Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Falcons: Head Coach Mike Smith

Opening Remarks:"Coming off of a bye week, our goal was to come out and play fast in all three phases of the game and I thought we got that job done. Offensively, I really like the way that we started the ball game. I thought we did a very good job of executing, controlling the tempo we wanted to not only set the tempo but control the tempo of the ball game and I think we did a nice job.

"Defensively, I felt like we tackled much better. That was an emphasis point in our bye week. We didn't really look at the statistics. More importantly, we looked at what we needed to get better at and tackling and pursuit angles were something that we had identified that we needed to get better at and I thought they did a very nice job. With every game you play, you know that you could play better and I think we're going to watch tape and see that we left some plays out there on the field but we'll get back and watch the tape and we'll move on."

On how QB Matt Ryan executed the offense's tempo:"Again, that's a fast, fast start. I thought that, as I just mentioned, that we moved in and out of tempo of the ball game. I think we controlled it. When we wanted to go fast, we went fast. When we wanted to slow it down, we slowed it down. I think he was 22 out of 29. We did a nice job protecting him and he made some very good decisions and got the ball into our play makers' hands. The no turnovers was huge."

On whether the Eagles' troubles with rushing the quarterback were helpful today: "Well, I don't know that they have a problem rushing the quarterback. Maybe getting sack numbers but that front four in the rotation that they had, they affect the quarterback. I think often times, sack numbers are overrated. I thought we did a very nice job of keeping our quarterback clean and I thought we played the type of game that we needed to play against their pass rush. Again, I think sack numbers are often times overrated."

On whether Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles offered any surprises: "They did some things a little bit differently in terms of coverages. At times they crowded the line of scrimmage and their safeties were very active. We knew that they were going to be. They actually ended up playing closer to the line of scrimmage than we thought. We felt like there were going to be opportunities for us to get one-on-one match-ups. We knew that when we had them, we had to try to take advantage of them and it was a great throw and catch when Matt threw to (WR) Julio (Jones) and we had that match-up."

On how nice it was to be in control of the game after having had a few close games: "Well, I don't know about control. You never have control especially when you're playing an offense like they have. They've got so many weapons. It's nice to start fast in all three phases. In the NFL, you never have a big enough lead. As a coach, you never have a big enough lead but I thought that our guys handled the different situations extremely well."

On how DT Corey Peters performed in his first NFL start: "Again, I'm not going to comment on that until I watch the tape but, from standing on the sideline, which you don't see a whole lot, I thought that he did a nice job. He did a nice job from where I stood. On Wednesday, I'll be able to give you a better evaluation. It was nice to have Corey Peters back out there. We had a set number of plays that we would have liked to get him to play and I'm sure we were very close to that number."

On how he is handling being undefeated right now: "We like to have a lot of fun but we're a very mature group. We have a bunch of guys who are the mentors on our football team and we've done a very nice job of focusing on the task at hand. The task at hand, I know it sounds like coach speak, is the next game. You can't concern yourself with what has taken place the week before. It has no bearing on what's going to take place the next time you go out there on the field and play. We are on point when we kick the football off and I think the guys have done a very good job, they've focused extremely well this season."

On what made the Eagles susceptible to the screens run by the Falcons: "Again, I don't really want to get into the strategy. Obviously we felt like that would be a good sequence for us in terms of how we wanted to attack them and we were able to execute them and we got some yardage out of them. We had some yard after catch (YAC) yards that were very good on those short passes and that's what you've got to have to be a successful team. Running screens, you've got to have great YAC yards."

On the fact that, after other games, he has said that the team has to get better and whether he felt that they did that today: "I think we did a lot better in terms of starting fast. That's obvious and until I really watch the tape, I don't really want to answer that. I know we left some plays out there and I think that that's always going to be the case. We handled the bye week extremely well and very maturely in terms of the week off. The players had an entire week off. We felt like, by going into the week that way, that it's going to pay dividends not only this week but down the road when we get to that latter part of the season."

On whether they had a stronger commitment to the run or if the weather dictated that: "Again, each week the dynamic of the game is going to change and sometimes it's a decision by your staff or how we want to approach it. Other times, it's going to be based on how they're trying to defend you and the weather can also play a part in it. But this is a team that's very good at getting up the field and rushing the passer and you have to try to slow that thing down and that was our thoughts going into this game was to try to slow that up-the-field rush by the defensive line."

On whether he is aware that the Falcons are the first team to defeat Reid after a bye week: "Yes. That's an unbelievable, phenomenal record and it speaks volumes of what kind of coach Andy Reid is in terms of having his team prepared coming off of a bye week. We felt like we prepared ourselves very well this week and really took a good hard look at us, not necessarily worrying about game planning on Monday when we came back in here. It was Falcons on Falcons and we worked our tails off and I think we got some things corrected that we needed to. But Andy's record is probably number one of all-time in the NFL in terms of coming off a bye. We played well today and we were fortunate to win it."

On whether he is aware that he is the winningest coach in Falcons history: "Yes I am but it's not about a coach. There are a lot of people that contributed to the number of wins since (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and I have gotten here. It's about the players. It's about the coaches. There are a lot of people that make contributions to that. We're glad that we were able to get the win this week and we are looking forward to start our preparations for next week's game against the very good Dallas Cowboys. We'll enjoy this for a few minutes and then move on."

On whether the defense did anything special to control Vick: "Again, we had a game plan for it. You know obviously, and I really don't want to talk about the specifics of what we did. We knew that we could not allow their quarterback to extend plays. He's dangerous when he extends plays. We knew that we couldn't allow him to throw it over our head because he's got a very strong arm. He's got a 60 plus yard arm and I thought we did a nice job in executing in the game plan. There's many different ways to do that."

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