What Dan Quinn had to say after the 34-7 loss to the Dolphins

Falcons coach Dan Quinn speaks after the exhibition loss to the Dolphins Thursday night. (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter)

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 34-7 loss to the Dolphins on Thursday:

OPENING STATEMENT: "Obviously not the night that we wanted and not the energy that is needed. Certainly not the energy that our fans deserved. Over the next few days, we've got tough decisions to make regarding final roster spots as well as some practice squad opportunities for guys here. Sometimes in a game like tonight there are good consequences and bad ones. We certainly, part of the evaluation is that we like playing the young guys a lot to find out (as much as we can). So we get a chance to develop them...I do want to say that I appreciate how hard they worked during training camp. Those results didn't show out in the (exhibition) season games for this year. But I did feel liked this rookie class really (played hard) and showed some great effort. I was disappointed that the performance didn't match that for them. I'll be glad to open it up for questions about the game or about things ahead."

On who may have helped themselves: "I'll have to go back and look. But it certainly felt on the defensive side we missed some tackles early. They settled back down as it went. I liked some of the pass rush that took place there at the end. That was one of the bright spots. Offensively, I certainly wanted to see the fullback (Jalston Fowler) at the end there. I thought he had a couple of physical blocks. Past that, I'll have to go back and look at the tape. There wasn't a lot that I was taking from the sideline that made me feel really encouraged by some of the performances tonight."

On extreme performances in this game. "Thomas (Dimitroff) and I with the scouting staff and the coaching staff, all of it is a factor. We count the practice reps. The times that we did the Red-White scrimmages. We count what we've seen up and through the (exhibition) season games. Basically, you want to see a player ascend as you are going. If you see the up-and-down performances you know there is work to be done there. Or if see a performance that could be declining, does he have the stamina to go and withstand the next six months that are going to challenging as hell, but fun and but really hard. Those are things that we generally look for. We look at more of the entire package. Now, what can happen in a game like tonight, there is more exposure to a player and that's a good thing because you get a better answer, not just what the talent is, but how he can function in the game with calls. It's a really important part of it, but not the most important part. One game is not the most important thing."

On just playing two instead of four exhibition games (like Jerry Jones has proposed): "Well, I think you'd probably introduce a scrimmage with another club. That would be one. The main thing is that you want to see the guys interact. In practice, you can certainly get enough of the conditioning and the work, but these (exhibition) season games it helps with the work for the youngest players. The older players, maybe three years or more, some of them can get back into their football skill-set quicker than a rookie can. We are of the opinion with the rookies, we like playing them. We usually have a number of them and try to really see where we can get them. I think we'd adjust like most times. At one time there were six (exhibition games) and I'm sure they said, how would you ever do it if you only had four? Then all of sudden the next conversation is coming. Generally, most people would adapt. That's something for another day."

On linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee: "We really felt that he made a jump over the last 10 days or so. He had a good week of practice last week and another good one this week in preparation. There are some of those plateaus that you hit as a rookie and then there is wall and you've got to go right through it. He certainly did that this well."

On running back Malik Williams: "He was one of the players who provided us with some energy. He jumped a guy. I thought he had another physical run. That's the big back that we were hoping to see coming out of Louisville. We saw him lower his shoulder and make yards after contact. That was encouraging tonight for us to see that."

On linebacker Emmanuel Smith: "I felt like early on we were a little out of whack and let out some plays that we normally would not. It was man-to-man and we let a guy go in a busted coverage. I felt like that group settled down as we got into the second half. I'm talking about the linebackers defensively. We put them on the backs man-to-man and they swung them out and they made some tackles in space. Generally, those are the things you look for. On the (special) teams side of things, those two guys (Emmanuel Ellerbee and Emmanuel Smith) showed the speed that we are looking for."

On the punting of David Marvin: "What a big hit that was (on his last 58-yard punt). We knew he had a strong kickoff leg so we were hoping to get him so exposure doing that as well. That's a part of his game that came through loud and clear for us."