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04 November 2016

Atlanta Falcons Postgame Quotes (11/3/16)

“We knew this was going to be a hard-fought battle; the division games always are. It’s going to take everyone in all three phases for us and that’s exactly what happened. I thought the players and coaches really put forth a good plan heading into a short week to get ready. We went through that process and we did. It was definitely an all hands-on deck moment for us. Every week we have a group that will step up and make some plays. We’re not always sure who it is, but I thought really it showed the first couple drives of the second half offensively and then defensively getting some stops. I thought that was one of the real critical parts of the game. For us, attacking at all three phases is where we’re at our best.”
(On what it’s like when quarterback Matt Ryan heats up)
“He’s got a real locked in look about him. We knew we had some [options] and he had the correct reads and the correct progressions. He’s really been on point, Matt has. He knows where to go with the ball, the decision to make it, and early on we didn’t have as many catches with [wide receiver Julio Jones] Ju and then he took fire again in the third quarter as well. Our run game came alive again tonight and when we have that balance, that’s where we can be so challenging.”
(On seriousness of cornerback Desmond Trufant’s injury)
“We don’t know the extent of it yet, so we’re hopeful that it’s not serious, but we don’t know the full extent of it. We’ll get an MRI tomorrow and then we’ll come back and obviously tomorrow morning we’ll have more information for you regarding that.”
(On cornerback Jalen Collins’ performance)
“I thought Jalen did a good job. I know he got challenged on one that was over to the sideline that he would like to have back, but it was a really physical tackle at the goal line that I was very glad to see. He looked fast, played with good length outside, and did exactly in terms of style we want to play outside. He did a good job going in. We thought he’d have a chance and he stepping up, just like we expected him to.”
(On getting other offensive weapons involved besides wide receiver Julio Jones)
“The amount of guys that get involved in the game is a big topic for us. We were pleased to see [wide receiver Taylor] Gabriel in a play we had been working on in practice for a few weeks, so it just wasn’t one this week. Sometimes you have to have that time go and feel comfortable with it, so it was great to see Gabe get involved. He had a nice catch on the keeper as well, so that’s where we’re at our best; we’re able to run the ball, have play action, and then take our shots down the field. We were aggressive with those tonight and I thought our receivers in particular played very aggressively tonight after the catch.”
(On confidence of position within the NFC South moving forward)
“We knew going in as a division game, this was for sure going to be a battle and it was. As we get ready, we’re on to the next one when we get back. As far as looking too far ahead, one of the things that I do like about our team is we’re able to stay on the present moment and focus on the team that is at hand. I think sometimes when you can look too far ahead, that can jam you up. Our focus this week was on us and how well we could attack, so we’re going to stay right in that window.”
(On how good he believes the team can be)
“Right now, offensively we’re playing very well and I can hitch on that. I thought special teams wise, we’ve got to get rid of some of the penalties that have been jamming us up. Defensively, our tackling is improving and our speed is improving. Through the first nine games we have allowed more big plays then we’d like. For us to complete all three phases, we can for sure improve in the red zone on both sides. That will be a real factor for us and what we are looking to do moving forward. As far as the whole team goes, they’re a very tight knit group and they love battling for one another, so that part within the locker room, it’s a very tight group and they really want to play hard for one another. We’ve got lots of areas to improve and that’s what we intend on doing.”
(On improvement of pass rush defense)
“I certainly felt [defensive tackle] Grady Jarrett and the mobile quarterbacks give you a challenge and [quarterback] Jameis [Winston] is no different where he can get outside the pocket and create another first down that was with his legs today. We’re working hard at it. Different guys are stepping up and making different plays. With [Derek] Shelby out, we’ve tried Grady some more inside and he’s answered that challenge. We will continue to work the guys inside to see who else we can develop along as our pass rush goes.”
(On what was working on offense)
“I think in the second half, specifically coming out, I thought Julio (Jones) got us going, kind of sparked us in that first drive in the second half. Not really sure how many catches he had on that drive and in the second half in general. His play really got us going. I thought our offensive line did a great job the entire night. Going against a really good front seven, a really good defense, credit to those guys up front, they played really well.”
(On what it feels like to improve during the game)
“It feels good, we had some opportunities early to come away with more points than we did and so from that standpoint it is a little disappointing. You need to capitalize, especially you’re your defense gives you a short field opportunity, I think we had two of those tonight. We came away with field goals I think both times. We’ve got to be better than that offensively but I thought we responded really well in the second half and got it going and made some plays.”
(On Taylor Gabriel and how he fits in the offense)
“Well, I think he’s fitting in pretty good. He’s done a great job for us. Obviously he’s made some really big catches but also he is a versatile guy, we could use him on the sweep today which was nice. He’s just another piece of the puzzle, which is a good thing. I think for us to be at our best we have to get a lot of guys touches and we’ve done that pretty well so far.”
(On who is seen stepping up for the team)
“I think our young guys specifically stepping up. Jacob Tamme goes down and we have Levine Toiolo up, we have Austin Hooper up and Josh Perkins up and our tight ends come up and make two touchdowns, huge touchdown catches for us so I think at different times we have had a lot of different people step up. Tonight I thought out tight end play was really good, both in the run game and pass game. Terron Ward is another guy who has kind of come in. I think that’s been the coolest thing to see is that regardless of who we’ve asked to do certain things, guys have stepped up and have done a good job with their role.”
(On confidence this season)
“First game of the year, [Tampa Bay] played a little bit better than we did that day. I felt like we have continued to improve from that time of the year. For me, that’s like the best thing from a confidence standpoint is that we continue to get better week in and week out. In terms of in division, always you want to take care of business in division and especially on the road so that was important tonight.”
(On Ryan spiking the ball)
“That’s kind of a little thing our running backs have gotten into. When they score touchdowns they give it to the offensive line to spike so I guess Pat (DiMarco) confused me with an offensive lineman so I couldn’t let him down, leave him hanging so I tried to give him my best spike attempt.”
(On 4 straight 1st downs)
“Well, the play calls we had on the coverage for us to go to that spot and that’s how it happens. You just trust that he is going to make plays versus the coverage and I am trying to read it as best I can. That’s the thing about our offense right now is that everybody’s patient, everybody understands that at different times the balls going to come that way and when it does make the best of that opportunity.”
(On how much pride he takes in improving his play every week)
“I’m just happy to be here. We’re on the road right now. Winning right now and just the preparation and just being here with my brothers. It doesn’t start with me. It starts with my O-line. It starts with the running backs and the practice squad. I just feel like I’m blessed to be here and have this opportunity to improve and show my talents.”
(On how he became involved in the run game)
“We had it in last week, but didn’t get to run it, so I’m glad (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan), he depended on me to come through again. He called it. I didn’t think he was going to call it and he called it and it eventually ended up working.”
(On how exciting it is to be a part of this offense especially with the depth at wide receiver)
“Just to see those guys out there. When I’m not getting the ball – just to see those guys catch the ball – (Mohamed) Sanu, Julio (Jones), (Justin) Hardy to (Aldrick Robinson), to (Eric) Weems out there doing things on special teams. It’s not just one person, it’s everybody doing something. I’m just blessed to be here and have this opportunity.”
(On what “Set it off” means to him)
“Set it off means whoever is going to make the play first to wake us up, to get us going. That’s just a phrase that we say. ‘Who’s going to set it off first?’ It could be anybody from the (offensive) line to special times to anything. That’s just a phrase that we say.”
(On how much pride the team takes in “setting it off’’)
“Oh, we take a lot of pride in setting it off. Just to go out there and have that opportunity to go out there and play this game, so whoever sets it off first will set it off.”
(On the defense getting pressure on Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston)
“It felt good getting pressure, most definitely. [That was] one of our objectives as a unit. We got that done today. Got a couple quarterback hits, a couple sacks and it feels good. We’re just trying to improve week-by-week as a unit and just keep it going.”
(On the defense getting stronger each week)
“We’re just kind of finding our stride working as a whole versus working as four different individuals. It’s the whole defense as far as the coverage, the up front. So it all worked together. We’re improving week by week. Just got to continue to work on our finish. I feel like we’re building something good.”
(On having a high-scoring offense)
“It’s awesome when you have an offense that can move the ball like that, with dynamic playmakers that we have. It takes us [Atlanta’s defense] to get the ball back to them, so we’re working as a whole unit. We’ve got a special group here called brotherhood and we build on that week by week.”
(On how it feels to be at the top of the NFC South)
“It feels awesome. It feels awesome, but we’ve still got two more division games left. Still got seven more games left in this regular season. Our mind set is, ‘Finish, put this one behind us and on to the next.’ That’s what special about that group. We’re worried about our next game.”
(On being able to rush the quarterback and getting two sacks)
“I guess it’s just my turn for it to come. We’ve been getting there every week. We’ve just got to keep hunting and it will come for other guys too. Tonight was my night and it felt good to get those sacks.”
(On if it is hard containing Winston in the pocket)
“It is, it is. Last year he made a really great effort play against us where everybody thought he was down and he got up and ran. We definitely wanted to make sure that his second efforts, he felt us. That goes for the forced fumble, the sack. Those are all second-effort plays. That’s something that we use to our advantage.”
(On getting a division win on a short week in between games)
“Short week or not we still stuck to our routine and we nailed it as a whole team. I felt like that had a big thing to do with this win as our preparation. A division win it doesn’t get any better. They beat us in the first game. We came back out this win and we’ve got two more divisional games to go back and try to get. We’re ready, we’re on to the next”

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