but we did not want to risk having a play where the clock continued to run.”

On the lull in the third quarter:
“I don’t know unless I watch the tape if it was more mental or physical. We didn’t play nearly as efficiently in the third quarter as we did in the first half of the ball game.”

On Jason Snelling:
“Jason Snelling has done that many times for us. He is not a selfish football player and does whatever we ask him to do, whether on special teams or certain packages. He made a couple of big plays for us. The touchdown run was a very big play and he also had the third down conversion. Jason is one of those guys who understands his role, but also understands his role can change just like that in the NFL.”

On how valuable Matt Bosher is and the plays he made:
“That was a big play. It wasn’t quite the snap we wanted to have and he was able to get that out. I thought special teams play as a whole was outstanding standing on the sideline. There maybe is a different evaluation after the viewing of the tape, but he did a very good job punting the ball and I thought we did a very good job covering, we drew a number of penalties.”

On Matt taking a number of hits:
“Again, until I watch the tape I’m not going to be able to say that. My take on it is he was cleaner than he was last week.”

FALCONS QUARTERBACK MATT RYAN

Opening statement:
“Good win for our team today. Obviously, we like to get that first one as fast as possible. It was nice to get it today. I thought, collectively, as a team we did what we needed to do and we’re excited about that and looking forward to moving to next week.”

On his synergy with WR Julio Jones in today’s game:
“I think he’s a great player. Julio is, in my opinion, one of the very best in the League. Week in and week out he’s getting more consistent for us. I think that’s part of the maturation process and part of him becoming the player that I ultimately think he’s going to be. It’s been fun to work with him the last couple of years and I think that we’re at a better place than we’ve ever been and I have a ton of confidence when I look his way.”

On feeling as if he had to carry the team more with the injuries to the offense:
“I think as a quarterback, depending on the way things shake out, you feel like you always have to carry the load and make plays and try and keep that offense moving. I think it was particularly tough today with Steven [Jackson] going out, FB Brady Ewing going out; two key guys for us in our backfield. But I thought our guys stepped up. I thought RB Jason Snelling came in and played really well. He played tailback, he played fullback, and he did a lot of different things for us. RB Jacquizz Rodgers, you know he’s a guy that has been playing for us for a number of years now in a lot of different capacities and he stepped in today and I thought he did a really good job. It always makes it more difficult when you have guys like that go down.”

On keeping calm despite injuries and continuing to play strong:
“I think that’s the mindset that everybody has. While you never want to see anybody go down, it’s part of football and that’s part of this game. It’s part of being a professional too in having yourself ready to go when things change. I thought our guys did a terrific job with that today. Nobody panicked, nobody blinked. Even through the kind of highs and lows of that football game everybody just stayed the course and we had a couple really good drives in the fourth quarter to finish the game out.”

On the last touchdown drive of the game to extend the lead:
“At that time we were in a one score game and we had not really had a good drive in the second half up to that point. It was at that time, at that juncture of the game, that you have to go out and you have to make the plays then or it’s not going to happen. We stepped up to that task. I thought that our offensive line did a really good job the entire day and even in the third quarter, we just got behind the chains. We were in third and really long and when you do that against that defense, particularly their pass rush, it makes it really difficult. They led the league in sacks last year and we saw today that they’re pretty good. Other than that I thought, collectively, we did a good job.”

On the 81-­‐yard touchdown pass to WR Julio Jones:
“First and foremost we did a great job in identification of the pass protection. They had kind of a different front than we had seen from them thus far. C Peter [Konz] did a great job of identifying it at the center spot. He got everybody situated up front and got the protection slid the right way so that we had a chance in the back end. It was just one-­‐ high man coverage and we tried to work the safety to the left side to give [Julio] a chance and he just ran a great route. I through the ball probably 20 yards, he did most of the work.”

On his 34-­‐7 record at the Georgia Dome:
“I think it’s a lot of guys over the course of the last five and a half years that have made a lot of plays in this building. It comes down to us being a good football team for a long time but we need to continue to be a good football team.”

On taking advantage of the pace of the game on offense:
“I thought our tempo all day was really good. There were a just a couple of drives we didn’t sustain as well as we would have liked there, but we have to be better on first down. I think we were a little too inefficient on first down most of the day. For the most part I thought our tempo was really good and I thought that we executed the way we wanted to coming into this.”

On the importance of this win:
“You have to get that first one. It’s always important to get that first win but they’re all really important. At the end of the year it doesn’t matter how or when you get those, they all count one at the end. We just need to keep piling those wins up and keep trying to win week in and week out and we got off to a good start today.”

On the play of RB Jason Snelling today:
“Jason Snelling has been that guy for us since I’ve been here. He’s kind of the Jack-­‐of-­‐all-­‐trades. He goes in in so many different capacities for us and makes so many plays, particularly with the guys that went out he was asked to play both fullback and halfback position and particularly on that third and one play where he snuck out into the flat, he’s just a dependable player. He’s a guy that you can always count on. He’s a consummate professional. The way he prepares week in and week out whether he’s going to get 25 to 30 snaps or five to six snaps on offense he’s always prepared and always ready to go. He’s also one of the toughest players that I’ve ever been around. I remember back in the playoff game against the New York Giants a couple of years ago he played basically with a broken jaw. I’ve never seen anybody play through that. He’s one of the toughest and most prepared guys I’ve ever been around.”

FALCONS WIDE RECEIVER JULIO JONES

On how he was feeling after the game:
“I’m alright. You know it was just a long game, but I feel good overall.”

On the 81-yard touchdown play:
“It was an option route, so if it’s cover two I take it to the middle of the field, but I saw the safety roll late, so I just kept it up to the numbers. Matt (Ryan) did a great job of finding me.”

On whether or not he felt like he needed to step up more once Steven Jackson got injured:
“No, I just did my job. This offense is full of play-makers, and we have guys that can step it and carry the load and won’t miss a beat. That’s what we thrive on. Coach always tell us, everybody is one play away. You know you have to prepare yourself mentally as well. If you’re not getting those reps in practice just mentally prepare yourself. Jason Snelling stepped up, and Jacquizz Rodgers stepped up as well.”

On the win:
“This was a great week of preparation. We wanted to get that bad taste out of our mouths, so we came into work that Monday, and it paid off for us today.”

FALCONS CENTER PETER KONZ

Opening statement:
“I feel great! We got the first win here at the dome, and it’s only right that we do it here in front of a great crowd.”

Starting out fast today:
“I really think that we knew it was going to be a physical game, and it was something where we wanted to come out and prove ourselves. We had lost a close one with New Orleans, and that’s not us. We are a team that prides ourselves on finishing touchdowns, finishing games, finishing drives, whatever it is; so having a little chip on our shoulder, and going against a very good St. Louis Rams, we wanted to make a statement.”

What happened during the second half that made you step up and win the game:
“After they made some adjustments in the third quarter, they had some good defensive calls. It just became the game we knew it would be. We knew it would be close. And when it gets to the fourth quarter, our big mantra here is ‘finish, finish, finish’, so we know we had to finish the game. It was going to be close, so we had to keep scoring, we had to keep driving, making sure there was no possible way that they could get back in this game, and that kept us motivated to finish.”

FALCONS LB JOPLO BARTU

Opening statement:
“I can’t tell you how happy I am that we got the win today against the St. Louis Rams. I am proud that we hung tough throughout the game and found a way to win. We came out on fire in the first half with a lot of intensity especially on the defensive side of the ball. I also have to give the offense a lot of credit because they set the tone for the entire ball club. It was a great team win and I feel like we learned a lot as a unit from this game.”

On your individual performance:
“I thought I played a pretty solid game today. Going into this game, I just wanted to come out with a lot of intensity and find a way to make plays. I also thought our defensive communication was good which made it easier to make plays. At the end of the day, I feel like we played well enough to win.”

FALCONS RB JASON SNELLING

Opening statement:
“I am excited that we got the win. I was able to contribute to the win which makes it even more pleasing. I feel like all the guys stepped up and made plays when their number was called. It speaks to the professionalism we have as a team.”

On playing time:
“This game is ever-changing and you have to be ready on any given play. We know we have to make plays regardless of which player is on the field. This is the mentality we have as a team and I’m happy we were able to demonstrate that today against the Rams.”

FALCONS DEFENSIVE END OSI UMENYIORA

On the interception:
“I don’t know, the ball just kind of bounced off the guy’s hand, and I saw it and picked it off. Crazy enough, that’s the first interception I’ve ever had in my life. I was able to score with it. I’m just happy to help this team win.”

On him holding onto the ball for dear life:
“That’s what they keep talking about, but I didn’t want to drop the football; that would’ve been the worse play of my career. So, I just tried to hold onto it, and get into the end zone.”

On defensive play on third day:
“Well, third down is the most important down; obviously, you want to get off the field. They did a good job. They played hard. They gave us some things that we were expecting, but they were able to execute their offense, especially when they got into their no huddle. So we just have to do a better job of preparing and playing better.”

RAMS HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER:

Opening statement:
“You know in our preparation all week we knew we were going to play a very talented football team in all three phases as it has been obvious what they have done the last two years on offense. You know what’s disappointing for us is we got in a one dimensional game defensively and we just couldn’t handle it and come up with the plays when we needed them. We knew that once ‘Jack’ (Steven Jackson) went out what their run game was basically and got away from it and we just couldn’t make the plays. We did some good things at times and then we gave up two big plays on defense and then the interception return was really kind of the back breaker. I was proud of our guys and how they hung in there. We got way behind and nobody panicked and at the end we had a chance to win it and we didn’t. S Matt Daniels has a fractured ankle/dislocated ankle, he will have to undergo surgery as quickly as we can do it. T Rodger Saffold did not return to the game with a knee injury. We will check him out.”

What do you attribute the slow start to:
“Slow Start? We gave up a big play. That’s a good offense we couldn’t get off the field on third down and then we gave up the big play to Julio (Jones) which we shouldn’t that’s 14. The deflected passes, the interception returned for a touchdown that’s 21. We have had two of those and it’s nobody fault it just kind of happens they got the bounce and we didn’t .”

CB Janoris Jenkins on touchdown to Julio Jones:
“It was an outside seam route he could have been a little bit deeper, but when their offense is reduced to #11 (Julio Jones) and #88 (Tony Gonzalez) you have to understand that and you have to make the plays and we just didn’t.”

Production of play of QB Sam Bradford and the no huddle:
“Sam has a good understanding of that, he can run that, he does it in practice and it’s good to see. We got points, we got their defense tired and got it within 7 and thought we had a chance to get the ball back. We needed a key stop and we didn’t get it.”

Play of Special Teams:
“We didn’t have it (penalties) last week and now we are talking about consistency. You had a special teams unit that played really well last week and didn’t hurt themselves and then we come up with three or four penalties this week. It was frustrating. It cost us probably 15 yards but when you get backed up 10 yards we have to start with that bad field position and it makes it hard especially when you are behind.”

Adjustments at halftime:
“It’s because we were down and you know that when you get down we knew we had to pick it up. And midway through the third quarter we were going to have to come out and cut loose. After the score, we went to it. We still need to get the run game going to have balance on the offense.”

What can you take away from the game even though it’s a loss:
“The team bounced back and practiced hard. We have respect for this opponent. This team was a completed pass away from going to the Super Bowl last year. So we are disappointed and would like to play them again tomorrow. We have to correct things and get back to work and just get ready for the Cowboys.”

RUNNING BACK DARYL RICHARDSON

On his take away from the team fighting back:
“I mean you have to take it game by game and week by week. You have to get better every day and try to execute and correct your mistakes.”

On the interception:
“I took my eye off of it. I was looking to run and I need to make sure I eye ball that ball and catch it.”

On dropping the ball twice on big plays:
“Yes, you have to catch the ball first and then tuck it in, and then you can go run.”

QUARTERBACK SAM BRADFORD

On the team bouncing back:
“I think it says a lot about the guys we have in this locker-room. That’s two weeks in a row we found ourselves down. This game we were down pretty big early in the game and no one gave up. We knew all it was going to take was one play to get us going and everyone kept fighting. We made it somewhat of a game towards the end and unfortunately we just came up a little short.”

On the difference running the no huddle made:
“I think it made a pretty big difference. It seemed to just put them on their heels a little bit. I don’t think they were expecting us to go to it that quickly. We put our guys in space and they did a great job creating separation and then running with the ball after the catch, too. It was positive to see us perform that way in our no huddle.”

On running that offense for an entire game:
“That is tough to say. I think we put a lot of pressure on them and wear them down but at the same time to play that way for an entire game and those guys up front that is pretty tough on them to do that. But you never know and next week maybe it’s something we’ll go to a little sooner if we’re struggling early.”

On constraining their offences because of field position in the first half:
“I wouldn’t say it dramatically affected what we were trying to do, but there is no doubt that it affected us. It’s something that we were battling all first half and really just never seemed to quite get over the hump. We were doing a lot of things in that first half to just kind of shoot ourselves in the foot.”

On performing well in the fourth quarter two weeks in a row:
“Like I just said, I think it’s great to see from the guys in this locker room that no one is going to quit, no matter what the score is. We are going to play the game until the final whistle blows. It would have been easy for us to call it a day when we were down 24-3, but everyone kept fighting, kept battling. It was a nice finish. In the future, we just can’t put ourselves in that type of a hole.”

RAMS OFFENSIVE TACKLE JAKE LONG

On why they were more effective on offense in the second half:
“We just eliminated the mistakes. We had some penalties and mistakes in the first half. We just calmed down and started protecting Sam (Bradford). The receivers were doing a great job getting open and Sam was flinging the ball around. It was a little too late. We have to correct those mistakes early and can’t spot them that many points.”

Do you think that Sam and the offense respond better to the hurry-up no-huddle style:
“When we give Sam time we have great receivers that are fast and Sam can put the ball anywhere. It starts with us upfront and we were just running and fighting to protect Sam. We just have to do more of that.”

On having tough field position most of the first half:
“Getting down that quick was tough. We had mistakes and penalties that we have to correct. We need to watch film and get better from that. We just can’t do that early in the game.”

RAMS WIDE RECEIVER TAVON AUSTIN

On falling behind early:
“I could have had some big plays but didn’t so I blame myself some for that. At that same time I knew that we could make a comeback.”

About the dropped passes:
“I will correct it. It is something that definitely will be corrected. I will be alright.”

On his first touchdown reception:
“I’m definitely proud. The important thing is we lost. You can’t put your personal above that.”

RAMS TIGHT END JARED COOK

Did you think that they tried to key on you today and take away your chances:
“They definitely did some different things then the Cardinals did (last week). That just comes with the game. That’s part of it and no team will be the same week to week. We just need to watch the film and come back and correct it.”

Is it over simplifying it to say that they were jamming you:
“They had a linebacker every time that I released and then had a safety up over the top . It just opened up opportunities for other guys to ball out.”

Is there anything to the connection that once you went to the up-tempo style offense that you started scoring:
“I think that you just answered the question in a sense. Field position, penalties, special teams and not converting when we needed to caused our own woes as a team.”

RAMS DE ROBERT QUINN

On changes made at the halftime:
“We’re a team that never quits. We shot ourselves in the foot early. Now we need to make those big plays early. We’re still a great team. Just have to make a few more plays early and not shoot ourselves in the foot early.”

On creating a pass rush in the second half:
“Our energy just picked up. We had a whole second half to play. We never believe that we are out of the game until the clock says zero. At the end, especially when the offense got rolling, they gave the defense a lot of energy. We fell, a play or two short today, and it happens like that.”

RAMS DE CHRIS LONG

On making mistakes on the road:
“They (Falcons) are too good to make mistakes like that early. We gave them a few. It’s encouraging in a sense, because we know we have tough guys in this locker room who are mentally tough and were ready to battle back. We can play with these guys if we play a good football team. They (Falcons) are a very good football team and you can’t do that against good football teams.”

On putting pressure on QB Matt Ryan in the second half:
“Just made him pat the ball a little longer, he is good at getting the ball out quick. We just kept at it. We got there a little bit but never got there enough. He gets the ball out quick and has a lot of weapons but we have to perfect that part of our game.”

RAMS DB CORTLAND FINNEGAN

On Matt Ryan in the first half:
“Other than that one big play, I think he earned everything he got, credit them (Falcons) for being a good football team – 13-3. They are a playoff team. We had our chances and we will learn from them.”

RAMS LB JAMES LAURINAITIS

On slowing the Falcons offense in the second half:
“We had to keep fighting and find a way to get them in third downs and just win third downs. In the first half, we didn’t win third down conversions. They were moving the ball pretty easy and making more plays then we were. We have to find a way to make those plays early in the game. Can’t spot a team 21 points on the road, it’s hard enough to win on the road, let alone spot a team 21 points.”

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