Dan Quinn on loss to Cardinals: ‘Our team is hurting’

Atlanta Falcons Dan Quinn addresses the Falcons' 34-33 loss to Cardinals in Arizona. (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

Here's what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 34-33 loss to the Cardinals Sunday:

Opening statement:
"I told the team I'm proud of the fight they showed to get back at the end of the game and have a chance for us to win in the fourth quarter, but we put ourselves in too big of a hole at the half to have to come back and fight, so you certainly can't let that happen. I was pleased with the guys effort and energy to put it all in this week out on the road to try and find the performance we were looking for. There were some good individual performances, but it was not enough to get the job done tonight. We've got work to do and that's what we'll continue to do."

On if he got an explanation on the operation of the extra point:
"We haven't talked about it."

On his state of mind considering K Matt Bryant's performance:
"You put everything into it — and I also told the team — knowing that you could get your heart broken, and that's what it was today. This guy has made a million kicks, and is as pressure, is as clutch as you come, so there isn't anybody you'd rather have in that moment — kicks, extra points, field goals — there's nobody. He's one of the most mentally tough football players I've been around, and it hurts today, but he'll make big kicks for us again this year."

On the offense getting back into the game in the second half:
"They had to damn sure fight to get back and that was the only chance we had to get ourselves going. I thought offensively to answer with some scores after (the defensive) stops was certainly the key to have a chance to tie it up and make some plays at the end, but it still comes down to getting a stop. At the end (the Cardinals) go for it on the third down to get the first, you get the stop and that's what you have to do in that moment.'

On establishing the run game and it paying off with play-action passes:
"I think that's exactly right, you said it. That's the value, not the value but a value, a big value of the run game. You have to step up and that's what you see some of the over, in-breaking routes you saw to 'Mo' (Mohamed Sanu), (Austin) Hooper, 'Cal' (Calvin Ridley), so those are a byproduct of the run game. I thought (Devonta)Freeman had some really tough yards today — first downs, completions, scores — so there were some good individual performances, but it wasn't enough to get it done. Obviously our team is hurting. All they care about is getting the win, but for (Freeman) especially, I was glad to see some of those good runs."

On if the defensive stops in the second half were due to schematic changes or just executing at a higher level:
"I'd say probably a combination of both. There were certainly some things that weren't effective as we went through the first half, so those were things that you hit on the sideline. But I think in the second half we came in, talked about the calls we'd make and those are what we featured for the most part in the second half."

On what they need to do to improve the pass rush and pressure the opposing quarterback:
"Find ways to finish. So when you chase him out of the pocket, how do you trap him in and keep him in there? I wasn't displeased with the guys effort and energy to get going, but you've got moments to keep him in and keep him remaining a passer, you've got to be able to do that."

On the Cardinals offense and QB Kyler Murray's accuracy:
"One, I thought they do a good job of utilizing different personnel groups. In the past they'd utilize just one, so (now) they've got a good variety of guys to use. Excellent backs coming out of the backfield; their empty package in the screen game has always been something in the first part of the season I think a lot of teams are going to have to deal with. They had their chances for big, explosive plays and that's what they had against us in the first half. We knew that coming in that could not be the case, and he (Murray) still had some."

On what he felt the turning point was on defense in the second half:
"I think just their ability to go challenge and play down closer to the line. We had to, in that space, play some more man-to-man and that's what we did. I thought more than anything just the execution of that. (In the) first half, to see the ball get thrown overhead in zone, we wanted to make sure that doesn't happen where we can stay on top, that's kind of part of playing zone. More than anything, I thought, just the mindset to challenge more. We're extremely disappointed not getting any takeaways. I thought we had a chance to get one, but we didn't get that, so we'll keep battling for those."

On the importance of building off of the team fighting back going into a home contest in Week 7:
"I'd say more than anything, we get a chance to fight in front of our home fans. That always means a lot to do that. There's no moral victories, there's no things of that such other than finding our ways to fight to get our football team the wins that we need to get. That's really all we'll think about and all we'll focus our time on."

On what he said to K Matt Bryant after his missed extra point:
"Just told him we love him, number one, and he's made (many more kicks) for us and this team this year. He's one of the most mentally tough guys that I've ever coached. He's hurting, but we also knew and the team did, too, that there's lots of plays in this game for people to make, so we won't put it onto that."

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