Here’s what the Falcons had to say after the 19-7 loss to the Redskins on Thursday:
VIC BEASLEY, defensive end
On the defense: “It felt good to be out there. We got a turnovers. We got good pressure by the line and getting the ball out. Takk going into to score. That was good to see. We’ll continue to wrong on things in practice. WE are headed in the right direction.”
On the season: “We’ve got the right people in place. We’re going to get (Deion Jones) back. It’s going to be exciting. We’ve got a lot to prove.”
MATT GONO, tackle
On his play: “This was a big difference from the school that I came from. I’ve been building confidence, especially leading up to this second year. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable at left and right tackle. I was playing left the first few (exhibition) season games. I’m feeling a lot more confident in my ability to do everything.”
On who’s been helping him: “Since last year, they have been taking me under their wings. A big guy last year was Ryan Schraeder, all of the guys especially coming into OTAs I felt like they have allowed me to go out to perform. I feel that it went well. There are definitely some things that I have to clean up, but I felt like I had a solid performance tonight.”
ON how far he’s come: It’s definitely a big difference. I feel that I had a lot of good development the past two years, so I felt confident coming into this year.”
ITO SMITH, running back
On performance throughout the preseason: "I've done fine, just doing my job. The offensive line has done a great job. Just going out there every day trying to get better."
On Coach Quinn's comments on the running backs competing with each other:
"Just doing the same thing I've been doing. Just going out there every day trying to get better. We push each other, we’re all competing with each other, so it’s a fun competition."
On possibly being on the kickoff return team: "Last year I did a little bit. It's just something that is up for grabs, so they threw me back there. I did it in college. It's something I’m comfortable with; its extra touches."
On offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter: “He's very creative. He's going to throw all different looks at defenses. He gives us a lot of opportunities to run screens."
GIORGIO TAVECCHIO, kicker
On tonight’s game: “Disappointed, but it’s always a blessing to be out there. We take that for granted. It’s always good to measure the gratitude and the heart. Obviously didn’t get all of the results I wanted. This team deserves better. I’ll take a look at what happened and just continue to improve.”
On whether or not he needs to review film of the missed field goal: “No, I don’t need to see the film because I struck it really well. I’ve been hitting the ball very consistently, just every once in a while, once that consistent slight middle or slight left ball and just a tiny, tiny degree down the middle. We’ll take a look and continue to move on.”
On any concern surrounding his job: “My focus is always on myself and I can control the controllable. There’s a lot of things that are out of your control in this business. I know that when I wake up every morning, I say a little prayer of gratitude and just give my best that day.”
On teammate’s reactions during the game: “Stay in it, keep your head up. That was the first kick of the game, still four quarters to go. I thought I did a good job of flushing it and hitting the kickoffs I wanted to hit and hitting an extra point later. It’s just the life of a kicker.”
On whether or not kicking becomes a mental game: “That’s a good question. I guess we’ll see. I feel like I’m striking the ball as well as I ever have. I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in the football world. I feel like this is a great place. I feel the faith and the trust from both my teammates and my coaches. I’m just doing everything I can to be the best I can be every day.”
On his “middle left” issues in practice: “My spread has been a little bit left middle, but that’s been the case the past couple years. It’s a great ball. My ball tends to hook a little bit. As a lefty, it goes to the right. I just let it settle left middle, so if it fades, it fades nice and down the middle. Hasn’t been the case so far.”
GRADY JARRETT, defensive tackle
On what forcing turnovers in the preseason does for the team: “It does a lot for the team. It looks good and feels good to see guys make some big plays in the run game and get a turnover. That’s what we’re about and what we’re trying to do more of this year.”
On whether or not the defense has been hoping for this type of performance: “I wouldn’t say hoping, I say working toward. You see guys like [Deadrin] Senat making a big play, Takk [McKinley] there making a big play, and we want to see more of that as a unit.”
On whether the defense is ready for the regular season: “Without a doubt, man. Ready to get to some regular-season action, I think standing on the sidelines in the second half has been wearing me out more than playing. I’m ready to get back on the field and see what we can do.”
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