Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Falcons: Head Coach Mike Smith

Opening Remarks: "Playing on the road, anytime in this league is very difficult. It was a hostile environment that we were playing in today. I felt like our team played for 60 minutes. It's a 60-minute game. I think we had our chances and opportunities to win the football game there at the end. That's all you can ask for. Got to give credit to Coach Andy Reid, Jim Johnson and his staff. I thought they put together a very good game plan and I thought it was a hard fought game. We knew coming up here that it would be and with that I'll open it up for questions."

On the decision to use the final timeout: "Well, actually I'd be more than happy to talk about it. In terms of, at that point in time there was 2 minutes and 30 seconds to go. We used the timeout to have more time. By using the timeout there we would save 31 seconds. We still had a timeout, technically a timeout with the 2 minute warning. If we let that roll to the 2 minute warning we basically run 28-29 seconds off and that was the decision that we made."

On the explanation by the official on the muffed punt call: "Well, he said that since we did not have a timeout we cannot challenge it and it would be a 15-yard penalty if I threw the flag, but his explanation is what he thought he saw. He thought that he saw the ball touch the return mans hands so that's the call that was made."

On how tough it is to stomach a call like that: "Well, any time you don't win it's really tough. Our guys, I thought they fought hard for 60 minutes. I don't think that you can say that there is one play in a football game that makes the difference. There are a number of plays that we would've liked to have back in that ball game. You know, I'm anxious to see it on tape when we review the tape tomorrow. We've got a lot of things that we can correct."

On how QB Matt Ryan held up playing in a hostile environment today: "Well I think that (QB) Matt (Ryan) did some very good things. I thought that he had a couple of really nice throws. The touchdown to (WR) Roddy (White) was a good throw. I thought that he saw the pressure the majority of the time. I know that coach Johnson did a very nice job in trying to give him a number of different looks. I'm not sure statistically, exactly. He threw for 260 yards; he was sacked 2 times, and had a quarterback rating with those interceptions, the 2 interceptions, of 68.3. Really all in all, for a rookie in that type of environment you've got to be encouraged."

On what the returner did wrong or what happened on the return: "We had a return set up and it was not a very good punt. The punt was short, the field was sandy. Sandy field, we got a lot of soft bounces throughout the game. We weren't really getting consistent bounces but you know, that one play is not the difference in the football game. There are a number of plays that we've got to address. We're very, very disappointed though."

On what Jim Johnson's defense did against the running game: "We want to run the football. I think anytime you go into a game, rushing the football effectively opens things up for the rest of your offense. They did a very nice job up front in terms of putting 8 men on the line. I thought they did a nice job stunting guys through gaps. We really were close. I think when we go back and look at it like in any football game we're going to see that there were opportunities for some big plays that we just weren't able to convert."

On the health of T Sam Baker, LE Jamaal Anderson, and T Todd Weiner: "I haven't had an opportunity to visit with the trainers. At this point in time, I know that it was a physical football game without the fact that guys were hurt before the game. With (T) Sam (Baker) being out, we hope that he'll be back next week. (T) Todd (Weiner) toughed it out for awhile and Jamaal Anderson got his bell rung. There were a number of guys on both sidelines that went out. I thought it was a very physical football game."

On whether Sam Baker's injury situation cleared up: "Yes, we made a decision again We're not going to make any decision based on one game. This is a long season. It's a 16-game season and we're not even to the half way point so we'll make all of our decisions that we feel like are in the best interest, not only for the player but for our football team over the long haul."

On Lawyer Milloy's unnecessary roughness call: "I think it was a bang, bang play. It was an aggressive play on the ball and the ball was tipped and batted up in the air. But again, that's how the officials saw it, that's how they called it so that was the call."

On the thought process of throwing a fade route on the 2nd-and-goal play that was intercepted: "Schematically what we do is there's a number count. If the number count is one thing we do a certain thing and if it's another way we try to attack it. We had a one-on-one outside. They had us outnumbered in the box so by rule that's the way we want to attack it. So that's what we did in terms of how we approach it and it wasn't necessarily the call. It was a call with options to it. It's based on numbers and that's really what the game is."

On whether there was any hesitation in using the time out: "No, not at that time. My thing was trying to conserve as much time as possible and I felt like by using that timeout there, the punt was going to be a 4 or 5 second play we would've had 2 minutes and 25 seconds and the ability to stop the clock if the ball was still inbounds with the 2 minute warning. You know, that was the strategy and that was the way that we approached it."

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