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PRESS CONFERENCES: Mike Smith and Matt Ryan – Aug 4th, 2014

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HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH PRESS CONFERENCE

On how practice went today:

“I only got to watch half of it because I was with one side of the ball. I didn’t get an opportunity to watch our defense. I spent the day with the offense. I thought it was good work and when I watch the tape I’ll have a much better idea, but I thought the energy was good. I think we felt the heat a little bit as a team. This was really the first day that we’ve worked super hard in pads.”

 

On C Joe Hawley being expelled from practice for fighting:

“Yes, the guys knew the rules of engagement and they were violated. When they’re violated, there’s going to be a consequence. The consequence was that some other guys had to step up and take some extra reps, and we lost a good player. During the game, if that were to happen, we’re going to lose a player and we need to learn that we can’t be fighting.”

 

On whether or not there’s a fine involved with the fight:

“I’m not going to talk about fines. Those are private matters. I do believe there’s League action that could be taken if you’re ejected from a football game by the NFL.”

 

On his impression of the offensive line:

“I thought they did a nice job in certain aspects of the practice. Again, we ended up a little light at the end of practice because we had an injury to one of our offensive linemen and then we had a player that got ejected so it put a lot of stress on some other guys.”

 

On whether or not he expects these scuffles to happen when two teams go against each other:

“You talk about it beforehand and I think everybody understands the rules of engagement on both teams. We don’t want to have those things. We want to get work done. We want it to be a practice. We’re not tackling or taking people to the ground, and I think 99 percent of the time today it was done the way it was supposed to be done.”

 

On the identity of this training camp:

“I think that physicality is an emphasis point that we’ve been talking about not only at the beginning of training camp but also at the end of the season. The first thing we evaluated was that we needed to be a more physical football team, and you can’t just say you’re going to be a more physical football team you’ve got to go out and do it and prove it every day.”

 

On whether or not the team is being more physical:

“I do believe we’re doing it. There’s a fine line between overwork and underwork. You want them to be just right and as healthy as possible. But at the same time when your main goal is to be more of a physical football team you’re on a fine line every day. You’ll hold your breath as a coach.”

 

On what things he can pick up now that the team is practicing against another team:

“I think we’ll be able to pick up lots of things in terms of their competiveness. There’s always a pecking order that takes place on a football team. When you get an opportunity to work against other teams, you’re going to get to really see the true competiveness in a man. I think it’s important for us to continue to not only evaluate when we’re working against ourselves but more importantly put more weight on the evaluation when we work against other players and teams.”

 

On anything specific he saw in practice today:

“Again, I only saw one side of the football. I thought that there were some good things in terms of protection. There are some things that we’re going to have to clean up. Again, we’re still in the installation mode. Even though we have our first preseason game coming up on Friday, there will be no game planning because we’re still installing. We won’t have our entire offensive and defensive packages installed. We’re in training camp mode until after we finish the second preseason game.”

 

 

QUARTERBACK MATT RYAN PRESS CONFERENCE

August 4, 2014

 

On practice with the Tennessee Titans:

“It’s good to go against somebody else, see somebody else different during training camp. We see some different looks. I think it will be a great opportunity for us to look at the tape and evaluate where we are at. We are heading into our first preseason game this coming Friday and [have to] make some adjustments before it.”

 

On how the offensive line is coming together:

“I think we have been improving. Day in and day out we’ve been getting better. Certainly, today we were going against some different stuff. Unscouted looks, different blitzes, and those kinds of things we haven’t seen up until this point. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to watch that film and to continue to make improvements. I think they are doing a good job.”

 

On T Jake Matthews’ performance:

“He certainly doesn’t look like it [the typical rookie] to me. He is as savvy as any rookie that I have been around, in any position. He plays very physical. He is extremely athletic. I have been incredibly impressed with him, up until this point. I am excited that we were able to draft him.”

 

On whether it was frustrating practicing today and not having a game plan yet:

“I don’t think it’s frustrating. We all, especially veteran guys, understand that this is part of the process with building our team to be ready to go during the regular season. It was really good for us, today, to see some different looks. I think that part of the positive of not having a game plan, or any of those things, is that it makes you test your rules. It shows you where you’re at in terms of your knowledge of the offense. When you can adjust to things on the fly and adapt to what you need to adapt to, different looks. That stuff is huge and I thought today was really good.”

 

On RB Jacquizz Rodgers’ performance:

“Quizz is huge, huge in our passing game. He’s a great receiver, out of the backfield. He has made some huge plays for us in the past couple of years, game winning plays. His pass protection is about as good as it gets. He is a smaller guy, but he packs a lot of punch in his hits when he goes in. He does a great job of securing the pockets. I am lucky to have him.”

 

On how WR Julio Jones did against the opposing team today:

“I thought Julio looked really good. He was out there today. Coach Smith has him on a number count of his reps. Today when he was out there he ran crisp and looked explosive. He made some catches for us and he is coming along really nicely. No doubt, he will be ready to go when we get to the season opener.”

 

On whether he feels ready to play the first preseason game Friday:

“I feel good about it. I think everybody is ready to get out onto the field. That is why we practice. We practice as hard as we do. We train as hard as we do during the offseason to have the opportunity to play the games. Everybody likes to get to that part of training camp where you are actually playing some games. You get to get away from the practice field a little bit. You get a chance to showcase what you can do. I look forward to seeing what the young guys can do. You see these guys on the practice field, some have impressed. I like to see what they can do in a game like situation. That is where you can evaluate those guys the best.”

 

On whether he and Jones will get some action in preseason games:

“That is up to Coach Smith. I follow the orders and go out there to do my job.”

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