Dan Quinn: ‘Not the start that any of us envisioned’

Falcons coach Dan Quinn addresses the team’s 0-4 start, following 30-16 loss Monday to the Green Bay Packers:

OPENING STATEMENT: “I thought, as we get to the close of the first quarter of the season, we’ve got a team full of fighters and warriors, but our second quarter cannot look like our first. And I expect those two quarters of football to look a hell of a lot different, certainly on the results side. We did not get what we came here to get. And that’s the thing for us as we’re heading into this second quarter back to a division game. It’s got to look different for us than our first quarter.”

On the performance of Matt Ryan: “I think, number one, we wanted to be aggressive and bold. We took some shots; we didn’t come down with them but that was certainly part of the plan going in, to be aggressive and going for it. As it gets down into the red zone, and we were going to take our shots even on third down and fourth down, to stay in rhythm to do that. So, when we got behind, thought we had a chance to come back out in the second half, get a stop, get right back into it. When that didn’t happen and you’re playing from behind, those are always the toughest ones then.”

On the play of Kendall Sheffield: “I thought Sheff looked really comfortable outside, and that’s where we’ll feature him, outside. And hopefully we’ll get A.J.(Terrell) back into the mix as well next week. But for his first time, extended playing time, without a lot of reps, I thought he really answered the challenge.”

On whether the defense was prepared for how the Packers used their backs/tight ends tonight: “Well, I think you have to be. So, we knew … we were in the same spot with them, both their receiving corps and our secondary both had some guys out, let’s put it that way. And so at the end, we’ve got to be able to execute. Some of the mistakes, we know they are correctable. Certainly the ones down in the red zone and we will get those corrected.”

On the play of the secondary and whether injuries and inexperience impacted their communication: “Yeah, I would say a couple of them (plays), from a communication side, were ones you’d like to have back and redo. One was a man-to-man we got beat on, but I wouldn’t say it was just one thing. As you’re going through, you have to learn from those, especially the new players who are in those spots. Those are the growing pains that come along with being new at the position. But at any case, we’ve got to be able to nail those moments when they come.”

On whether they can get things back on track after an 0-4 start: “Yeah, in my heart and in my head, and everything that I believe in…I know that we can. I know that the second quarter of our season will look a hell of a lot different than our first. That’s, in fact, what I told the team. Nothing has been decided yet. We do have our first division game coming up here this weekend. We’re certainly looking forward to that.”

On if he can confirm Damontae Kazee tore his Achilles: “I can’t confirm that, but we’ll be able to get a final confirmation tomorrow. It’s definitely a serious injury and that’s certainly…we’ll confirm that tomorrow. But let’s wait until then when we get all the information. But definitely a serious injury.”

On settling for a field goal after having a 20-play drive at the end of the first quarter: “Yeah, that kind-of exemplified, you had some fourth down attempts to go for it and to keep converting, and that was the attitude that we wanted to take. But at the end, we just felt it was important to get some points. But, yeah, no doubt, when you’re playing against this offense, that’s capable of scoring points, field goals aren’t going to get it done.”

On wide receiver Julio Jones’ injury moving forward: “Yeah, I think like all things, we’ll see how he responds this week and if he’s able to go against Carolina or not. I know it’s a short week but too early for us to tell if he’ll be available at Carolina on Sunday or not.”

On what the Packers did to take away WR Calvin Ridley in the game: “Yeah, and I think sometimes, it’s worth it to take the shots, he’s such an effective player in that way, especially over the top. On the targets we had, I believe he had, maybe, on the first one, a chance to go after it and catch it. On a couple of the other ones, whether it was coverage-related or, too deep or whatever it might’ve been, it’s always worth taking those shots to Cal. I think we’ve all seen how explosive he is. You don’t want those nights to happen, for sure, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be aggressive.”

On whether he met with Falcons owner Arthur Blank after the game and whether they discussed the future of his job: “No, we visited after the game. We both spoke with [Damontae] Kazee just to give him a hug and let him know we’re thinking about him, but nothing past that.”

On the Falcons' secondary being plagued with injuries: “Well, I think when you get to that spot, it’s all hands on deck. And if that’s putting a linebacker at safety, it’s corners jumping into the space, by any means necessary, you go through it. We had Jamal [Carter] up. He was one that was able to go play after [Jaylinn] Hawkins was injured. [Sharrod] Neasman was the one who jumped in after [Damontae] Kazee was injured. Those are moments, when the guys are called upon, we expect them to deliver. And, as you go through those injuries, that’s part of it. They’ve gotten their reps at practice as well.”

On whether he’s feeling pressure after the team started 0-4: “Yeah, I think so, but, you know, knowing where we’re at, it’s certainly not the start that any of us envisioned or wanted, and it’s confusing, it’s frustrating for everybody. But, I also told them, it’s the people inside the locker room that get to fix that and get to change that. Nothing’s been decided. Our division starts here. All our focus, all our energy just is on to Carolina. That’s how it has to be. And we can’t do things other than correct the mistakes and put all of our focus into this game. That’s our intent and that’s what we’ll do.”