What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Packers

Combined ShapeCaption
Falcons coach Dan Quinn discusses the 33-32 victory over the Green Bay Packers. Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Packers:

Opening Statement:

“I was extremely proud of our effort and fight tonight. No doubt this game was going to go all the way. Both quarterbacks were on fire the entire game. The last two weeks have been extremely hard on us as some finishes went. We’re a resilient group and as a coach honestly we wanted that opportunity to come back and do that again. The fans were into it the whole day for us. It was such an advantage so it was a great win to dedicate to them. We’ve got much to improve on in a short time getting ready for another division opponent this week. Man are we proud of our effort and toughness as a team. They’re a very resilient group.”

On Matt Ryan’s throw to Mohamed Sanu at the end of the game:

“Those things don’t come into our mind as we’re going and getting ready to attack. I thought Matt managed the game terrifically today and even all the way down through the two minute. We didn’t have to rush knowing that the quarterback on the other side is difficult to give him the ball with a lot of time too. Really Sanu was on point in a number of ways today. He caught some screens, crossing routes that he had, and some first downs. I thought it was one of Mo’s best performances here as a Falcon this year. So often a lot of attention goes over to Julio Jones way so we’re fortunate that we have other guys that’ll get involved. Really a full team win in all phases.”

On the defense in the second half:

“Aaron Rogers hurt us with his arms and his legs in this game. We knew this was going to be a battle so we had to change up some ways that we wanted to play. I thought Richard Smith, Jerome Henderson, Marquand Manuel and those guys did a terrific job organizing the guys. The five wide receiver sets, it was a handful in all that they did. Going against that outfit has always been tough. I’ve done it a number of times and it’s a battle. That’s true again today. We’ll tip our hat to them. They played a terrific game as well.”

Combined ShapeCaption
October 30, 2016 ATLANTA: Falcons head coach Dan Quinn calls a defense against the Packers during the fourth quarter in an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

October 30, 2016 ATLANTA: Falcons head coach Dan Quinn calls a defense against the Packers during the fourth quarter in an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Combined ShapeCaption
October 30, 2016 ATLANTA: Falcons head coach Dan Quinn calls a defense against the Packers during the fourth quarter in an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

On Terron Ward:

“We were proud of Terron. We knew he would step through. When he had the work that he put in we call it ‘Plan D’ and it’s the work that you put in after practice to get ready. He’s worked extremely hard on his hands. We knew if his number was called, he’d be ready. We have a lot of faith in him. He’s short but he’s not small. He knows how to lower the shoulder when the appropriate time comes. He’s a great competitor and he came through exactly like we thought.”

On what adjustments they made in the second half:

“Well when we came in we knew we had to have some ways to try and affect the quarterback better. Early on we had tried three man, four man, and five man rush, and he hurt us on all of them. When we came back we knew we’d have to change up some leverage on receivers and they made it extremely challenging on us as well. One guy in specifically who really stepped up was Robenson Therezie. We put him into a different role when they went into the five wide receiver set which we didn’t feature in the first half. We’ve done that before with Cadillac and he came through again tonight.”

On strategically what he has to do week in and week out:

“Somehow try and get the quarterback off the spot. We thought in this one we’d have to force some turnovers for us to create some ones to give the ball back to our offense. When it gets into where it just literally turned into a throwing game a good bit of the time changing leverage and finding different ways to affect the quarterback if you can just feel comfortable and know where he wants to go especially for a competitor like Aaron Rodgers, it can be really challenging. For us, we changed up and tried to line stunt, move people, and use a spy. I think you have to go deep into the bag of tricks, so to speak, to try and slow down the quarterback. He was hot for sure and certainly in the first half.”

On Adrian Clayborn’s performance:

“I think he had one of his better practices this week. You can see he’s really started to hit his stride both at defensive tackle and at defensive end. He looks healthy. He was very quick off the ball today. He’s one of our best competitors on the defensive line as far as that goes. We were proud of his effort. Certainly, for Dwight Freeney, he had to battle back from an injury that he suffered from last week. He totally wanted to play for the guys, not only on the defensive line, but on the team. There were a number of guys that really had to step up today.”

On Taylor Gabriel and C.J. Goodwin‘s post-injury performance:

“We sensed Gabe would have a good day. He took some shots down the field in practice and I thought it was really one of our better weeks overall. As a team practicing, there were some deep shots from him and from Matt to Gabe. Generally, that performance follows that kind of focus. So, the focus was right and the performance followed.”

On Matt Ryan’s mental toughness and game-winning drive:

“We’re equipped to be in those scenarios in that time and he’s right at the front of that. When you feel his demeanor on the sideline, when there’s a timeout and he comes over and he has that locked-in look in his eyes, he’s ready to go. His teammates respond to him because of his toughness and his attitude that he displays for them all the time. These guys are a very tight group. They just love playing football for one another. It shows in the locker room and it shows on the practice field. At the end of the day today, they knew they were going to fight their tail off all the way to the end. There was a real belief we were going to get this job done today.”

On the team coming out of the dark times:

“I think those scars make a difference and as you go through those experiences, they’re tough on you. You have to learn from them, and we have. Knowing that when we get in this scenario again, and it’s time to go shut the door, whether it’s offensively or defensively and we had the opportunity to do that. We’ve certainly talked about it a bunch and had the uncomfortable conversations, knowing that the league we play in, most of these games are going to come down to this kind of finish. We relished that chance to be finishers.”

On Aaron Rodgers:

“The third downs are when he has been extremely dangerous scrambling. On the first and second down plays, we didn’t see as many times where he ran down the field, he found his receivers and went through his progressions. Often times it was the third down plays where guys backs were turned, and he said ‘okay, not only is my route not there, I can go and attack the coverage that way.’ So, that’s what makes it the challenge. Not only will he just attack it here, but he has real foot quickness inside the pocket. So, you think you’re on him, you think you have a shot, and then all of a sudden he’s outside the pocket and no one is catching him. That’s why some of the people have used the spy. There’s another side to that, when you don’t add a rusher in. So, it’s the balance where you don’t want to do one thing the entire game.”

On the 12 man penalty:

“We thought we had an opportunity to sub and it certainly went quicker than we thought. I ran down the sidelines to call time out, and certainly my quickness was not up to speed.”

On Julio Jones’ injury:

“I haven’t visited with the medical staff yet tonight, but he came through at the end and said ‘good game’. If it was, I’m sure he’ll be ready to rock here Thursday night.”

On Jacob Tamme’s injury:

“We don’t think it’s going to be a long-term thing, but he was not able to return tonight. So, the status for Thursday is in question right now, but I don’t know past that. Other than that, I think we’re going to come through the game fairly healthy.”