Here's what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 29-22 upset victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday:
Opening comments: "That was awesome. At the end, game on the line, those are the moments as a coach that you totally live for. It makes you feel most alive, it was awesome. We knew we would have to have a good road mentality to come out here. The last couple of times on the road, we had one in New Orleans, at Carolina and here. You've got to really be connected and make sure you're ready for a fight. We knew this was a very good team, talented spots in a number of spaces. We knew it was going to be a game where it was going to come down to it. I was really proud of the guys, down 19-10 in the fourth quarter, to make sure it was going to take every second of this game to go finish it out. There were all sorts of plays made back and forth. When you saw Julio (Jones) and the game that he had and their tight end (San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle) was a difficult guy to deal with as well. Both those guys, it was a blood and guts kind of day for all sides and it was a hell of a fight. But, to have a comeback win on the road I thought it showed a lot of toughness about the men in the locker room, what they stand for, the group and I'm glad to open it up for your questions."
On the Austin Hooper play and the Julio play, both are inches away and one went in your favor at the end. What was your vantage point on Hooper's and then Julio breaking the plane there? "I generally just try to hold on to good thoughts. I definitely thought Hooper's was a touchdown, 100-percent about it and then I just got on and said okay if it's not here, here's where the ball would be and spot it to Dirk (Koetter) to go. On those two, I don't have a great vantage, 50 yards away and I can't quite tell. I see the replay on the scoreboard, but it's not as good as some of the TV shots that you guys get. Once you saw it on the ground, I knew there would be a shot that it wasn't going to count so just getting ready for the next play, make sure Dirk had the information of where, what hash and what distance to go so he had it ready to go because in the moment you get excited and you want to make sure that if it doesn't go our way what's going to be the play call and that's what we had to do."
At 4-2 since the break, is this a thing of what could have been for this year's team? "No, I don't want to go back to look or look too far ahead. I just want to stay in the moment with this group of guys. We had said however we dialed it up this is where we're at and the next block is going to be and we're right in the middle of this one. We had one last week and another battle for it this week, we knew it was going to be a tough opponent, but we're pumped to be able to head back home in front of our fans this weekend coming up. We've just got to stay right where we're at."
What was your message to them after the game? I would imagine it was a little bit more positive than some others? "It took a lot of heart and a lot of extra heart to get this game won. I was really proud of the guys, I thought just a remarkable performance by Julio in terms of the amount of catches. It was difficult, Calvin (Ridley) was out, too. There was going to be a lot where he would be put into different spaces. He was Z, he was X, he was outside, inside, screens, but all in all I thought it was just a tough team performance. The coach side of me certainly doesn't like the penalties and that'll be something easy for me to get back into tomorrow. We were going to be bold. Took a shot on an onside kick. We took some shots that we thought we would take, but it was the heart of the team to come back and fight at the end."
I know you're focused on the moment, but what does it mean to you to have this team bounce back the way it has in the past? "It means a lot. When we spend this much time and care about one another, you love one another so you want to fight so when it doesn't go exactly as you'd hope for them, you want to get it to that space where you can. What I love about them is their attitude to fight for it. That means a lot to me personally and I always want to make sure I'm giving them my best so they're going to get it every time. At the end of the day, there's a lot of fighters, that means a lot to me because they are going to go battle for it and I think that was a clear example of that today."