What Dan Quinn had to say after 34-20 win over Bucs

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the Falcons improved to 7-4 with a 34-20 win over Tampa Bay on Sunday:

Opening Statement:
"To date for us, you hear us talk and use the word brotherhood, but that's exactly the style and attitude of what this game was. We had some guys go down defensively, had Tru [Desmond Trufant] go down and [Brian] Poole go down. Some guys stepped in and made plays. The clearest extension that they're playing for one another was when we had an unfortunate turnover down in the red zone in the fourth quarter. They came back with a long drive, and the defense had to make some stops, a third-and-2, I believe, and a fourth-and-2, and the offense came back to finish the drive. Those are groups working to support one another and have each other's back, and I was happy to see that. That type of connection they have. Wasn't surprised by it, but it was good to see. I was happy in terms of the improvement on special teams in our cover group. We worked hard on that this week to make sure that part of our game came together. We knew it was going to be a tough division game, but clearly one of our best team wins when you've got to lean on each other as hard as we did. I'm sure we'll answer a number of questions about Julio [Jones] and his performance, but as great as the performance and numbers are, it's the competitor that he is that totally stands out. I wish you could experience him on the sideline, the aggressiveness and hands that he has. He put up another big day. He and Matt [Ryan] also certainly on third down as well. Glad to open it up to questions regarding the game and the division."

On continuing to improve in several areas:
"We had a sense the turnover margin would come into effect in this game, so we owned it all the way until that spot. We didn't create any like we hoped, but there are some areas that we think we can get a bunch better, and we're going to see our improvement as we move forward during the season. The goal is to get better as you're playing. We have a number of things we think we can improve upon, and we've identified a few of those already. We're going to keep working like crazy to do that."

On rotating in Ben Garland on the offensive line:
"It was something that we wanted to take a look at. Ben [Garland] has certainly done a good job. We've featured him some in the short-yardage and the goal-line package. You've seen him do that. We certainly want to get him a chance to go in and compete as well. Yeah, it was by design today."

On matching up with Tampa Bay:
"I'll have to go back and look at that one, but it may have just been a matchup technique that we were wanting to go in and feature. I can't speak on that play specifically, but there are times where we do matchup different guys in different ways. Tampa's a unique team. They've got long receivers, fast guys, backs that can get out of the back field. Both teams had injuries today that both sides had to go and contend with. That's what division, tough, hard battles are about. It was going to be all the way till the end, and it certainly did."

On Ricardo Allen stepping up:
"Whatever is asked, he's that type of man. Whatever we need, his leadership always comes through. Today we also lined him up at corner, at free safety, at strong safety. You have to have good football smarts to play all of those positions, but because of his versatility he was able to come through when both Brian and Tru were injured, so not surprised by that. It was also a good opportunity for [Damontae] Kazee and C.J. [Goodwin] to get some turns. When their number is called, we expect them to play well, but back to Rico, he's definitely somebody that we lean on a bunch."

On Mohamed Sanu's touchdown pass:
"That's not something that we just put in this week. It's been something that we've had not just this season, but we've had it up last season as well. Sometimes you're just waiting for a look that could happen. I've got to tell you, I wasn't confident in it when I saw him bobble the snap, but I knew when he ripped it down the field, we'd have a chance at it. He's a really good athlete. He can throw it, he can punt it, he can kick it. He can damn sure catch it, but for today, I thought there were some good third down conversions by him. That connection from Mo to Julio, we were excited for that one."

On the offensive efficiency on third down:
"We knew that was an area through the first half of the season that we weren't happy with, so we've added some work into that spot, and we feel like we can still continue to grow in that area. All the extra work that we do, offense against defense, we do third down, we do red zone against one another. We like that style and that competitiveness that's across the ball. We do that back up in Flower Branch a couple times a week. That's the type of work that pays dividends later in the season. Just more turns and more experience doing it."

On the success from the running back group:
"We can't wait to get Free [Devonta Freeman] back. As far as being in the concussion protocol for him, we'll just have to wait and see, but it's what we expect from our guys. It's a very competitive group both at running back and receiver. Just the style and the attitude. They want it, and they want to go, but if you watch behind-the-scenes, the way they support each other is pretty strong too. We're especially pleased for Tevin [Coleman] today. He became a new dad very recently, two times in the same day, so we're really pumped for him for today and for that moment."