Billick Uncut: 'They just don’t have enough talent on the defensive side'

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FLOWERY BRANCH -- Thanks to Arthur Triche and the fine folks over at 92.9 The Game for sending over the entire Brian Billick interview from the Marc and Randy show earlier this week.

Billick, the former NFL head coach, is currently an

Brian Billick when he was working with Fox. He's now with the NFL Network. (MIKE MCCARN — AP)

analyst for the NFL Network. He’s Falcons head coach Mike Smith’s brother-in-law and was rather blunt in discussing the Falcons’ talent on defense. He categorized the issue as an “organizational one” moving forward while being interviewed by Marc James and Randy Cross.

Here’s our post from earlier in the week. We wanted to get you the full audio so that you can put the comments in context for yourself. CLICK HERE!!

Billick gave Smith his break in the NFL in 1999.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

ON IF HE’D BRING IN RICHIE INCOGNITO: “Me, personally, no. …Necessity is a terrible way to adapt (by) bringing (in) someone like Richie Incognito. Nothing personally against the guy. I know that he’s played in the league a little bit. This guy has had trouble absolutely everywhere that he’s gone. I would not want to insert that into my locker room. I realize there are some dire circumstances and that they need bodies in there, but personally, I wouldn’t do it.”

ON WHAT HE SEES WHEN HE LOOKS AT THE DEFENSE: It’s tough when you don’t have a lot of talent particularly on that side of the ball . Only in a half joking way when we’re talking about this when I’m on set for the NFL Network or I’m doing radio shows around the country and people ask about the Atlanta Falcons and ask about the defense my pat answer is usually ‘O.K. quick, tell me a starter on the Atlanta Falcons defense.’ Then there is just this pause. You know they have pretty good young corners with (Desmond) Trufant and (Robert) Alford. (Sean) Weatherspoon and (William) Moore are probably the two if anybody would know who they were, would be those two and now they’re out. So, yeah . . . it’s tough when you don’t have that core of talent on the defensive side of the ball. Mike Nolan, I think, has been doing it with smoke and mirrors for a while now and at some point you even run out of some of those mirrors."

Brian Billick believes Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is a running a smoke and mirrors defense and is running out of mirrors because of the talent level.

ON BUILDING OFFENSIVELY STRONG TEAMS: "That tends to be the way that most teams develop in terms of getting an asset. We know it’s a quarterback-driven league. You begin with that quarterback. Once you make that commitment and they did with the third overall pick when Mike first got there and they took Matt Ryan. You’ve got to surround him with talent. You have to maximize that asset that you have just put all of that resource into. When you take a quarterback hoping that the quarterback is the real deal, a lot of the time it isn’t and you can see… all you have to do is look around the league and see what that is about. Obviously, with Matt Ryan, he was the right guy. He is the real deal. So to use the assets to bring in a Roddy White, to now bring the offensive tackle in, to do the things to wrap around him offensively . . . Julio Jones is what I meant to say and give up all of those draft choices. Very rarely can you build a team equitably. . . .it’s hard to build equitably across the board."

ON THE DEFENSE BEING SOFT: “When you’re talking about toughness, you’re talking about being physical and it’s something that they think, obviously with the moves they made in the offseason and the changes in the coaching staff, the players that they brought in, yeah I think they very much addressed it. This is a team that the year before was 13-3. I’ve never been much one to buy into and I’m a coach, so I’m going to have this perspective. ... a year ago we were all those things. We were dynamic, we were tough and we coached well. Then the next year all of sudden we are not those things. They clearly have addressed that aspect of it. I go back to the defensive side of it and I don’t mean to belabor it, but at the end of the day, this game has been and always will be about talent and they just don’t have enough talent on the defensive side. I think that’s a larger organizational issue that has to be addressed and looked at in terms of going forward because I can’t think of another team in the league that has less quantifiable talent on it defensively."

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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SCHULTZ -- Falcons' losses like this are on are on Head Coach Mike Smith

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PHOTO GALLERY: Falcons lose to the Vikings

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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