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09 November 2014


(Opening statement)
“Felt like, today, we played good football. In all three phases we were able to finish, something we have not been able to do. Defensively, I really felt we [put] a good game plan in place. The coaches did a very nice job. We were able to put pressure on the quarterback. We hit him 11 times, sacked him four times and created some turnovers there in the second half. It was definitely a team win. We stated early in the week that our goal was to be 1-0, and we got that accomplished. We’ll get on the plane, get back to Atlanta and go for our next 1-0 week.”
(On the game-clinching drive)
“I thought there were some outstanding throws and some outstanding catches. I thought we did a good job of protecting our quarterback as well. Playmakers made plays when they were presented to them for the most part. I feel like we can do a little bit better in certain situations.”
(On being opportunistic)
“You’ve got to take advantage. When you get a first down, it doesn’t really matter how you get it. I thought the guys did a really nice job. I thought that we won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football in the game today.”
(On the play of running back Steven Jackson)
“I thought Steven came out right from the beginning, and I think you saw how we started the game and what we tried to get accomplished. You’ve got to win the line of scrimmage in the NFL, and I thought that we did that today.”
(On the pass rush)
“We had critical plays on the defensive side. Those sacks in the first quarter, you don’t remember them. You remember them in the last two or three minutes of a football game. That’s when you really want to make the play when you’re rushing the passer [and] they’re driving down the field, without timeouts, trying to get back in the ball game.”
(On the interception by safety Dwight Lowery to seal the game)
“He came over and said that he caught it. We couldn’t see it from the view that we had, but came over and said he caught it. With the new system in place, the league did a very good job with what they’re supposed to do. They were able to overturn the play on the field.”
(On the team getting settled during the bye)
“For the players, I’m glad that we had the week to get them healthy. For the coaches and people in the building, I think, we wanted to get back and play as quickly as possible. I thought we did a very good job in our preparation, and we’ve committed to these guys and to doing everything in our power to put them in the best position to play. These guys just need to go out and make their plays, and we did that today and got the outcome that we wanted.”
(On getting caught up in the media)
“It’s not a problem at all. This is a big-boy’s business. You’re judged on wins and losses, and we’ve got half of a season to play. I can assure you we’re doing everything in our power each and every week to go 1-0.”
(On the matchup with Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans)
“I think he had some big catches in the game, and he is a tough matchup. I think he’s probably one of the most improved players in terms of watching him from week three to this week. He’s a very physical player, and he’s going to create a lot matchup issues for lots of defenders.”
(On being defensively consistent)
“We have been playing, even though the numbers may not dictate it, a little bit better over the last five or six weeks on defense. I think it really showed today. The guys were able to make plays when they were presented. We put pressure on the quarterback, and we were able to sack the quarterback. We were able to create some interceptions and when we do that, you’re going to like what’s happening not only to the defense but your whole entire football team.”
(On the win)
“It feels good. Coming out the bye you definitely want to start the second half of the season with a win. It being a division it even has a little more weight to it. I thought all three phases of the game we came out and played well. We started 1-0 and hopefully we can keep this thing going.”
(On the offensive line)
“The offensive line did a really good job. We have three younger guys out there along with the two veteran guards. That seemed to be a really good chemistry. The guys are playing really tough. They are giving me some holes to run though and I am just being myself from that point.”
(On the team’s performance as a whole)
“That is the one thing that is special about the game of football: it takes all 53 men, all three units. The defense really played stellar. They got off the field when they needed to. Hats off to Tampa Bay, they did a really good job of putting themselves back in the game. I thought we responded well as a team.”
(On next week’s game against Carolina)
“It’ll be a tough one; Carolina has a physical team and defense. We are going to get some film study in and prepare for another tough one.”   
(On the game)
“We left a lot of plays out there first of all, myself included.  We were making plays left and right and everyone got a catch in the game or made a play.  The running game worked real well for us today.”
(On the running game)
“(Running back) Steven Jackson had a great game today on the ground.  They had to put nine in the box so we had one-on-one outside, and we won those one-on-one match-ups.”
(On the touchdown response after going down 17-16)
“It was very clutch.  In the beginning of the season we weren’t finishing games.  The way we’ve been practicing lately has been all about finishing.  Start fast, and finish games strong.  I think we proved that today.  Just going out there and adding to that lead.  Like you said, it was a big part of the game.”
(On taking advantage of second chances)
“No question.  We just have to keep working.  Just stay positive, keep working, and believe in each other.  There is a lot of ebb and flow to this game, but nobody can get uptight or frustrated.  It’s going to happen and it’s never going to be a perfect game.  It’s all about the character the team has to keep going and try to get the next score.”
(On Atlanta’s spot in the division)
“We feel good.  We just have to keep running.  Everything else will take care of itself, we just have to keep running.”
(On the offense)
“Our offensive line did a great job for us, keeping the pocket clean for Matt Ryan and also for our running back.”
(On how it feels to get the win)
“It feels good.  Just the way we’ve been practicing, start fast and finish strong.  We were able to do that today in the second half of the game and go get some points on the board.”
(On the effects of coming off the bye week)
"I wouldn't say it was difficult. It was good just to get away and take our minds off the game for a little bit because we knew we still have a chance to make a run. Everybody came focused when we got back. We practiced hard and it carried over to today. We just got to keep this momentum going."
(On the difficulty of covering the Tampa Bay receivers)
"They're 6-4, 230, so they're going to make some plays. But, I felt we competed. I got my hand on a couple of balls. Everyone was tackling well - we were swarming - things like that. Biggest thing for me is we kept them in front of us and we didn't let them get over the top. They're going to make some plays, but for the most part, we kept them in front of us and that helped a lot."
(On the concern of a comeback)
"There was no concern. We know they're going to make some plays. This is the NFL - there's ends and flows in the game - but we didn't wavier. We knew, no matter what, it was going to happen and, what position we were in, we were going to win this game. Regardless of what we had to do, we were going to come away with this win. I'm proud of the team and we just got to keep this going."
(On safety Dwight Lowery's interception)
"That was a great play. I think Robert Alford broke it up in the corner and Dwight just made a great diving catch. It was a great play. It sealed the game, and we get turnovers like that the sky is the limit."
(On the pass rush)
"Yeah, definitely. They were getting to the ball. They were coming off the ball. They was winning their one-on-one battles and it was helping us. We were getting our hands on some balls as well too. Like I've been saying, when the d-line [defensive line] rushes, it helps us in coverage, and when we cover, it helps them get pressure. It all works together as one."
(On the importance of the win)
"It was real big. We needed it, obviously. Probably over a month before the last time we won, but we're not satisfied. We just got to keep working and carry this momentum next week."
(On Tampa Bay’s competitiveness)
"We knew they were going to give us a shot. Anytime you beat a team like that, they're going to come with. We knew it was going to be a tough game and they fought, but we made plays when we needed to and ended up sealing the game."
(On the expectations going into today’s game)
“We are just trying to find a way to win a game, especially when you have been struggling the way we have been. We kept trying to move the ball and execute. We got to get better executing right now. Once we get past the 50, we keep kicking these fields goals - we can’t do that. We got to go down there and score touchdowns and finish drives. Matt Bryant did a heck of a job making four field goals but when we get those opportunities we got to get down there and score touchdowns.”
(On winning the game)
“We want to win the game, but we want to execute and be crisp at the same time. I felt like during this game it was just up and down throughout the whole game. We just need to be more consistent. We’re scoring but we’re not executing like I think we can. We are not executing in putting the ball in the end zone like we should be doing.”
(On his touchdown catch)
“We had that drawn up and it was a play we wanted to execute. We got the right coverage; they played man coverage down by the goal line. When you are doing crossing routes down there it is so hard to cover so guys get lost. They ran over the top and gave me an opportunity to score.”
(On the game)
"We competed from start to finish, which is something we want to do, especially in the second half. That was the theme over the first half of the season. We put ourselves in good positions in the second half, but defensively, we weren't able to make that play. But today, we had those two interceptions to end the last two drives."
(On his performance)
"Individually, I got to the quarterback a couple of times. Those guys up front did a tremendous job - they were all over the quarterback from start to finish."
(On what the win means)
"It means a lot, but then again, it's just one game. The second half of the season, we're one and zero, and now, we got to get two wins - that's what everyone is looking forward to now."
(On the interception by safety Dwight Lowery)
"That was huge. I knew he caught it as soon as he did, and then they called it incomplete. I mean, that was just a great reaction on the ball and that's what I was talking about - being able to close games out. When you get that opportunity, you capitalize on it, and he did a good job on that."

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