Seahawks Insider

Falcons says playoff failures in rear-view mirror

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:44 am with 13 Comments »
January 9, 2013 10:44 am
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, right, talks with quarterback Matt Ryan during second quarter of an NFL football game in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith, right, talks with quarterback Matt Ryan during second quarter of an NFL football game in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

The past is just that – in the past.

That’s the response from Atlanta head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan when asked about the team’s one-and-done playoff exits since Smith took over as the team’s head coach in 2008.

“You learn from all of your experiences, whether they’re positive or negative,” Smith said. “And it’s something that we’ve evaluated. But once you get into the season, it really has no bearing. You make the adjustments that you feel like you need to make, and you go through the preparation like you normally do.

“And in our preparation last week, we earned the right to have the bye week. We approached it with a little more workload than we have in the past, and now we’re on to game preparation. So what’s happened in the past really is going to have no bearing on what’s going to happen.”

Added Ryan: “There’s really no sense in worrying about what happened in the past. I think you learn from it. You make adjustments. You try and use it in a positive light. We talk about it all the time – what you did the week before, what you did the year before has no bearing on what you do the next time out.”

Ryan said one of the adjustment his team made is the Falcons approached the bye week differently than in 2010, getting more work in last week and doing some self scouting.

“We were in here the entire week,” Ryan said. “And we were working and staying in that rhythm. And I think that helped us.”

Predictably, Smith spoke highly of the Seahawks in general, and Seattle’s defense in particular.

“It’s very impressive up front,” Smith said. “They’ve got some very physical guys, and I think it starts with the two inside guys in (Alan) Branch and (Brandon) Mebane – they do a nice job. And Red Bryant is a big, physical player.

“I’ve been impressed with the speed of their linebackers, they can run. And I think it’s arguably the best duo at the cornerback position in the league this year. They’re big, long physical football players. And then the safeties, they’ve got a big one in (Kam) Chancellor. He’s a big, physical football player. And then Earl Thomas has great speed, makes a lot of plays on the football.”

Smith mentioned for him the thing the stands out over the last nine games for Seattle is the team’s turnover margin. The Seahawks are No. 1 in the league at +16 turnover differential according to Smith.

“They do a great job of taking the ball away,” Smith said. “And that will be a big challenge for us.”

Ryan said one of the things that makes Seattle tough defensively is they stick to what they do best, regardless of the opponent.

“They player their scheme well, and they don’t deviate from it,” Ryan said. “Those guys know that defense inside and out. And it allows them to play fast.”

Interviews, Opponents
Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. FleaFlicker says:

    This game is going to be tough. I love the match-up on paper, but the Falcons have been saying all year that the post season is the only thing that matters to them. Expecting them to come out swinging and going for the throat. Hoping we can start where we left off in D.C. instead of taking 15 minutes of regulation to warm up.


  2. “we earned the right to have the bye week.”

    That’s not the same as deserving a bye week. Can’t wait for our guys to smack them around this weekend.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    I can appreciate that sentiment, but until they actually get that playoff win, it’s in the present. Not unlike Seattle’s inability to win a road playoff game since ’83, until last week.

  4. I think we’re going to surprise everyone and blow them up.

    Seahawks 49, Falcons 17

  5. I know a lot of people love this matchup since their strength is WRs and our strength is CBs, but I’m a little nervous about this game.

    I’ll be looking for Ryan to test Seattle’s coverage in the middle of the field repeatedly. Sherman and BB should win enough battles downfield to force this. There is no way our defenders can cover all of Atlanta’s receivers on every play, but Kam, ET, KJ, and Wagner hammer the receivers who come across the middle early and often, we can disrupt this offense enough to beat them.

    Meanwhile, I think we can move the ball on the ground against this D. Both Marshawn and Wilson could have big days. Go Seahawks!

  6. FleaFlicker says:

    Agree with Stevos…lots of short range passes to Gonzalez/Turner/Rodgers wouldn’t be a huge suprise. We need an early score and a turnover.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo – To me, containing Gonzales is the biggest factor in wining on defense. It he gets loose, everything else will open up. SO, I tend to agree with you.

  8. Gonzales scares me in this game as much as anyone. Maybe we can get Golden Tate to take him out like he did Sean Lee… lol.

  9. Interesting that Seahawks passed up Aaron Maybin and Ray Edwards to sign Patrick Chukwurah. This guy played in Tampa for Gus Bradley in 2007-08. Lightweight pass rusher. Will be interesting to hear more about him and see if he manages to get on the field.

  10. HawkfaninMT says:

    Unfortunately I actually like Gonzalez. He needs to get the Witten, Davis treatment. He’s an aging vet that does not get much after the catch. He needs to be hammered early on in the game three or four times and those arms will get a little shorter, and he will pop up a little more slowly each time…

    I like him, but he has got to go!

  11. I’ve been watching Gonzales for years, one of my favorite TEs and always on my fantasy team. He is an amazing player and I’m sure he’ll get the respect he deserves from our guys. They can shut him down but it isn’t easy but I have confidence it will happen

  12. Ewalters7354 says:

    Question-Didn’t the Falcons have all those weapons last year and were held to 3points in the second half? Didn’t they also allow T-jack to look elite?
    The biggest matchup I’m looking at is Branch/Mebane vs Peter Konz.He’s undersized and has been terrible this year.Hopefully Gus can bring pressure his way like teams do Sweezy.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Rewatching the game from last week, They played Scruggs and Red at RDE quite a bit and seemed to leave Irvin at LDE. That may change with a week of practice but it’s still a good indicator of how they’ll cope with Clem out.

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