Transcripts: Atlanta Falcons Postgame


Opening statement:

"All right guys, we'll get started tonight. First, a couple things from the ball game, I thought number one offensively it was good to see our run game get going tonight. I think on the first touchdown drive was 75 yards, 62 of the 75 came on the ground, so I was pleased to see from the line of scrimmage getting our feet running and I thought Tevin had some nice runs in that and we saw some speed from him. One of the things defensively we were challenged on was on third down, so I think defensively we were one out of 11 so I was pleased from that standpoint for where we're looking to go on third down. From the special teams standpoint it was nice to see [Justin] Hardy get loose, he had a 70 yarder that set up a long return, and so those are kind some of the things I wanted to highlight offensively, defensively, and from teams. From Thomas [Dimitroff] and I, and the coaches and the personnel staff, some updates ahead from decision making, there were just some guys that completely battled. Not just tonight, but the whole preseason and there's a lot of gratitude from Thomas and I's stance on the players and how hard they were willing to go for it. That was clearly at hand today, and with that I'll open it up to questions regarding the game."

On how the OL performed tonight:

"I think both ways got credit, one I thought from the runners they did a good job finding some creases and finding some space. And then, we're still developing in terms of the line of scrimmage and how we play so it was great to see them get going again tonight. Always on the challenge of how we can do that, we're looking for that balance offensively. We know that we've got some weapons outside, how we can feature those guys and we can feature them in the run game as well, and we're going to keep battling and keep digging for it and try to get that part of our football right as well."

On Grady Jarrett:

"Number one I thought he was really disruptive, Grady was. I think he ended up with four tackles for loss and a sack, and I think we felt that disruption. But we've really been wanting to see that, the movements that he can make, he's got real initial quickness off the ball. It was great for him to really battle for it and you could tell he was comfortable, has the scheme down, it was great to see him have a night like tonight."

On being able to see enough from the backup quarterbacks:

"I think that was part of the plan from last week's game and into this week's game, so it's time we got together as coaches and we put the plan together and said 'okay let's make sure over the next couple weeks that we get great evaluations in terms of who would be our backup quarterback.' They're two of the guys that we have some tough decisions on ahead, regarding that with T.J. [Yates] and Sean [Renfree]. I love the toughness that Sean displayed. I think on the one long pass to Carlton [Mitchell] he really took a shot and stayed right in there and showed the competitiveness and toughness that he's about. Tough decisions ahead for sure."

On Rex Grossman still being in the mix:

"We'll have to go back and watch the stuff from tonight, but right now Sean and T.J. are going to be the ones we're focusing on."

On players who got more playing time in tonight's game:

"That part of the game, you know there were some guys going for it, just like they have in the others, but they got more extended playing time in some ways in this game so we're looking to get some of those extra looks at some of the linebackers, [Derek] Akunne was one and [Nate] Stupar, [Allen] Bradford, so it was important for us to get a better look at all the unique things they can bring, and not just on special teams but on defensive end as well. At safety we're still digging in there, and [Charles] Godfrey has been part of it where he was going with William [Moore] and [Kemal Ishmael]. That was another spot we were looking hard at. And the tight end side, [D.J.] Tialavea, he was another one we were trying to get another look at. He got some turns as well today, a number of guys. Then on the offensive line, Joe [Hawley] has been back in, [James] Stone has been back in, there were a lot of guys and they're really going for it."

On where he stands with Joe Hawley:

"[It is] Just at part of the competition, as we're all the way going through. All the rehab, all the stuff to battle back, and as we go through all of our evaluations at practice as well. [He is] still right there in the mix of the competition, right at the center of it, literally. For him, it was good to see him battle through some stuff tonight."

On Jon Asamoah:

"Jon [Asamoah] and Jake Matthews as well, we excused them both tonight. Both Jon Asamoah and Jake Matthews were excused tonight medically. Jon with his hip and Jake with his back so both those guys. I should've hit that on the start of this, I'm sorry about that. Both of those guys were excused for medical reasons."


On the final roster:

"It is obviously not in my hands, but I feel good about myself and the way I played, the preseason I had, and the game I had. I made some improvements every day. I know that is what coach is looking for, and that all is I can do."

On comfort with the offense:

"I feel more comfortable every week. I felt really comfortable tonight. There were a couple passes tonight where I had a good read on the ball, and the way that I threw it." 


On being ready for the regular season after being injured during the preseason:

"I'll definitely be ready to go.  We have a couple more days, so I have a couple more days to get treatment to get myself ready. So I'll be ready to go next week."

On his first big run in the NFL:

"It felt pretty good, we've been practicing hard, and in practice coach said it was going to be there, so I ran it hard and it was open."

On his experience with the zone blocking schemes in college translating to the NFL:

"It definitely helps, that's basically how his offense is, stretch zones and things like that. I'm really used to the stretch run, so when it was there I took it."

On whether breaking big runs in the preseason gives him extra confidence heading into week one:

"Definitely, it gives me a lot of confidence that I'm a good back and I can do this. I was nervous and putting a lot of pressure on myself early on, but that run really settled me down."


On the sack:

"That was a situation where they had to throw the ball, and I knew what the protection was before the play. Tyler Starr and I ran a really nice game off of it, and I came free.  That was a team effort sack right there, so it felt really good getting my first NFL sack."

On being able to play inside and outside:

"Definitely, I have the versatility to play base and nickel, so that is a plus for me. It just worked out tonight."

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