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What Falcons players had to say after loss to Saints 

Here’s what the Falcons had to say after the 43-37 overtime loss to the Falcons on Sunday:

ALEX MACK, center

On the loss: “This is really tough. It’s a heart-breaker. This is a hard way to lose in overtime. We put a lot into the game in our prep time, but it’s early in the season and we are going to see these guys again.”

On the run game: “We didn’t run the ball quite as well as we need to. It would really help us as a team if we could use a bit more clock and run the ball. You’d like to be a bit more balanced.” 

On the drive at the end of regulation: “You’d like to be able to make that third down and continue the drive and score a touchdown. Put the game in our hands and not a coin toss. 

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GRADY JARRETT, defensive tackle

On the defense losing Ricardo Allen: “You tell me. We were down three of our top players. No excuses. The next man up. Rico is valuable to this overall defense.”

On how they overcome this loss: “We’ve got to go back to work. We’ve got to go back to work. It’s one loss.”

BROOKS REED, defensive end 

On the loss: “We are disappointed for sure. We have to get it fix for sure, you know. That’s something that we have to work on with some good preparations. That just can’t happen at the end. We pride ourselves in finishing games. We just have to be better.” 

On getting to Brees: “It’s was tough. The ball was coming out pretty quick. We are just trying to play sound football at the same time. We just have to get better. It’s something that has to improve for the next game.”

On the game: “They did some things we weren’t ready for, but that is no excuse. We just have to do better and we will do better.”

JULIO JONES, wide receiver

 On having to replace players due to injury: “We just do what we do. Every game is going to be different. This game was a shootout. Every game is not going to be the same. The defense will get it together, they’re down five starters, but they have to keep working. The defense played well for us today, it was a lot of injuries.”

On scoring 30+ points and whether they have to score more to win: “It shouldn’t be nothing, we just go out there and try to execute every play. We want to score points, they were just the better team today.”

On feeling helpless on the sideline during overtime: “I never feel helpless on the sideline. The thing is, I trust in our defense to step up and make plays. They did a good job for us today. We’re down a couple of guys, but next man up, we just got to keep working to get better on defense, that’s it.”

On Calvin Ridley’s success: “I knew it all along, he’s a great player. You just have to let him play, and make plays, and he made some great plays for us today.”

On Ricardo Allen’s influence: “He means a lot, especially to the defense. He’s the captain over there; he calls everything, making sure everybody is lined up and things like that. But I don’t know what is wrong with him yet, but like I said, next man up.”

 DESMOND TRUFANT, cornerback

On what was said in the locker room after a tough last-second loss: “It’s not much to say. It is what it is. We didn’t hold up our end and that’s what it came down to.”

 On where the defense goes from here after suffering another injury to a key player: “We just have to keep pushing. I’ve seen the highs and the lows being here for six years, so all I know is to get back to work and keep fighting.”

On the last drive: “I mean we were solid, we just couldn’t get that third down or fourth down stop. You got to tip your hat off to them. They played great. We didn’t, so it’s that simple.”

On whether the NFL overtime rules are fair: “We had an opportunity to get off the field and we didn’t do that. So regardless of what the rules are you got to get off the field, it’s that simple.

ROBERT ALFORD, cornerback

On how the losing Ricardo Allen: “It’s next man up, that’s how we approach things here. Unfortunately, injuries happen, so here we have that next man up mentality.

On what he said to Ricardo Allen after the injury:  “Just went to check on him and tell him that I’m with him. I don’t know the diagnosis yet, so I can’t speak on it.”

On how they can prepare for next week with so many players out: “At the end of the day, it’s that next man up mentality. Its football, you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to have nicks and bruises. So, all we can do is go back, watch film from today and see what we can correct.”

On if he feels the need to step up his game with all the injuries on that side of the ball: “I try to step my game up each and every week no matter who’s on the field. That’s just me, I’m my biggest critic. I always go back the night of the game and just watch my technique and watch the things I can do.”

 FOYESADE OLUOKUN, linebacker 

On the game going into overtime: “Our thoughts are to make stops and get the offense back on the field. It’s frustrating as they are driving and you know you have to make the stop. That’s the first time I did that, NFL overtime style. That’s really frustrating, to be honest. We have to do our job and we didn’t do it.”

On the blocked punt: “That side was a little wider. [Alex] Okafor had a good angle to the ball. I have to do a better job and kick him out.”

 VIC BEASLEY JR., defensive end  

On the Saints putting up 43 points: “It’s tough. I felt like we could have done a better job defensively. It’s heartbreaking but we are going to go back to the practice field and critique ourselves.”

On the defense bouncing back from injuries: “It’s been a tough hit for us. It’s going to be tough to bounce back from a loss with Ricardo [Allen], another starter. Hopefully, we will have another man that can step up. It’s definitely a discomfort to the team. When I saw him get carted off the field, I realized that was another blow. He’s such a knowledgeable player who has helped us over the past three games and throughout my career. I hope the best for him.”

CALVIN RIDLEY, wide receiver 

On today’s game: “It was a good game. We scored a lot of points. We knew it was going to be a high scoring game coming in. We just have to do better next time.”

On sideline conversations with Julio Jones: “I don’t remember, he was probably saying ‘Good job’ and ‘Lets keep going’ and that we have to score more points.”

On offense feeling pressure to score the amount of points in today’s game: “No pressure. Our standard is to score as many points as possible. One more point better than the other team.”

On the matchups throughout the game: “I just came in ready for anybody, I was prepared. I was ready to play and help my team.”

On breaking the rookie record for touchdowns:

“I rather had the win, but it means a lot. It feels pretty good.”

On Matt Ryan’s performance: “Amazing, he did great. He was out there playing ball, he was trying to win, but we fell short. But he did great though.”

On how the offense has improved in the red zone:

“We just have been practicing very well. We go out there and put the work in, and we get off the field. That is what we have been doing every day. Unfortunately, we fell short.”

 GUARD BRANDON FUSCO

On bouncing back from today’s game: “We have a good veteran group of guys on this team that are going to take charge and make sure that this team moves on from this. It’s one game, but we have plenty more. What hurts about this is that it’s a division game, but we have to come back; we’re home next week, so we have to play well and get back on a winning track.”

On factors affecting the running game: “It’s hard to say right now. It didn’t feel like we were in a very good rhythm. I think it was one guy here and one guy there that didn’t reach his guy, or just didn’t make his block. When you want the run game to go, it takes everybody. It’s not just offensive line, tight ends, receivers, its everybody.”

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