FALCONS HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH

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1 FALCONS HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH Opening Statement: In terms of the ball game today, we put ourselves in some tough situations, especially early on in the first half of the game. We were 1 5 on third downs, and were not able to get anything going offensively. In converse on the defensive side of the ball we had a tough time slowing them down. I thought we fought back in the second half and tied the score up, but I believe we continued to have woes on third down on both sides of the football. Third and longs, giving them up on the defensive side, having some critical drops on the offensive side, and we weren t able to score any points in the fourth quarter of the football game. When you don t score in the fourth quarter it s tough to win, especially the way this game went. With that I ll open it up for questions On the offense only scoring three touchdowns in the past nine quarters: We are not playing very efficiently, in terms of completing third downs. We were 4 13 on third downs today, and you can t have that type of percentage. We have to protect our quarterback better. We got him hit entirely too many times. I believe he was sacked four times and was hit multiple times. Those are the areas that we have to address. We were outgained in this football game by almost 200 yards, not nearly good enough. On the receivers dropping passes: It doesn t concern me that it s a veteran player, or a young player, we ve got to complete balls. We got to make the play when the plays are presented to us. We had some opportunities today, and we did not get that done. On if he has the talent to play better than this: Absolutely. On why they aren t playing better then: That s a very valid question, and I ll go right back to what I said. When you don t convert on third down offensively, you re not going to be able to sustain drives. When you give up explosive plays their first scoring drive they had a big 47 yarder on third down and eight; they also had a 13 yard and another 12 yard play. It was just given up yardage in quick chunks, and that s not going to get it done. We ve got to be more efficient, and proficient in all areas of our football team. On when he ll step in and say what we are doing on defense is not working: We ve played very inconsistently on defense throughout the entire season, and we haven t played nearly up to our potential on the offensive side of the football either. I don t think anything is off the

2 table in terms of what we ve got to get done. These are the guys that we have on our football team. We have to coach them better. They have to play better. We re all in this together. On whether they had a good week of practice: We had a very good week of practice. Wednesday was an outstanding day of practice. I thought the training that we went through this week, not only on the field, but in the meeting rooms was very productive, and we did not carry it to the football field. I think that it is a trend for our football team for in The consistency is a major concern. On what he can do to get the defense playing better: We have to look at everything. We have to do a better job of rushing the quarterback. I thought that we moved him some. When he moved we weren t good with our rush lanes, so the quarterback was able to extend some plays. We had busted coverage. You don t give up the explosive plays that we have given up without having the mental errors. Very rarely do you see a team make a perfect throw and a perfect catch, we ve got to be much better. Our young players, our old players have all contributed to this, and we have to get it fixed, and nothing is off the table in regards to what we have to do to be better. On the confusion in the secondary: Again, I m not going to talk about specific players. Obviously, there was some confusion on some deep routes, and we ve got to be much better at it. They weren t always the same coverage; they were different coverages, and we have to make sure that we are seeing it the same way. On this being a resilient team and if the upcoming series of road games will prove that: I think it will. I think it will show how tough these guys are. The schedule makers make the schedule, we have to go out and play the games. I think it will test our resiliency as we go through these next five weeks. On the Bears three play 80 yard drive in the second half: That was probably the turning point in the game. Absolutely the turning point in the game. You can t fight back from a 10 point deficit coming out at halftime, starting fast and end up giving up the big touchdown that quickly in the second half. We ve got be better across the board as a football team. On what he tells the guys moving forward: Tell them that it s a lot of football to be played just like I told them before this week. There s a whole lot of football to be played, and the teams that play effectively and efficiently they re the ones that are going to be in the mix. We ve got to play more effectively and more efficiently than we have over the last three weeks. FALCONS QUARTERBACK MATT RYAN On the performance of the offense the past nine quarters: We have got to play better, first and foremost, I think across the board. We ve had opportunities really in the past two weeks to make more plays than we have. I don t think we have to reinvent the wheel, we just have to play better. Starting with myself, when there s opportunities to convert and make plays, we ve got to do it. On how the team was dealing with the dropped passes and long runs of the opposing team: That s part of the game. Sometimes some mistakes are going to happen. You ve got to battle through those types of things. I think with some of this we put ourselves behind schedule a little bit on offense, first and second down. Really without talking about last week, talking about this week, we didn t do good enough on the third down. When you put yourself behind and you keep putting yourself in third and longs, it s tough to keep converting them. Historically we ve been pretty good on third down. We haven t been good enough. We certainly weren t good enough today.

3 On the amount of rushes in the game: When you get in third and long situations it s tough to run the ball. Also, in some of the situations we put ourselves behind schedule in first and second down penalties and mistakes put us in some tough down and distant situations where when you re first and 30 you are going to have to throw it three times to try and pick it up. We can t keep putting ourselves behind the sticks. On knowing the team has the ability to play better: We feel like we ve got the guys to do it but the key to success is doing it, not just feeling like you can do it. I think that we ve got to find a way to get it done. Our preparation has been solid. Our performance hasn t been where it needs to be. This week and moving forward we ve got to find ways to make sure our performance is better on Sundays. On his message to a veteran player who has constant drops: Just shake it off. Those kinds of things happen. It s tough when those things happen multiple times in one game. I ve made plenty of poor throws myself. You have got to shake those off and move past them. You have to go back out there and make the play next time it presents itself. On the long stretch of away games coming up: We are six games into it and certainly we haven t played the way we are capable of up until this point. A lot of football is still left in front of us. We ve got to have a sense of urgency and it starts this week. We ve got a tough stretch coming up and we can t worry about it and we can t complain about it. We ve got to go out there and find a way to get the job done. I think that s what everyone s mindset at this point needs to be. Whatever you need to do to get yourself right and ready to go, we ve got to do that. On if a couple of plays went differently if the game would have gone differently: Absolutely, I think it s never as good and never as bad. Again, we ve got to make those plays and keep making those plays in game situations and in critical situations in order to win football games. On the vantage point of what the offense sees that the fans don t (specifically getting the ball to RB Antone Smith): I think he s doing a great job. Obviously, when he gets the ball in his hands he certainly makes a lot of plays. He s taking full advantage of that. I m sure as we move forward; we are always trying to find ways to get the ball in space with the guys we feel can make the plays. We feel like we ve got a lot of them, we really do. We re trying to get them the ball and when he gets it in his hands he is making a lot of plays. FALCONS RUNNING BACK ANTONE SMITH On the touchdown: It was a great play call. I made a great catch and the receivers did a great job of blocking on the inside. On the Bears defensive scheme: We were well prepared for the game. We just needed to make more plays than we did. We just need to go back to the drawing board and find a way to win. On the amount of touches: That s not for me to determine. I m okay with the touches I get. If I get more, that s great, too. On the social media reactions about the amount of touches: I honestly don t even get into that. I don t even know how to answer that. I m just trying to take advantage of every opportunity I get.

4 On being on the sideline in the fourth quarter: I m not the reason why we were in the game. I don t think just one guy can do it. There s no way in the world that I m the one guy making plays. It seems that way, but I m not. A lot of guys are out there blocking, Matt (Ryan) is throwing the ball and Steven (Jackson) is doing a good job. Without them, I don t have any success at all. On making the tackle on the kickoff following the touchdown: It s the will to win. I want to do whatever I need to do to help this team win. If I have to go out there and cover kicks, that s fine. I ve been doing it since I ve been here, so I take pride in that as well. When I go out there, I want to make the tackle. I want to be disruptive. That s all I try and do. On the will of the team: We just need to dig deep and come together. Just finding a way to win is the biggest thing right now. We know we ve got the talent on the team; we just have to find a way to make the plays. On the coaching staff putting the team in the right position to win: I definitely think we re in the right position. We just need to make the plays. We ve got all the talent on this team that we need to win games, we re just not getting it done right now. On how the crowd reacts when he gets the ball: I keep the noise out. I just do what I do and get to the sideline and then celebrate with my teammates as they congratulate me. Then I put my helmet on and get ready for the next play. FALCONS CENTER PETER KONZ Opening Statement: We played well early on but were too inconsistent today. Our lack of consistency is the main reason why we lost to the Chicago Bears. We have to give them a lot of credit because they came into our house and controlled the tempo throughout the game. We weren t able to gain the momentum on either side of the ball. We need to get better at getting the ball in the end zone on offense. I felt like we had productive offensive drives but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. How do you rally the team after today s loss: I think this team is full of professionals. I think the players have the mental make up to push through this tough stretch and find a way to get a win next week. We going to work our butts off and prepare for the Baltimore Ravens. Quite frankly it s just that simple. As the quarterback of the offensive line, in what capacity do you feel it s necessary to take charge: I feel like it s my job to lead the offensive line particularly when it comes to communication. We need to continue to work on our communication in between plays in effort to improve our performance on the field. FALCONS TIGHT END LEVINE TOILOLO On his performance: It was a tough day in the office. I need to play better to help our team win ball games. I feel like I let my team down a bit, but I am willing to work to make sure doesn t happen again. I look forward to practice next week to work on my game. What can you do to improve: I just think its technique that I need to improve. For example, securing the catch before trying to run is something I need to hone. The same catches I dropped today are the same ones I make all the time. I just need to concentrate on the details and learn from my mistakes. I am confident that will happen.

5 LINEBACKER PAUL WORRILOW On trying to defend Matt Forte and the receivers on the outside: Forte does pose a threat. He is so dangerous in the run game and in the pass game. You can do all you want to defend those big guys on the outside, and he is just as dangerous getting the ball out on a check down. On trying to put pressure on Jay Cutler: Cutler has a big arm, so it is important to try to get him as uncomfortable as possible. If you just let him sit back there, then he is just going to hit you and hit you for the long pass. On how to keep the team afloat as the Falcons head out on to the road: For me, you just press on. You re evaluate after each game because it can change fast. You need to put in the hard work, look at yourself, and see what you could have done better. I think all 11 guys are going to do that. You figure out a way to keep growing as a team, start playing as one, and play more consistently. DEFENSIVE END JONATHAN MASSAQUOI On trying to keep up in the League after a home loss: In this League, everything changes. It is a week by week thing, so counting us out of the race means you all do not know football. We still have a lot of games left to play. We still have a lot of faith in ourselves. All we have to do is pick one another up, get back up, and get ready for the Ravens next week. On what happened in today s game: What happened is that you have to give them their due. At the end of the day, they won. Obviously, they were the better team, and we just have to go back and find out where we made those critical mistakes. On the Bears deep bomb to Alshon Jeffery as the turning point of the game: You just cannot depict that one play and say that was the turning point. All throughout the course of the game we had many opportunities to capitalize on all three phases of the game. We did not do that today. Like I said, we just have to rally around one another and go back out there this week with our mind focused, and get ready for the Ravens. BEARS HEAD COACH MARC TRESTMAN Opening Statement: I just want to say I m really proud of our football team, exceptionally proud of our coaches who came back off a very difficult loss last week. They went to work, put together an outstanding game plan. Our players came in on Wednesday with amnesia. They put the past and last week behind them and really went to work at preparing both in the classroom and on the field. We worked hard at it all week and today all three phases came into play and playing well in all three phases really helped our football team. The football was great today. Really proud of our players and coaches and the job they did throughout the week. On the play of the three new linebackers: These guys (Khasseem Greene, Darryl Sharpton, Christian Jones) did great. It starts with Mel (Tucker, Defensive Coordinator) and our staff with Reggie Herring (Linebackers Coach) getting those guys ready. The guys on the defensive line came back and really wrapped their arms around these young linebackers. They played hard, they were in the right place. We asked them to just do your job and not do anything more than that. They played exceptionally hard and as I said our entire defense and coaching staff deserves a lot of credit.

6 Best game you ve seen for Jay (Cutler): I don t want to say that. I don t know all the stats and everything else. I can t say that. I can say we played a complete game offensively. It wasn t perfect at the start. We had a couple of field goals, we did get the touchdown. They got the points in the second half and we were able to come back and get two touchdowns in the second half, I think on a long field to my recollection. I thought as an offense we played our best game in terms of playing a complete game. On protecting the ball and the outcome: We always say that. We played a quarterback that doesn t want to turn the ball over either. He (Jay Culter) has turned over a few and he did a good job in that regard today in protecting the football. On 74 yard pass play to WR Alshon Jeffery: The protection was there number one because there was a big gap. We had Alshon (Jeffery) on a deep route and more than anything we had the protection. Alshon split the safeties, who were in a shell cover. He split the safeties and really the ball could have gone to either guy, Alshon was open deep and Brandon (Marshall) was open in the crossing route. BEARS QUARTERBACK JAY CUTLER On the 70 yard pass play to Alshon Jeffery We got the look over there with quarters on his side and the safeties low so I couldn't wait for Alshon to get out there (in the route). He did a great job adjusting to the ball." How big was the win today: "It was big. A big momentum swing. We came in knowing that we would have to get some chunks (of yards) and just couldn't dink and dunk all day. I thought the coaches did a great job installing the game plan." How fun was it getting the vertical passing game going today: "It was nice. We hit a few things vs. man and a few things vs. zone down the field. We did a good job of mixing it up. We ran the ball effectively as well." Was it frustrating not being able to get the vertical game going the last few games: "It wasn't frustrating it was just hard to go 80 or 90 yards going dink dink dink because sooner or later you will miss one and be in a third and eight. Just to keep the flow of our offense we have to go deep." What can you say about how the defense did today: "They did a good job. To lose as many guys as we did especially so late in the week and have some of these young guys step up. Some of them who don't really have a lot of NFL experience to go out there and make plays as well as they did is a testament to how hard they are working and how well the defensive coaches are instructing them. The defensive line played extremely well, too. We got them in some passing situations and Willie (Young) and Jared (Allen) took advantage of it." CHICAGO BEARS RUNNING BACK MATT FORTE On what was going through his mind before running for the second touchdown: Before the pre snap, I saw that they kind of backed off in coverage because they thought we were passing the ball. It was a quick, hidden play. The offensive line did a great job of securing the front guys, and they kind of just ran the other guys into the end zone. On whether or not it was nice to get two rushing touchdowns today: Yeah, it s always nice to do that. We had a little slow start with the rushing, especially touchdown wise, so it s nice to be in the rushing touchdown column.

7 CHICAGO BEARS WIDE RECEIVER BRANDON MARSHALL On whether or not he thought the offense was successful in the first half of the game: I think we took advantage of our opportunities. I really have to look at the film. We just made plays and Jay was really just dropping those balls in places that him and only a few guys can do. I m just proud of our offense for bouncing back. On the noise in the Georgia Dome today: There was a lot of noise in the Dome today. There was actually a lot of noise all week. On whether or not he was surprised that there were a lot of Bears fans in the stands today: No, I wasn t surprised. It was surprising two years ago when I first got here. I remember traveling in Jacksonville, Florida, and there may have been 1,000 people in our hotel when we arrived. I thought that was amazing, and that s why I always say that I love the city of Chicago. I m always appreciative for this opportunity to be a Chicago Bear. BEARS DEFENSIVE END JARED ALLEN On the ability to finish today in comparison to previous weeks: They came out of the half, guns blazing. They picked some momentum up. Good thing on that second drive, we held them to a field goal. Offense (Bears) came back out and had a big play. We go down and get a touchdown. I think that just took the momentum back. Honestly, that huge bomb to Alshon (Jeffery) really kind of took the momentum back. The crowd, our fans traveled deep tonight. Defensively, we realized it was like a home game. Once we got the lead, we knew we had to take it. We had some good situational advantages, and we got into those, we were able to take advantage. On the importance of pressuring Matt Ryan to assist backup linebackers: I thought our linebackers played great. I'll have to watch the tape. They came in and it was like business as usual. We knew as a defensive line, we knew where they (Atlanta) were having troubles, was in their O line. They had guys playing out of position, so, we really wanted to attack that and take some of the pressure off them. I thought up front we were able to do that. BEARS LINEBACKER KHASEEM GREENE On being in control of the game: We just went out there and played. We know that we can't control nothing but what we do and that's what we did. We went out there, every time we were on the field. We controlled and played with maximum effort. On linebackers coach Reggie Herring coaching backup linebackers throughout the game: Just telling us to go out there and have fun. Play fast. Be calm. Relax. Set the front. Line up. Get your feet in the ground and play football. That's what we did on all three levels. It's just a great feeling to win." BEARS CORNERBACK KYLE FULLER On the importance of the secondary making a difference in stopping Falcons receivers: It didn't put any pressure on us. We knew guys were going to step up and do their job, so there was no pressure. Everybody just went out there and did their job and we had a great team win. BEARS DEFENSIVE END WILLIE YOUNG On defense in the fourth quarter and coming up with sacks in the last half: That was crucial. We were up by a couple points, but still it's crucial time in the game to come out and still be productive. Make things happen, that's an opportunity for a defensive line to come out and get after some people without having to worry about the run game.

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