What the Falcons had to say after season-ending win over Bucs

Here's what the Falcons had to say after the 28-22 overtime win Sunday over the Bucs in the regular season finale:

(On how he knew the ball was being thrown his way on his pick-six)
"Kind of reading the route, feeling the route and also reading the quarterback's eyes and his demeanor."

(On if his match-up with the receiver factored into the pick-six)
"I just broke on the ball and got in front of it and secured it and scored."

» MATT RYAN: 'Crazy ending to the game'

(On the season as a whole)
"I just feel like we weren't the team we started off [as] and we finished strong and we got momentum going into the next season and just have to pickup where we left off"

(On if there is a lot of carryover from one season to the next)
"I mean with the guys we have and what we proved to ourselves, I think we [will]."

(On how the team finished and what it means to him)
"Like I said, in these hard times we all looked at ourselves and figured out what we could do more and a lot of guys did more. No one shied away from the task. It just shows how tough we are – how resilient we are. That's pretty much what I took from it."

(On the defense in the second half)
"Like I said, guys got the checks, made our adjustments and had a couple plays that we trickled in to our calls and it ended up working out."

(On the team celebrating the victory even though they did not make the playoffs)
"Like I said, we righted the ship from the first half of the season and that's something to be proud of for right now. We have some tough guys in there, we never quit, we always fought until the end and this is the result of it – a better half of the season."

Falcons offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo discusses scoring on a 35-yard touchdown pass to stun the Bucs. (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

(On if he was surprised being wide open on his touchdown reception) 
"No, no that was the plan. If I wasn't open, it wouldn't have come to me."

(On how good his hands are)
"They are pretty good. I don't know a how-good answer, but I surprise myself, I'll put it that way."

(On last time he caught a touchdown pass)
"Never, it's the first time."

» STEVE HUMMER: A Falcons final play to savor

(On how fast he was running on his way to the end zone)
"As fast as I could, that was everything I had."

(On if they put the play in the playbook after the first matchup against Tampa Bay)
"Yeah we put it in this week, off of what we saw from the last game."

(On how they knew the play would work)
"So, we knew they were going to be in man, and it was an RPO, run-pass-option and if they would have covered me, we would have just run the ball. If they would have covered me and not Luke [Stocker], we would have just thrown to Luke. So, it's one of those plays where you just go to the open guy."

(On reaction on sideline after his touchdown)
"It was awesome, a lot of fun. Tons of energy, it was surreal a little bit, first time scoring kind of having that experience, but it was cool."

(On his touchdown celebration)
"A little T.Y. Hilton shoutout, been watching him all my life. And my name is obviously Ty so wanted to pay a little homage.

(On setting the record for the longest touchdown by an offensive lineman in NFL history)
"That's special, that's really cool. You know we talked about running it and I didn't know what kind of distance they were expecting me to run, but it was a fun one and it was cool we called it 35."

(On how the game wraps up the season)
"It's a long offseason and you want a good taste in your mouth when you start it. And I think every team wants to end the season on a win, regardless of how the rest of the games went. We like to play one-week seasons, kind of how we look at it. We won this week, so it feels good to end on that."

(On Ty Sambrailo's touchdown)
"Yeah we saw it in practice. We actually said it wasn't going to work. But hey, they proved us completely wrong. That was a great play, Ty made a great play. And I think the catch wasn't impressive, it was the run after the catch to me. He definitely surprised me."

(On if Sambrailo can beat him in a 40-yard dash)
"Ty? Yeah, he might beat me. He might beat me, especially right now the way I am feeling."

» DAN QUINN: 'A lot of lessons learned' this season

(On defensive performance during the second half)
"That's the [defense] we're capable of playing all the time. Unfortunately, we were not able to do it for the whole season, but it is just a glimpse of who we really are."

(On finishing the year with a win)
"It's always huge man. You don't want to go into the offseason with that bad taste in your mouth, so it was huge. You know it's something to build on next year."

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses the come-from-behind winning effort in Tampa Bay. (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

(On his experience with the Falcons so far this year)
"Yeah, I mean it's great, I came in after the bye week and it's been an amazing experience. I mean it's hard to win in this league and it's great to get the win today."

(On what he was thinking about during the timeout before his last kick)
"I wasn't really thinking about much. Just, get ready for the next kick."

(On being called upon to tie the game)
"It's not about me. Offense, defense played well, everything has to kind of fall in place for me to get the opportunities and then I just tried to come through for the team."

(On the celebration heard in the locker room after the game)
"You know it's good, it is really hard to get a win in this league. And then when we do, we want to celebrate."

(On his reaction to the game-ending interception for a touchdown)
"It was awesome. I think I might have hit him a little too hard when we got to the endzone. I was hyped up and the season couldn't have ended on a better note. [Deion Jones] hadn't gotten a pick all year and he finished it to win the game and end the season. It's been awesome"

(On his message to the fans as to what they can expect next year)
"A team that is going to be hungry – hungry for success. We want to be playing back in the postseason and winning big. It's a lot out there for us. We're going to work hard and grind hard every day this offseason and try to come back and go chase a championship."

(On how he judges the season as a whole)
"Obviously we want to be playing in the postseason, but for us to be where we were at 1-7 and have a group of guys that finished 6-2 in the second half of the season — it showed a lot of resilience from our team, our coaching staff and our organization. We definitely wanted to finish in the postseason, but we controlled what we could control and finished as strong as we could."

(On if the announcement of keeping the front office intact helped relieve uncertainty for the team)
"It might have gotten rid of a little cloud because it's inevitable that it is on some people's minds, but I think regardless of however turned out, we were going to come out here and try to put our best foot forward."

(On the team celebrating the victory even though they did not make the playoffs and what this win meant to the team)
"This game just showed us who we were as a team. Things in the first half of the season didn't start off the way we wanted to. A lot of people counted us out. I think some people even within doubted a little bit, but us as players, us as a culture we came together and finished it out. People might have said we probably weren't playing for anything, but we're always playing for something. We playing for — first of all, you're playing for your pride, you play for everything you get up in the morning to work for, you playing for your family and the name on the back of your jersey. Then you're also playing for the organization always and forever. For us to come back in the second half of the season after the first half was nowhere near what we expected to do. I'm just happy we finished the way we did and we showed who we really are as players and human beings."

(On his view of the last play of the season)
"The last play of the season? It was kind of bittersweet. It was a great view and I loved it. We had just talked about it on the sidelines. I had to tell one of the coaches, if you can call out a game-winner like that — because (linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich) called out my pick and he called out — you know — he was like, 'Let's just go and one-and-out. Let's just go get a pick-six and walk it off right now.' I told him if you believe in your word is that powerful and you call out two back-to-back plays, you got to watch what you say. Just watch what you say and believe in your words and believe how powerful they are. You shed them into your players and you put that confidence into your players, you just never know what this team can do."

(On if he was happy with the interception)
"Always. Every time the defense has a chance to go out there and show what we can do — coming out the second half (of the season) I would put our defense against any team."