Raheem Morris: ‘We had more bad than good today’

Here’s what Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris had to say after the 24-9 loss Sunday to the Saints:

On whether he can pinpoint why the offense struggled: ”We really came out and got things going the way we wanted to, got down the field and weren’t able to punch it away in that red zone possession we had and that really got the three going. You’ve got to score touchdowns in those situations. We talk about all the time our job being able to score touchdowns, being able to score points. We got the three, we were able to get it down there and get it a couple of times. (Younghoe) Koo did a nice job of making the field goals when he had the opportunity, but we never got going in the second half. They absolutely dominated us on third down. They did a really good job in coverage, I know the sack numbers will probably get out of whack because of how well they played in their coverage. It was really not a lack of protection or a lack of discipline, busted assignments, it was really those guys doing a really good job of coverage, absolutely covering our wide outs and Matt (Ryan) having to hold onto the ball. A combination of all of those things played into that.”

On the wide receivers’ struggle to get open: “They played a nice mixture of two man, nice mixture of corners, and did a really good job of playing underneath coverage and sitting on routes and really taking away some of the things that we like to do. Kudos and hats off to Dennis Allen and his crew and his guys, along with A.G. over there. Those guys did a nice job of covering us.”

On the play of Saints QB Taysom Hill: ”Taysom (Hill) came out and really had them under control in that first half and did some really good things. He got off a couple play action passes and was able to get his run game going with his legs and that really got him going. Once he got it going with his run game we had to make some sacrifices to stop some people to do those things. He was able to get some completions down the field on play action passes that we have to make plays on. His guys did it for him and the Saints beat us today in a well-fought, physical battle.”

On the preparation for both Saints QB Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston:”I just told the guys I didn’t feel bad about the week of preparation. I thought the guys did a great job of going out there and preparing and knowing exactly what they wanted to d o. It showed when we came out in the first half as far as the preparation for the quarterback and what you wanted to do. He made more plays, he is a good football player. Hats off to him.”

On an injury update on WR Julio Jones: ”We will find out what is going on tomorrow, but obviously he was not able to come back into the game because of the hammy. He did it pretty early and those guys went out there and battled but we have to see what is going on with Julio Jones.”

On how the team must flip a switch when WR Julio Jones is out of the game:”It’s just like any other great player, when they leave, in those moments somebody has to step up, next man up mentality. We have to be able to do those things quicker, faster and more deliberately while we are in the game so we can go on and get a win.”

On whether he felt there was enough creativity offensively: ”It’s hard to diminish what they are doing when you talk about the creativity and what they have been able to do the last couple of weeks. We have to go out and we have to execute better. We talked about this game being about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we had more bad than good today. We definitely let those guys win the ugly battle. They came out and they were able to intimidate and do some different things. We were able to play physical and do some physical things, but they definitely got us when you talk about the good and the bad.”

On whether he expected Saints QB Taysom Hill to pass as much as he did: ”We knew he was the quarterback, we knew he was going to be able to come out and be able to be the quarterback. We knew he was going to throw the type of passes that he would throw, keeping them on the move with the keeper game, absolutely giving them the play action game. He did some of those things, he absolutely was able to do a few drop backs that he was able to complete that looked pretty good. Other than that, we knew and felt really good about our plan for him. We have to make some of those plays with some of the balls he did make down the field. We were not able to do that today and we have to go back and look at the reasons why and correct those things quickly and efficiently and be able to move on because we are going to see these guys in a couple of weeks.”

On whether the offensive line was over-powered or just out-of-sync: ”It was a combination of those guys covering us really well, not being able to hold up for as long as some of those pass plays may have taken. We’ll get a chance to go back and see what the analytics say on how long the pass goes in the progression and who got covered, who did what as far as progressions, but we don’t want to just blow blame on the O-line all the way. A lot of those were a combination of coverage and rush.”

On the game plan to face Saints QB Taysom Hill: ”You know what he is and you know what he can do really well so you want to limit the ability for him to be able to do those things really well, which he got going really well in the second half. We were able to cause that one fumble on him when he broke out on us on a big time run, and those things limit you on as far as what you want to do. You know he has the ability to fake that and come out with a play action pass and you have to make a play on some of these play action passes whether it be a sack-fumble or whether it be making a play on the ball down the field and we were not able to do that in the second half to absolutely flip the momentum once they got it.”

On QB Matt Ryan being out of sync: “You have to give the Saints credit. They did a great job on defense, their defensive backs did a nice job to limit us and what we were able to do. Those guys came out and had a great game plan for us. They did a nice job of keeping Matt (Ryan) under control. They did a nice job of keeping our receivers under control. You have to give those guys credit for what they were able to do.”

On the importance of staying motivated knowing they will see the Saints again: ”It’s a division opponent and those things always sting but you have to get back knowing that you are going to play these guys a couple times. We know them, they know us, it’s always going to be about the stuff we talked about before, more good, less bad and we have to go out there and we have to absolutely win the ugly game. We did not win that today and they won it. It was a good job by those guys.”

On whether he was surprised by the performance coming out of a bye week: ”The guys really had a great week of preparation. I thought it was one of our best. That’s doesn’t always dictate the terms of how it’s going to look when you go out there and play the game obviously as it happened today. We came out ready to play, guys came off the bus ready to play. We had a nice feel for it in the first half. Going into halftime and having a chance to take a lead going into half but those guys getting a big time sack and then knocking down the Hail Mary coming out with the one point lead. We really felt like we could take control of the game in the second half and we were never able to capture that. They went right down and scored on us. They got the ball back. We had a bunch of three and out, we were limited on third down which we have to get better at. All of things happened in that game and we could never shift momentum back to where we could take control of the game and win it.”

Falcons’ next four games

Raiders at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29

Saints at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6

Falcons at Chargers at 4:25 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13

Buccaneers at Falcons at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10

The Bow Tie Chronicles Podcasts:

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