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Atlanta Falcons conference calls

Audio and transcripts from head coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Matt Ryan's conference calls with local media

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn
Conference Call with New Orleans Media
Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I wanted to ask you about a couple of Saints players that you worked with in the past in Brandon Browner and Kevin Williams; what was your experience coaching them?

"You've got two good ones there. Let me start with the big guy, well, they are both big guys. Let start with Kevin first – when he came out to Seattle, he played a variety of positions. Right away we found out (he had) football smarts. We played him at defensive end, we played him at defensive tackle and we played him at nose tackle. I think he just had this way about him. As a competitor he's quiet, but once you're around him and saw him practice and saw him play, you saw how much football meant to him. That is the thing that I probably remember most about him. With Brandon, I think it is the line of scrimmage toughness that he plays with, the man-to-man coverages, and just him being so strong at the line. For years, whenever this is a great sign of respect, when you talk about another player, you say he can play like BB. There are not too many guys that you can say that about that play that strong at the line. That's one of the (sayings) that we have used through the years, that he can play at the line like BB. Any time you say that, that's a lot of respect. Max Unger is there too. He is a cool guy. I am sure that you guys have gotten to know him too. One of the smartest players that I have had the chance to be around. (He) just handles everything inside."

With Brandon, he came in here with a reputation of being very physical and aggressive and sometimes because of that, has drawn some flags when they are calling a game tight. That has continued this year. Is that a balance where you get the aggressiveness that he plays with but sometimes it's going to lead to penalties?

"So you're saying that's the price of doing business. I think sometimes you can go that route. I do know that he can be really disciplined also. He plays so aggressive that sometimes it gets called. I think sometimes, not last year but the year prior, he's very down on the defensive holding calls or the pass interference calls. At some point, that is the price of doing business, because he plays with such a unique style, and then there are other games where it doesn't get called at all. I think it would be a little bit of that where it is the price of doing business because he is such a unique player."

 Is there any difficulty with Julio Jones this week managing his hamstring, given that it is a short week?

"We have seen that, yet we went through our walkthrough last night and got going today and he seemed to be feeling good heading in. We're not anticipating any setbacks. We are going to go through the process today, tomorrow and then we fly down to see you guys tomorrow. We'll go through the next two days of practice. So far, off to the start of this week, he is off to a good start."

What are you impressions of the Saints offense minus Jimmy Graham, who you had to prepare for the last two times you've coaches against them?

"I think one of the hardest things about going against the offensive scheme they've had in place is that they have so many unique ways to attack. Where Jimmy would split outside and that is how they featured him, and now how do they use C.J. (Spiller) in the screen game or in the run game. For years it seems like they've had running backs that were just as tough as can be. That is where it starts for me, when you see how they feature the runners. Past that, then it gets into (Brandin) Cooks, and it gets to how do they use the guys to feature them best. That is one of the things that their staff does so well."

Do you feel like there is any benefit to challenging them to throw deep, considering how they've played this year?

"I think in this game that we have, we kind of anticipate them doing that a lot, just because we play so much three-deep and man. We kind of expect that each and every week the way we play corners and the way we play our safeties. I don't know if it is a difference this week as any week for us. It is just kind of always part of our game."

Has anyone there talked to you about the Atlanta and Saints rivalry, and some of the intangibles that some people think are involved with it? Do you even believe in that or do you look at it more like who do they have this year and how are we going to play them?

"I have heard about it. I think it is one of the fun parts about playing in the NFL. There is some familiarity when you play games in the division. It is just a natural part of football, it just happens. I am just happy for this week and getting a chance to play, but we really don't rely on anyone else for us to get ready. That is our approach every week. I have heard about it and I am excited to have my first (game) here."

The big news today was (the retirement) of Steve Spurrier. I know you didn't coach under him but you coached at Florida and I am sure that his presence loomed large. Do you have any reaction to him calling it a career after a long tenure?

"No, I saw that just like everybody else. I was surprised by it, much like everybody else was. He was a huge factor at Florida, because not only did he coach there but he also won the Heisman. They had big statues out there of the guys who had won it. I was just surprised."



Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt RyanConference Call with New Orleans MediaTuesday, October 13, 2015

What has it been like with a new coach there, and how has that transition been? Obviously, it seems with your record that it's going pretty well.

"Yeah, obviously there are a lot of changes with our organization in the last year, but I think Dan Quinn has done a great job being very clear about what he wants from us and how he wants us to play, and I think the coaching staff has done a great job of teaching both sides of the ball the system and trying to get the best out of us. I think that's helped us to get off to a fast start."

What do you see about the Saints defense and any particular changes from last year to this year?

"Yeah, there is certainly some differences in personnel from last year. To me, you know it's a defense that plays with really good effort and they're physical, and we've got to go down there and play well. I feel like this is a division game that we always know we're going to take their best shot. It's always a tough place to play and we're going to have to be ready, but I like their defense. I think it's a defense that is better than the numbers probably indicate."

How much do rivalries matter and to what extent is this game seen as a rivalry?

"Well, I think certainly both cities get into it, that's for sure, and really anytime you have a division game, you know the opponent well and they know you well. It's just comes down to execution, but I always enjoy competing against the Saints. It's always a tight game and I've enjoyed it during my career."

Do you see this division as a strong division and what has gone right for you guys that didn't last year?

"Yeah, I think playing as long as I have I understand that the difference in this league in wins and losses is very small and it comes down to a few plays during the course of the game that determines the outcome. I never put too much stock in what people say about what division people say are the best or what divisions are the worst divisions or anything like that. I know that every time we play a division opponent it's going to be a tough, physical game. So that's the mindset that I have always had and you know that's kind of where I'm at."

When there is a question of whether or not Julio Jones will play how do you approach that?

"I mean obviously he is one of the best receivers in the league and obviously it's huge when he can get out there. As far as preparation, you have to prepare for when he is in there and we have certain things we want him to get involved in and then there are things that when he is not in there that guys have to step up and so I think our coaching staff has done a great job and Julio has done a great job early in this season."

Is there anything you can't do on offense if he is limited or can't go?

"No, I feel like we can do everything we want. I have a lot of confidence in all of our guys at the wide receiver position, but certainly anytime he is out there I feel like we are a better team."

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