Falcons’ Jaylinn Hawkins: ‘ We have to fix that little sloppy stuff’

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
Falcons safety Jaylinn Hawkins captured his second interception in as many games when he caught pass intended for Miami tight end Durham Smythe.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Here’s the what the Falcons had to say after the 30-28 win over the Dolphins:


On his interception: “You know, it was a formation setting that w studied the whole week, as a group. I seen that they were empty. The running back was a two and the tight end at one. So I kind of know when they run that seven route in combination with the slot. I just read the quarterbacks eyes and trusted my instincts. The linebackers and everybody got good drops. The corner got a good drop. It helped that he put some air on the ball and I just jumped the route, trusted my instincts and made the play for the squad.”

ExploreSteve Hummer: Kyle Pitts has a future in this game

On the play of Kyle Pitts: “He’s works hard. He works hard in practice. You do the little things right man, it plays out in the game. He’s a great player, happy to have him as a teammate. Good dude. He just has got everything man I’m proud of what he’s doing. It’s dope. It’s dope to see.”

On what he’s been impressed about: “When he first came in, dude, is a freak. Long. Tall. Fast. Can run. Just a lot of dope stuff. He’s just a good player. Then just making tough catches over the middle. He’s a good player. As a team, good win. We have to fix that little sloppy stuff. Get back to the drawing board and just keep working hard.”

On going against him practice: “It’s good competition. It gets me better. I’m hoping to get him better, iron sharpen iron. It’s fun. I learned different things, different techniques. It’s dope.”

On the Foye Oluokun’s interception: “Foye when he got that pick I was about to pass out. I was running with him. I was so excited. I was like, he’s gone. Once you see somebody gone like that, you let because you don’t want to get a block in the back penalty. He was just running full speed and I was like yeah, he’s to the crib. I was excited for him. He played well.”

One guys stepping in for the injured players: “You know we just kind of keep practicing hard, everybody because you never know what could happen. For example, like what he’s talking about, So we just got to continue to get better. We got a solid win but there are a lot of things we have to clean up in order to play cleaner ball. So that’s the biggest thing.

On what changed on the last two drives: “Nothing change. We just got calls in and we played the calls. They did a little tempo. I wouldn’t say that anything changed. We just played the calls that we got and dealt with..they made some plays. We have to clean up some things.”

On the Dolphins’ tight ends: “They are a good group. “It was good competition. They are a good group.”

On getting to .500: “We just have got to have continuous growth. We have to keep getting better. More detailed and we have to play cleaner ball. It was a good win today.”

On his play: “I’m just doing for my squad. That’s it. You know, what I’m saying. I want to win. We don’t want to lose. If I’m out there, I just it for my squad. For the back end, the linebackers and the (defensive) linemen. For the squad, that’s it.”

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC

Combined ShapeCaption
Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun comments on the play of the defense against the Dolphins.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC


Q. Foye, could you walk us through the interception in today’s game.

A: OLUOKUN: They just came off a turnover themselves, I believe. So just stressing let’s not let them in the end zone. Grady (Jarrett) and the d-line made a good pass rush. Grady was on his legs. I think he was trying to play some hero ball, threw it up and overthrew him, maybe behind him. I was there doing my zone drop and kind of moving with the quarterback and he overthrew it. So I just capitalized off that and took off trying to score.

Q. You looked like you protected it pretty good. They were trying to come for it.

OLUOKUN: Last year, same kind of similar thing down in Kansas City, where Tyreek Hill popped it out and that was the scariest moment of my life. As soon as I felt that pressure on the right, he tried to pop it up and tried to push it down, and I just held on to the ground.

Q. Did you think you were going to get in the end zone there?

OLUOKUN: “Yeah, I played receiver in high school, all-state. No, I was trying to score for sure. I pulled away from the linemen. I saw the tight end on the right that I pulled away from. Just hoping and praying I was going to get there. I’m not thinking I’m going to get tackled.”

Q. You said you thought Tua Tagovailoa played a little hero ball on that play. Were you seeing more and more of that as the game went on?

OLUOKUN: “I’d probably have to look at the film on that. Eventually they kind of just spread us out and went tempo. Maybe (Tua Tagovailoa) was inching around the pocket some. I know he got out a couple times. I don’t know if it was hero ball or just good quarterbacking from him.”

Q. That last drive that they gave up then the potentially game-winning touchdown. Did anything change on that drive? Obviously, it was a short field.

OLUOKUN: “Their last drive, where they scored?”

Q. Was there anything that changed defensively?

OLUOKUN: “No, they were just tempoing us. We’ve got to do better while we’re getting tempoed to be detailed and do what we need to do to get off the field. I think we had them in a long down and distance situation. We’ll go over the play they hit, the kind of deeper pass they hit and then got to be detailed and get off the field.

Q. Arthur Smith was talking about how he felt really calm. His heart rate was really steady when he sends Youghoe Koo out there for the field goal. From your vantage point what do you feel in those moments? You’ve seen him do it before.

FOYE OLUOKUN: “I’ve got all the faith in Youghoe (Koo). I’m going to stand down there and look the opposite way.”

Q. You don’t look?

OLUOKUN: “It’s my superstition on that. If I do that part, he’s going to do his part.”

Q. Can you see the Jumbotron?

OLUOKUN: “Theirs was like blank. I didn’t even see. I look at the fans’ reaction. I think I turned around and saw it go through the upright. I didn’t see him kick it, though.”

Q. When did that start for you?

OLUOKUN: “High school, college. When I was in defense even in college and offense had the critical drive, like fourth down or something, I would go to the opposite sideline, opposite part of the thing and look the other way, and it worked out. I’m superstitious.

Q. Did you turn away on that last drive as well, when Matt Ryan hit Kyle Pitts a couple times, too?

OLUOKUN: “I was sitting down breathing trying to get some oxygen in me, but as soon as they got down in the red zone, I had all the faith in it. When Youghoe (Koo) went out there, that’s when I got up.”

Q. Are you surprised at all by anything that Kyle Pitts has done?

OLUOKUN: “Coach has challenged him a lot. He said, ‘We expect you to make those plays. Everybody talks about you like this, we expect you to make those types of plays.’ (Kyle Pitts) definitely stepped up to the plate. I’ve got a lot of respect for Kyle, especially how young he is. I think he’s just a baller. The more confidence he gets, the better he’s going to be.”

Q. Defensively, you have played, Grady Jarrett doing his thing, people going down, coming in and out. How do you keep building as a unit off of these game experiences?

OLUOKUN: “At the end of the day, we’re finding ways to win games. We obviously want to be cleaner so we could not have to go through the whole struggle of the last drive. A lot of NFL games will come down to the last drive. If we do what we’re supposed to do throughout the game, finishing when we’re supposed to, I think it will be good for our defense.”

Q. In the course of a game, do you have time to appreciate a left-handed, one-handed catch?

OLUOKUN: “Yeah, I got up. I was yelling at (Kyle Pitts), pumping him up. It was nice.”

Q. Anything in particular you yelled at him?

OLUOKUN: “Nothing I’m going to tell you (Laughter). It was good stuff, though. Very, very good play.”

Q. You go back to your supposed wide receiver days in high school?

OLUOKUN: “That’s what I told him when he got to the sideline. I said, you look like me in high school (Laughter). That was spectacular. I don’t know what the saying is, but very high ceiling for (Kyle Pitts). I’m excited to see him keep growing.”

The Bow Tie Chronicles

For more content about The Atlanta Falcons

Follow me on Twitter @DOrlandoAJC

On Facebook at Atlanta Falcons News Now

Atlanta Falcons coverage on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Falcons’ 2021 schedule features trip to London, January trip to Buffalo

Atlanta Falcons Schedule

Eagles 32, Falcons 6

Buccaneers 48, Falcons 25

Falcons 17, Giants 14

Washington 34, Falcons 30

Falcons 27, Jets 20

Bye Week

Falcons 30, Miami Dolphins 28

Next Four Games

Panthers at Falcons, 1 p.m., Sunday, October 31

Falcons at Saints, 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 7

Falcons at Cowboys, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14

Patriots at Falcons, 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18