On whether the Falcons game was as bad as it looked following the review of the tape: "I think the biggest thing I saw from going back and looking at it was the penalties that kept drives going and the third downs. We were winning first and second down, which you want to do, but third down, we weren’t getting off the field. That’s what hurt us, along with the penalties that kept drives going."
On why third downs continue to present troubles for the defense: "I don’t know. We just have to make those plays. I feel like we were in position; we’ve just got to step up and make plays and get off the field. That’s it."
On whether the communication is where he wants it to be: "Yeah, the communication is fine."
On the defense’s struggles against the run: "Just a couple of missed tackles and just a couple of long runs that got out on us. For the most part, we did a pretty good job stopping the run. It’s just one long run that (we) missed a few tackles (on) and the guy made a play on."
On how difficult the Saints offense is to game plan for: "They present a lot of different formations. They’re a quick-tempo offense, so you have to be set and ready because they’re a fast-paced team and they’ll give you a bunch of different looks. So, we have to be on top of our game."
On whether it is tough playing in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome: "It doesn’t matter to me where we play. The game doesn’t change one way or the other. You just go out and if we focus on ourselves, it doesn’t matter where we play. We’ll be fine."
On what makes it so difficult to defend Saints QB Drew Brees: "Drew is a smart player, a very smart player. But what he does is he makes quick decisions. He’s not going to hold the ball too long. He finds a way to get the ball out fairly quickly."
On the lack of success with blitzing on Sunday: "I feel like they worked. I feel like (defensive coordinator) Todd (Bowles) called a good game and those things worked."
On whether he thought the Falcons picked up the blitz well: "I feel like we just have to make plays as a team. Overall, as a defensive unit, we’ve got to make more plays."
On penalties affecting the success of blitzes as well: "Penalties hurt us. They kept drives going. When we thought we were off the field, it kept drives going and that kind of hurt us."
On head coach Andy Reid having to reiterate that QB
On what the offense needs to improve on: "Just details. When it comes to this past week, we had maybe about six plays where it was a wrong step and then the guy went to block, or me on a play where I kept a route too high (and) the guy knocked the ball down. So, it’s the little small things that get you off the field on third downs; the little small things that can break a run or not. I think that a lot of it is the whole offense. You can’t be hit or miss. If one guy makes a mistake on a play, the other team can make up for it."
On whether he is excited to get back out on the field: "Most definitely, I am. I’ll be excited for that. We’ll see. I’m excited for everything."
On whether he would be able to play Monday night if he was called upon: "Most definitely. That’s how I feel, but you never know until you get on the field. But I feel like I can go out there (and) give a couple of series."
On how anxious he is to get back onto the field after his long recovery: "I’m really excited, to tell you the truth. I’m just more excited and anxious. I’m more anxious than anybody, just going out there and being able to play again."
On whether he feels like he has progressed more in the last few weeks than he thought he would: "Yeah, most definitely. The Eagles did a really good job as far as allowing me to take my time to come back. We have good strength coaches here and they worked really well with me during the offseason and stuff like that. They just made sure that I didn’t get too out of focus."
On the toughest thing he faces when getting back onto the field: "I just think, if anything, getting the feel of the guys out there; just knowing how the guys play and stuff. This will be my first time going out there with the unit, so if anything, I’d say just that."
On the message in the players-only meeting on Wednesday: "I mean, just basically that we’ve got to turn this thing around and we’ve got to turn it around quick. This season’s not lost, but there needs to be some drastic changes and we need to do it. It needs to be shown on the field."
On what made a players-only meeting more necessary this week than in weeks past: "Well, I mean, I think things just need to get cleared up. Nothing major. I’m not really going to go into specifics about what we talked about, but probably a few things needed to get cleared up and it happened and it was good for our team."
On how players-only meetings can help the team: "Because guys talk about their issues. I mean, I think any time you have any type of issue in life, if you talk about it with somebody and clear the air, it makes things better."
On what type of drastic changes he is referring to: "I mean, it’s a lot of different things. Like I said, I’m not going to go into it, but we did it and hopefully it was good for our team. We think so, but we’ll see. It all depends on how we play on Monday."
On whether the meeting was directed by a few players or was more general discussion: "It’s everybody and if you have something to say, say it. We’re all a team here. Everyone on this team should be a leader and everyone has the right to talk and if they want to say something, say it."
On playing more snaps on Sunday than in any other game this season: "I just know I got in a little more and I just made the best of my opportunities."
On whether he expects the same amount of snaps moving forward: "Well, I think as we keep going, I think the reps will keep coming. I felt like I did good with the reps that I did have. Shoot, I’m going to just keep champing at the bit. I’m not worried about too much other than the game plan and what my role is in the game plan."
On what has been the difference for him in terms of continually increasing his snaps: "Just my attitude every day. I mean, it’s still the same. It’s just consistent and (I) just keep going and (try) to be a leader out there. I think I’m more vocal now than anything. I’m not afraid to be that guy that can talk and echo stuff. I used to still feel like I was a rookie, because it’s hard to transition sometimes. Now, I don’t look as a rookie anymore. I feel like I’ve got to step up and do what I’ve got to do."
On what he can do to improve on the field: "Run to the ball a little more, a little harder. Just seeing (DT)
On whether the speed of the game overwhelmed him: "Like I said on Sunday, after the first play or so, it kind of slowed down; started to be the game that we practiced (for), obviously. It’s a faster tempo and everything, but the speed wasn’t overbearing after the first couple of plays."
On the belief that the Falcons did not target him despite it being his first major action: "I would agree with that. Maybe it was just (that) they were already too deep into their own game plan, so there wasn’t much picking on me, I guess you could say."
On whether he expects more pressure this week from the Saints defense: "Yeah, you would think so. They have a little bit more time to prepare so we’ll be ready for that."
On what he liked and disliked about his play Sunday: "I thought I was very aggressive. I took the techniques that (offensive line coach) Howard (Mudd) has been preaching and really, I think, executed them pretty well. Then, I was a little unhappy with how I did on blocks out in the second level, kind of dealing with linebackers. I know one play in particular, I opened up too much and crossed my feet and the backer went right under me. So, I just have to work on being disciplined with going over an open space."
On how big of an adjustment it is transitioning to guard: "You know, it’s definitely different, but with Howard’s system, there are a lot of similarities. Obviously, you’re much more aggressive and you’re in smaller space so that’s the biggest difference. And how fast it is."