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01 November 2016

Transcript: Atlanta Falcons Conference Calls with Tampa Bay Media (11/1/16)

(On his thoughts with a quick turnaround after a big win at home)
“Sure. The process that we go through to get ready, we love that and we know there’s both the external factors that come in; west coast games, Monday night games, 1 o’clock kickoffs, 4 o’clock kickoffs, so  and this one happens to be a Thursday game. So, we know that the external factors, they change every week; home and away and what time and day or night, but the one thing that stays consistent for us is we have a process that we go through to get ready and we love that process and we go through it through Wednesday through Thursday through Friday. So, this week we made Monday like a Wednesday, like a Thursday like a Friday. So, that three-day window is an important one for us to get our mind right in terms of how we want to play. So, we have a great challenge, but like I said, having a process to go through to get ready definitely helps.”
(On whether he believes momentum can be carried over from game to game)
“I think playing well can be carried over from game to game, so that’s what we like to do when we get right back to the process of getting ready again. We know when we put together a really good week of practice, that’s where it comes through for us. So we don’t necessarily look at game to game, but when we go through a really good week of practice, then we know that day of the game, we are ready to get rocking. So, that’s what I look for most, but it’s certainly when you have confidence, for sure there’s stuff gained from that when you’ve been in some tough battles. Our last three weeks, all the games have come right down to the end, so we had some disappointing finishes where we thought we had a chance to finish and we didn’t and then in this game where we did. And that’s the game that we play, that’s the NFL, so we’re glad that we had another opportunity to try to finish, but that’s what the really good teams do where they have ways to go close it and they can. So, we’ve got work to do, but we’re pleased we were able to finish it this past one.”
(On the amount of film that will be reviewed leading up to this game from Week One)
“Yeah, that’s what’s fun about the division games when you do get a chance to look back because so many of the players know each other so well from competing against each other over the years probably even more so than the coaches in this one where [head coach] Dirk [Koetter] and myself where it is his second year there and my second year here, but some of the players have been playing against each other for years. So, we totally look at film that we’ve had against one another and then past that, you look at things that may have been similar as far as your breakdowns go, but the division games, you’re always glad because you get to put your own game as part of the study process.”
(On what quarterback Matt Ryan has done differently in the past six weeks versus Week One)
“I think just the ability, I don’t really look at the stat part of it. That’s not what we necessarily go into, but his decision making, his reads, the progression they make and he has total confidence and owns that. He’s done a good job with the ball since that time spreading it out. We’ve had a number of games where we’ve had quite a few different guys that get involved. In that game, we did not get our run game going like we had hoped it would, so we weren’t quite as balanced as we like, so we’ll give Tampa credit for sure. But, they overlap five and six weeks, the ability for Matt to attack and have that confidence to throw and be aggressive, for sure he feels that way. Most of that work came through the off season and training, but we’ll give Tampa credit in the first game. They really played well.”
(On whether he likes Thursday Night Football)
“I do.”
(On the positives and negatives of playing in a Thursday Night football game)
“I do like it because it kind of gets, you’re right onto the next right away, so you have to be ready. There is a little bit of pre-planning that goes into it, but I do like it. I’d like it better if it was always a home game, but honestly I do like it, playing night games and having them as division games. Honestly, it’s a lot of fun. Any time we get to have the night games, divisional games, I think it’s really cool. So, yeah, I like them.”
(On biggest problem Thursday Night Football games present)
“Probably just the amount of readiness for the players and knowing that the day after the game where normally you go through so many of the corrections and then have a day to get into your game planning, you get right into that plan that week. Of course you make some corrections like in our case when we played Green Bay, there were corrections to be made and then as you get right into the game plan that Monday night and then we’re fully underway as far as the game plan and continuing that. We’ll finish that part of it up tomorrow and then head down and get on the plane tomorrow. So, we have a process that we go through to get ready for those three days, so we treat those three days like a regular week; a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Now we just moved those up to a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, so we do like staying to the process of getting ready although how you do it in terms of the day of the week are different.”
(On talent at quarterback in the NFC South)
“You’re not kidding and it is an absolute battle. It’s one of the fun parts about being a part of this division is the quarterbacks that are involved in it. Each of them attack in different ways. None of them are a replica of each other, but all of them are dangerous as hell and make it really challenging on the defenses, not just in the division, but around the league as well. So, I think it’s pretty cool to be a part of that where some guys who are really on their game live in this division and it kind of makes it even more exciting.”
(On difference in his decisions as a second-year coach as opposed to last year)
“Well, I think our team is a lot different from year one to year two. Not only do I know them better and how to feature them, they know me better. But most importantly, our team has become really tight and really close. They totally love to battle and go for it with one another and I think it took that process of this group being together and understanding how badly they want to play together. That part has totally come through. There’s been a number of things for me in terms of what I’ve learned from year one to year two - how to better manage the staff, how to better connect with the players - but those things take time. I desperately wanted it to happen overnight. In a lot of cases, some of the things that I was trying to build did not, but it is nice to see some of that coming to fruition about the toughness and resiliency of the team that we want to be come to life.”
(On having to play on a short week against a team they have previously lost to and how that motivates him)
“First off, both teams have a short week, so that’s no added pressure for us. We’ve just got to get the mental reps here and rest up. It’s a divisional game, you want to get up for this game because it’s a divisional game. Not more added pressure or anything. Trying to get revenge because they got us in the [season] opener.”
(On the team’s offensive success)
“I think just the second year being in the offense. Last year, we didn’t really know what Kyle kind of wanted and we didn’t have that connection between players and coach, in a sense. This year it’s more that we’re on the same page of knowing what he wants and him knowing what Matt can do and what Matt is comfortable doing.”
(On Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter and defensive coordinator Mike Smith, both of whom worked in Atlanta previously)
“It was a great time. I enjoyed those coaches. If you ever want to call, sit down and talk, you have that relationship with those guys. It’s not one of those, you have to force it to be cool with them. They’re just great people, not only great coaches.”
(On if Dirk Koetter is the right coach to help Jameis Winston develop his game)
“Most definitely. They’ve got to keep connecting. Dirk last year was obviously the offensive coordinator and now he’s the head coach, but I still think – I don’t know what they’re doing over there as far as is he still coaching Jameis or how he’s handling that duty of being head coach and also trying to elevate Jameis Winston as a player. But Dirk, he’s a great coach, man. Him and Jameis, they should get along well. Like I said, Dirk’s a great guy. I’ve met Jameis a few times and Jameis is a great guy as well.”
(On Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan being a potential MVP candidate and if he looks different from past years)
“I have not. I’m not a stat guy. I don’t know my stats, I don’t know anyone’s stats on this team. It’s all about wins and loss for me. I don’t – media, getting in to it, reading the papers, watching TV, I don’t let any kind of factor determine how I look at our team and the brotherhood we have here.”
(On Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III)
“He played pretty well the first time we played them. I haven’t watched him since. Today, it’s a short week, we’re just trying to get a lot of stuff done right now. I haven’t watched film on him yet, to see what he’s been doing over the past [six] games.”
(On if the NFC South has the best quarterbacks of any division in the NFL)
“We definitely have some talented guys in our division. We have gunslingers. We have guys [that] can do it all. I don’t really watch quarterbacks play a whole game. Stats can be totally different. You don’t’ know if their team was losing and they got some free plays at the end or whatever the case may be. You don’t now how guys manage games. For me, I can’t tell – like the guys we play against, like a Jameis. Athletic, he extends plays. Drew Brees, same way, he gets the ball out. Cam [Newton], same way. Matt [Ryan] – we’ve got guys that can do it all.”
(On the success that the University of Alabama has had over the years)
“It’s all about having a standard there. When guys come in, we just let you know what the standard is. Everybody is treated the same way, from walk-ons to the starters. Everybody just hangs out together, does things together. It’s all about that bond. Football is a team sport. Once you get everybody on board together and playing together and working together, you’re going to have a lot of success.”
(On having a game-winning drive to beat Green Bay and how that late win impacts preparation for the next week)
“Last week was last week. Sunday is over and done with. That game is behind us. Dan Quinn does a great job of putting us in those situations week-in and week-out. It’s just second nature to us. No one blinked or batted an eye on that drive. There wasn’t any added pressure or anything because he’s put us in those situations so many times. It’s easy to just go down there and just do your job and just keep your composure.”
(On wide receiver Mohamad Sanu and if he has similarities to Roddy White)
“Both of those guys, you can count on those guys to make plays and beat man-to-man matchups. Not really too much difference, you know? Sanu has some routes that he has excels in. He has great routes. Fourth-down, you can count on a Roddy White. He’s just done it over and over and over for years.”
(On his health)
“I’m feeling good. I’m good. I’m holding up great. It’s a short week, you’ve got to take care of yourself. Like I said, just got to stay in it mentally this week because it’s short week, quick turnaround. Both teams have the same thing, so you can’t let that creep in your mind because your mind effects your body. Then you start being lazy, being lackadaisical, not getting the proper reps and what you need to succeed on Thursday.”
(On this weekend’s Alabama vs. LSU game)
“I’ve been talking to all of these guys up here man, these LSU [guys] – we’ve got a lot of LSU guys on our team. We’ve got [Stevan] Ridley, Tyson Jackson – we’ve got so many people. We’re definitely going to get after them, Alabama. We are both coming off of a bye week. I think we’ll get them probably by 14, 21 points. Those young guys at Alabama, they’ll be ready. Coach Saban will have them ready. It will be a big game for them. I’m looking for them to just go down there and play Alabama football.”

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