NEW ORLEANS SAINTS VS. ATLANTA FALCONS
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012 ● MERCEDES-BENZ SUPERDOME
ATLANTA FALCONS POSTGAME QUOTES
HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH
(Opening Statement) "I felt like this was a very hard-fought football game in terms of the effort. We made way too many mistakes in all three phases. I felt like we had many opportunities; we've got to convert when we get in these third and one situations. I know there were two earlier in the ballgame that we didn't convert. We talked about having to score touchdowns in the red zone; we've got to do that when we're down there."
(on the short-yardage offense) "Well, we had two third and ones: one we tried to run and one we tried to throw it. We are not getting the surge that we need to on the run plays. We've got to be able to move the line of scrimmage on those third down and one situations. Those are to the advantage of the offense, and we're not getting that done right now. We didn't get that done today."
(on the thought of going for two with 13:27 left in the game) "No. There were still 13 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, and you don't even start looking at that chart until about the seven or eight minutes into the fourth quarter. If you miss that two-point conversion, then you're flipped on the other side in terms of the score. You usually wait until about seven or eight minutes left for two-point conversions."
(on the inability to pick up short yardage with the run) "We did not run the ball very effectively. They did a nice job of penetration today, knocking the line of scrimmage back. It wasn't always blitzes or stunts, they did a great job penetrating into the backfield."
(on not being able to score on the second-to-last drive against a struggling defense) "They've been playing a lot better defense and a lot better as a football team over the last four weeks. They've won three out of the last four. They play with a lot of confidence. When these two teams meet, you can throw the records out the window. It's going to be a hard-fought battle. Unfortunately, we didn't get it done today."
(on Dunta Robinson's unsportsmanlike penalty) "Those are what we categorize as not the type of penalties we want to have. We want to have aggressive penalties, we don't want to have those. We had that penalty and it knocked us back. We started off at the twelve and it knocks us back out, starting us on the 27 (yard line). We can't have those types of penalties. We had too many penalties today. We want to play penalty-free football on special teams. We had one early, had one in the third quarter, and then we had one there late on the last punt. In terms of getting the ball in good field position, we had a chance and then we got a ten-yard penalty that basically knocked the ball much further back than where we would like to be starting with no timeouts on the last drive.
(on the emotional frustration of needing one yard to preserve an undefeated record, and not getting it) "It's very frustrating. Whether it's one yard or ten yards, when you don't win it's frustrating. That's why we're playing the games, we want to get the win. We were close, and we weren't able to get that accomplished. We'll learn from that, we'll evaluate it as a staff, and this will be something that we'll learn from as we move forward. We just started the third quarter, we finished the first two quarters the way we wanted to. We are starting the third quarter not the way we wanted to, but we'll learn from it. We'll get back together tomorrow and make the corrections and move on. We've got another game to play."
(on how the Saints were able to shut down the running game) "I'm going to have to watch the tape. We definitely did not run the football with the efficiency that we needed to, wanted to, or thought we could. That's for sure. We've got to not have those empty yards, in terms of not getting touchdowns out of them. When you get down in the red zone, you want to be efficient all the time. There were two times where we did not score touchdowns when we were down there. Obviously we did not win the line of scrimmage for the most part in our run game. That's the thing that I saw from the sideline"
QB #2 MATT RYAN
"It was just a tough day. We could have run it better than we did. But the offense line did a great job and gave us a lot of chances. But we just fell short."
(on the fourth-down incompletion with 1:46 left) "Yes, he (defender) just made a great play. I think it's something where I could put that ball in a better spot – a little higher and more in front of him – to give him a chance to catch it and score."
"You've got to give them credit. We moved the ball into the red zone and just didn't score so they made the plays there and we didn't. That's an error and we've got to do better."
(on chances for undefeated season ending) "You want to win every game you go into. And then we can worry about all of the things that go along with that. But we understand moving forward we're still in a very good spot. And we've got a lot of football in front of us. We just need to be playing our best football moving forward."
"We've always played them tough and haven't had the outcomes we wanted. I don't worry about the past. And today we just didn't play as good as we wanted to."
WR #84 RODDY WHITE
"It's tough. I mean anytime you get an opportunity to score and you don't (do it), it's really frustrating. We had every opportunity to win the game and we just didn't get it done. We've got to fix our red zone problems. All in all I think we played well – except in the red zone, and that's the reason why we lost the game."
(on the rivalry between the Saints and the Falcons) "It's just been like that ever since I arrived in Atlanta. Us winning and them winning; and then they (Saints) won the Super Bowl and we're trying to get there. And it's going to continue. We see those guys in three weeks and we'll get another shot at them at our place."
(on the next to last drive of the game) "It's tough and very frustrating. We get all of the way down there to the 1-yard line and we expect to score. We just didn't get it done. Especially being down there on the one yard line and you expect to get in. But we just didn't get it done, and that's the most disappointing thing."
"We've got to go back and work hard again. We can't play next week and experience back-to-back losses. We've got to get our focus back again. It's not like they came out here and won a game today. I think we kind of gave it to them. It's not nothing they did; it was what we did. But we play them in three weeks and we'll be ready in the (Georgia) Dome for them then."
TE #88 TONY GONZALEZ
"This is football. I mean no one is going to go around crying and panicking or anything like that. We're a good football team. Our confidence hasn't changed. Our scheme isn't going to change, and I'm not going to give you a magic answer as to why they won. This is a typical football game, a hard fought game, a rivalry game and they came out on top today."
"Every year is a new year. They are up and down this year, and are a good football team. I don't think they are in our heads; not at all. That is a good football team. At the end we had our chances and just didn't capitalize."
"By no means am I happy we lost today. But sometimes when you lose you learn, and that's what we have to do. Sometimes it's good to stumble. So for us that's obviously what happened today. And I am sure this is going to make us a good football team in the future."
(on 100th career touchdown reception) "It was great. Of course I'd rather have it come in a victory. But you have to give Matt (Ryan) credit when he waited for me to get open and delivered the ball."
C #62 TODD McCLURE
"When we get down in the red zone like we did at the end, we've got to score. We just didn't get it done today. So now we've got to go back and see what we can do better the next time."
"It would be great to come back here (in February for Super Bowl XLVII). I mean that's every team's goal at the start of the season. We still have a long way to go. We're a real good football team. We'd rather lose now than lose in January, so we've got to learn from these mistakes and be ready to go."
DT #95 JONATHAN BABINEAUX
"What you saw out there today was two good teams battling and today they (Saints) were the better team. I wouldn't mind sitting where we are right now. You know it's only one game. We've got seven left. We all know we got off to a good start, but there's still a long way to go."