Here’s what Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury had to say about the Falcons on a conference call with the Atlanta media Wednesday:
Q: What are you seeing from the Falcons’ defense on film?
A: “They’ve been banged up, but still very athletic. Very talented group that I think is (coming together). I know last week was tough, but that’s a very good offense and things started rolling against them. But we know that we are going to get their best shot. I have a ton of respect for coach (Dan) Quinn, his staff and the job that he’s done defensively over the years. We know that we are going to have to play our best game to hang in there.”
Q: What do you think they do particularly well?
A: “I think they fly around. Anytime that you’re running laterally with those fast linebackers (and) they have a penetrating defensive front. They take that out of your game and that shows up on film. Anytime that you’re trying to go side to side on these guys, they cover ground quickly and they come down and hit you.”
Q: How has rookie quarterback Kyler Murray adapted to the NFL through five games?
A: “I’ve seen steady progress and that’s been our goal. We knew that it was going to be a learning process. But he’s worked really hard at it. He’s been very conscientious in his approach. He’s trying to get better each week. I think the biggest key for him moving forward is trying to eliminate negative plays. He’s made a bunch of spectacular plays. We just have to take out the bad plays that put us behind the chains.”
Q: When you look at the Falcons’ offense, what’s your assessment of their play through five games this season?
A: “I’ve always felt that (offensive coordinator Dirk) Koetter is one of the best offensive minds in football at any level. I’ve followed him for a long time. You can see his influence on their offense. Tremendous wideout group. Tremendous tight end. Great running back. They’ve got it all going. They’ve had some tough breaks in a couple of games, but they are as dangerous and any offense in the league when you look at the talent on that side of the football.”
Q: How have you seen teams trying to play Julio Jones?
A: “They’ve been doing everything they can to double him and take him away and do different things. He still makes those plays and gets his catches, which is phenomenal. As a coach, you appreciate how hard he plays on tape week-in and week-out. He’s just a dominant player and one of the best receivers in the league currently and will go down as one of the best of all-time.”
Q: How has Larry Fitzgerald performed for the Cardinals this year?
A: “He’s what it’s all about as a coach watching him on and off the field, his work ethic, the way he treats people, the way he handles his business. The consummate pro. I think he’s excited with the way that we are using him, offensively. He’s getting some touches and he should. He’s creating separation. He’s still got a lot left in the tank.”
Q: What is wide receiver Christian Kirk’s status heading into Week 6?
A: “We are going to work him back in today and see where it goes from there. He’s recovered quickly from what we thought was a much worse (ankle) injury. I’m not sure that he’s going to be ready this week, but we’re going to try to get him going and see where it goes. “
Q: How have former Falcons Corey Peters and Brooks Reed played for the Cardinals this year?
A: “They’ve been great. Two veteran guys, who are tremendous leaders, tremendous people and great for our young players to watch, the way they work, the way they carried themselves. Can’t say enough good things about those guys.”
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