What Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 24-20 win over the Eagles on Sunday night:
Opening statement: “Good to see you guys. First things we like to start off with, it was awesome with the fans tonight. It was important to get a win for them. The passion and the support they’ve shown us, they deserve it … to have a good game. We felt their energy and their juice the whole time. One milestone with an important touchdown at the end was a game-winning touchdown. On that one play alone, Matt (Ryan), that was his 300th touchdown pass and Julio (Jones) passed a good friend Roddy (White) for the franchise record for most yards. I thought Jake Matthews had a hell of a block. For him to have a good angle on Julio (Jones), it’s going to be a problem. But wanted to recognize the fans, for one, and Matt and Julio and good block by Jake. In the game, I thought No. 1, we thought it was going to be about the ball, and both teams had three turnovers or takeaways, however, you want to look at it. We ended up scoring 14 off of ours, they scored nine off of theirs. We've talked a lot about that this week, about how we can do better in that part of the game, and we certainly intend on doing that, but I was proud of the defense and special teams for standing up. It was a good play, good punch-out by (Kendall) Sheffield to get the fumble and good recovery. All in all, I was proud of the toughness of our team. I said we'd find out a lot in the locker room last week about who we are. After such a difficult performance, we had told the team there's a really big difference between playing hard and playing well. I told you after the game I thought we had played hard, but we didn't play well. Tonight, to have an ending and a finish like that, with the game-winning touchdown and then to come back and get a fourth-down stop for the win, I think it showed a lot of toughness, a lot of heart and what we stand for. It was a great win. We're proud to do it in front of our home fans. Glad to open it up for questions.”
On Carson Wentz: “He's a tough competitor. Their whole team is. And they had some injuries, as well, and battled through it and went down to the end. Coming in, this is a good offensive line, both in the run game and pass protection, so more -- we didn't get a lot of chances in our first game to get a lot of pass rushes. The one we did, we had some pressure but it's a part of our game we've worked hard at. The guys are putting in the work and hopefully, we'll continue to improve as we're going.”
On Calvin Ridley: “He had such a good week of practice and you know what usually follows that. Really for two weeks now he has. He was just feeling it, ready, in a good groove, and he's an aggressive player, and when he gets his shots and his moments, he can nail those. I know he missed one deep one. He was so pissed when he came onto the sideline. He said there will be another moment tonight to go make them pay, and he certainly did that."
On whether or not Julio Jones’ second touchdown was a check play: “Two options, yep. It was a check play, yep, after the pressure look. It's called a tunnel screen where you throw it out, a lineman goes out to block, and I thought it was well executed. It's a big little play, and you hit it against a zero blitz, and you can make it, it goes big. If they end up moving out of a blitz, you may not get it, but in that case, that was the right call and the right check, so good call by Dirk (Koetter) and well-executed by Matt and Julio.”
On the confidence level of the defense after giving up the 4th-and-16 versus them coming up with the stop afterward: “Yeah, you never want the play to happen when it happened. We actually were in a call that we felt good about that particular play. That's one that's atypical -- one that's a three-deep beater. But when it happens, usually you see how do you respond, how do you fight harder when you get hit, and I remember talking to Deion (Jones), he said, ‘We've got this, (Quinn),’ came right over and smiled at me, and I said, ‘I already know, let's go finish it off.’ There was a long wait, I can tell you that. Between he's short, he's short, and when you're calling the play, you're like, ‘Yeah, that's good for you to say, what's the next call. So you're kind of -- I had a group out there ready to play if we had to go defend the next down, but it was definitely -- we had said the tackling was going to be really important this game because they have a lot of fourth-down attempts, so all the third downs, does it go from third-and-four to third-and-one, third-and-four to third-and-three or fourth-and-three, that's a big difference, so we thought the tackling was going to be at a premium against some good backs, and I thought in space there was some good tackling, certainly by Deion (Jones) and the other linebackers, as well.”
On which guys, aside from Desmond Trufant, ‘set it off’ tonight: “We played a bunch of them and having Allen (Bailey) and Ty (Tyeler Davison) in there in the run game is a real factor for us, but at the end when we needed it, and he got out for a few, too. I don't know if Adrian (Clayborn) missed one but a couple guys got some hits on him, but went out, came back in. He's a tough competitor, the quarterback is.”
On Matt Ryan’s mood on the sideline: “Yes, and like usually his look, the intensity, ready to go attack. But at the end we knew plenty of time to go and go make the plays. But when you had the turnovers, yeah, I think that's in the back of your mind. I think it shows a lot of his mental toughness to say, all right, it didn't go how I wanted, and we still have to go win this one. That was a good moment for him when it's hard and you come, and you fight back. But mindset you couldn't tell from him. He's pretty stoic in those spots. He gets pissed but he was able to reset quickly even when it's good and bad.”
On whether or not Matt Ryan is visibly upset while coming off the field after turnovers: “Yes, visibly, or -- I don't know what the word is, audibly? Reset, yeah, quickly. He knows -- he's pretty quick to have the recall of I don't like what I did or shouldn't have made the throw, but in that case what I do love about him, also, is this is a really resilient guy. He's ready to fight. He's ready to go attack on the next one where he doesn't get anxious or nervous if there's another moment. He's ready to step up and deliver.”
On Matt Ryan’s five interceptions in two games: “I'm not concerned because I don't think that's going to be the norm. It hasn't been his history. It's definitely obviously not what we want or what he wants, but not from a concern standpoint. It was just something we talked about earlier because we wanted to be aggressive with the people that we have, but one of those moments where, hey, this is a throwaway, this is one. But we'll certainly look at that tomorrow, but not a concern spot for me. I have a sense this is not going to be the case with him. It hasn't been before, and I don't think it'll be moving forward. But the numbers are where they're at for two games.”
On changes in defensive play-calling after the Eagles lost DeSean Jackson: “For sure they had some guys banged up, tight ends and wide receivers, too. I wouldn't say the calls would change based on that. The game plan wasn't designed around him. He's a factor on their team for sure. What plays may not come up in the same space, those are things you consider. But the way they attack on some of the plays, it wasn't part of the design. We weren't matching in today's game based on him heading into it. So had that been the case, maybe we would have rearranged some people, but that wasn't the case today.”
On the Falcons’ defensive line: “Well, there's some veterans there. They've played a lot and having some of the guys into the mix together, that's been a big part of it, bringing Ty (Tyeler Davison) and bringing Allen (Bailey) into it, (Jack) Crawford I think has picked up where he left off. He and Grady [Jarrett] have kind of an excellent partnership, they're in and out, and then you have guys at the three-technique that are really upfield. But Grady came back, he already was playing at a high level, and I thought he took it to a new space. Having (Adrian) Clayborn back adds to our toughness, adds to our pass rush. Hopefully, we can continue to keep developing, but it is a veteran-esque group now that people that have played some time and experience today, so we're hoping to build on it for sure.”
On practicing in the red zone area: “We actually added some practice time into the red zone, even to this week, to the week before, so we'll continue to emphasize that for it. Any time you had like the interceptions there, what do we learn from it and what do we take away from it and that's what we'll continue to do, is there a concept that's a common thing that we're showing. I don't seem to think that's the case, but we'll certainly spend the extra time in there for sure. With the weapons we have, we want to make sure we deliver into that space.”
On Matt Bryant and Matt Bosher: “(Matt Bosher) had strained his groin in pregame, so we didn't know if he was going to be able to punt. He is a really tough competitor. I don't know if you saw (Mohamed Sanu) kick some in pregame, as well. It wasn't just for the hell of it. He likes doing it, he does it some in practice, but he is our backup punter in that space, so we were ready to go if we had to go in that spot, so that's why Matt kicked off tonight. He was able to fight through it and battle forward, but he couldn't kick-off. He tried one, and we didn't want to make it worse from where he was at, so I just kept up with him and if it was going to get worse we would have gone with Mo. It wasn’t any worse as we kept going through the game, so that's why we decided to go with Matt (Bryant). Called him back into duty for kickoff. It's been a while.”
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