Head Coach Greg Schiano
(On running back Jeff Demps)
"Jeff had surgery today, on his groin. I'm not sure exactly how long he'll be out, too early to tell."
(On considering alternatives to wide receiver Eric Page for punt returns)
"There's a couple guys [we're considering], but Page is doing a good job. If you look at his numbers, he's producing."
(On if guard Carl Nicks will play again this season)
"I don't know. We don't know, so that's all you can read into it. We need to get a little beyond the surgery and see just what we're thinking and then we've got to make a calculated decision."
(On where Nicks had his surgery)
(On the decision to move offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan into the press box)
"We just talk. [During the] bye week, we talked about everything. That was one of the subjects we talked about. I think the ability to be able to see everything is just something that we thought would give us a chance to be better, and I liked it. I thought it was better."
(On the advantages of having a coordinator down on the field)
"More feel. I've got to tell you the truth, because we have good coaches – if you're at a lower level where you feel like you don't have good coaches you're working with, maybe you want to be down there – but there's good coaches and we have headset communication. That's all we do is talk through the headset. Even when he's on the field, very rarely do I talk in person. We're watching the game, so it's all through the headsets. I think there's a huge advantage when you can be upstairs and see everything. You don't have to rely on others' eyes. You rely on your own."
(On if having Sullivan upstairs was an option earlier in the season)
"It was, but his preference, initially, was to be on the field, and, to me, the guy who's calling the play, you want him to be the most comfortable he can be. [Defensive coordinator] Bill Sheridan wanted to be upstairs and he was upstairs. Mike Sullivan wanted to be downstairs, he was downstairs. After the bye, after talking about it we felt like – again, when you do something like that, you don't have to keep doing it if you don't like it, but we did. We thought it was good."
(On the challenge of playing in the Georgia Dome)
"Yeah, it's going to be a test for sure – a good football team, tough environment. It's going to be a real test."
(On if he knows more today about who will play where on the offensive line in Sunday's game)
"A little bit but still not sure."
(On if there were open running lanes to be had in Sunday's game against Philadelphia)
"I didn't see a ton of that. There's always some ruts. The hardest thing you can do is question a back's eyes. The minute you start questioning your running back's vision, then it's time to get a new running back. Every play's designed to go in a certain area with a certain scheme, but then, once you trust the play, you've got to trust your eyes then. So, trust the play to get it going and then trust your eyes, and [running back] Doug's [Martin] got as good [of] vision as any back I've ever coached, so we've just got to keep trusting it. It'll pop."
(On Mike Sullivan's comments that the team worked on handoffs yesterday)
"We work on it every day. We do ball handling every single day and then we run the plays. Mike [Sullivan] was being honest, we did work on it yesterday, but we've done it every day since training camp started. It's disappointing that that happens two weeks in a row. Probably what Mike was referring to was a little extra emphasis. Maybe he hovered over it himself more than he maybe in other days he'd be looking at other things. That's very, very problematic when you have exchanges on the handoff at this level – at any level, but especially at this level."
(On if communication errors played a factor in the deep passes completed by Philadelphia last Sunday)
"I don't think this was attributed to communication errors. Any of those balls that went over our head weren't – I wouldn't attribute it to communication errors. We've got to do better. We've got to perform better."
(On if a player missed his assignment on the deep passes from Philadelphia)
"Not necessarily 'a' guy, because it depends if you're playing man or zone, but those aren't plays that are earth-shattering schematics. We've got to do it better. We did it well for four games. We didn't do it so well for three plays Sunday, but back there, you're only as good as your last play, so that's what we've got to do."
(On why he switched Tim Wright from wide receiver to tight end)
"He's a tough guy. The one benefit of having coached him in college is there were times early in his career where I thought he'd make a great SAM [strongside] linebacker because he'd hit you. Then you know a guy who's got – again, we talked about it yesterday – a guy who's got receiver-like skill but isn't going to be a burner, he's going to be a possession receiver. When he moves into tight end, now he's got some real [speed] and separation. The thing, as I mentioned yesterday, is he has the toughness to mix it up. Is he going to be a dominating, 260-pound blocking tight end? No, but he's going to fight you tooth-and-nail and give us a chance to run the ball in there as well."
(On the statistic that Atlanta is 43-1 under Head Coach Mike Smith in games after leading through 3 quarters)
"Lead the game after three quarters or be that one team. I agree with you, that's a very good stat. They win games, they get you down in the stadium [the Georgia Dome] and they win. I wasn't being sarcastic. Either get a lead by the end of three quarters or we've got to be that exception, one or the other. I guarantee you, every game, we're trying to lead at the end of three quarters. We're trying to lead at the end of four as well. There's a lot of things Coach [Smith] has done that are impressive. I've said from the beginning of the week: This is a very well-coached team, when you look at offense, a very well-coached team – [Atlanta offensive coordinator] Dirk Koetter and his staff. Then you look at defense – they're just really, really well-coached. You can see they know what they're doing. On special teams, same thing. It's just a well-coached team and I think Mike pulls it all together very well. There's a reason they've won all the games they have. I have said from the beginning: It's a big challenge, well-coached team, good players, on the road, tough environment. We've got to get it together and get up there and really play good football."
(On wanting to force more turnovers)
"I'd like to get more, yes. Right now, we're kind of at the minimum of where we should be. Hopefully we'll get more. We've got to curtail turning it over ourselves and then we've got to get more, because, when you really get rolling, you're plus [in turnover ratio] a pretty good chunk there. After five games, we're even. It's better than all the teams that are negative, because there are some teams that are minus 15 in turnover margin. We've got to do better than that. That's how we're going to win. That's proven – when we do that, we win, so we need to get better at that."
(On if it's a cliché to blame offensive line cohesion as part of a team's struggles)
"I don't think it's a cliché at all. If there's any position group, it's the secondary and the o-line that need the cohesiveness, so I don't think it is. I would just defer to the fact that it doesn't matter. Everybody has injuries. Can that have a factor? Yes, but nobody cares. We've got to get it done with whoever lines up and plays. But there's no doubt, offensive line is a position where – the great offensive lines I've been a part of – they operate as one almost.
Defensive Coordinator Bill Sherman
(On if the offense generating points and the defense struggling against Philadelphia was frustrating)
"It was. Here I thought we were playing a competitive defense and up till then, and waiting for a large part of that game we did as well. When you give up the big pass plays, they're just very glaring. There a lot of guys who could have played better on different downs, but when the big passes show up like they did a year ago – and hadn't really shown up in the first four games – it's just very glaring, disappointing and frustrating."
(On the two touchdowns to Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson last week)
"Nothing really, that [is a] big secret. On the first one, they ran away from the zone leverage and [cornerback Darrelle Revis] would probably tell you himself he wishs he would have played it better. A lot of times when you're isolated out there in the deep zone, a guy has a two-way cut on you so it's easy to say 'Well you should've closed better on it' but his guy has a two-way go on it. On the second one, it was a fairly good route concept, it was a deep up-and-over we call 'cross country mentality,' same thing. We had back end people back there but it's bending away from them so you've really got to run to catch to it but same thing, those guys will tell you they should've, would've, could've played a little bit better and you're counting on pressure even from your front four so the ball gets out a little earlier on the down, it's not a real 'heave-ho' pass where they're just laying it out there and letting the guy run to it."
(On Revis' taking the blame for allowing a touchdown)
"We never pin anything on a particular guy, because even if he was in a particular zone or had a guy in a particular man-to-man coverage, there's always adjacent defenders and the pass-rush as well. Our guys take it all together. We never say 'Well this guy got beat or this guy missed a tackle.' There are 10 other guys out there and that's how we look at it and that's how we talk about it and that's how our players perceive it. But Darrelle is a great character guy and that sounds like something he would say even if – and again, it's never just on one guy because if you're playing zone, you have adjacent zone defenders to you – but that sounds like something Darrelle would say. He's just a very mature player, has a lot of confidence, he knows he's going to make a ton of plays for us down the road and has already made a whole career's worth of plays. That sounds like something he would say, he's been nothing but a great character guy since he came into the building last spring."
(On how he thinks Revis is playing coming off an injury as compared to his full potential)
"My perception is he's doing a good job. He doesn't – people are smart enough, there not going to challenge him a ton. That would be foolish to do that, unless they just have a superior wide receiver or they can scheme it up or they think they can get two guys playing inside him or outside him or above him or in front of him, but he's doing good job. As far as the particulars of where he feels he's at from a conditioning or a full-fledged rehab, you'd have to ask him that. In our minds, we are counting on him to be able to play on their best receiver, as well as play our zone coverages and he readily accepts that role each week when we put the game plan together. He's doing a good job."
(On if Revis matches up with the opposition's top receiver)
"We do that every week like most teams do. You have a matchup corner that you're going to put on their premier 'X' or 'Z' receiver. It's not anything you do every snap, but he's definitely that guy for us and we do it every week."
(On fans who want the team to change their scheme)
"What I want to invite them to do is join us. I get here about 5:20 [a.m.] every single morning, and they're more than welcome to hang around here until about 11:00 [p.m.] for the first four nights of the week and they can help us put the whole game plan together. We've got all the free cokes you want in the building and we'll be happy to take those suggestions on how we can better use Darrelle. Trust me when I tell you we painstakingly game plan how best to use all of our personnel not just Darrelle."
(On cornerback Johnthan Banks)
"It's just the two plays, but it's so glaring. It's like last year when the guys got hit on big plays, you're out there and you're exposed and it's glaring. But John's done an excellent job. [He missed a tackle and] it's out the gate. Then the one that got thrown deep, the one big shot there. But he's made that play and he'll make it again and it's just so glaring but really, he's played solid and had a solid game the other day, except for those two are just so out there for everybody to see and that's the nature of the position."
(More the lack of pass rush against Philadelphia)
"Our d-linemen look at it that way too. When we sit together and we watch those plays, they don't sit there and say 'well he's got to cover him.' They're very demanding on themselves and they expect more of themselves, even if it's just four guys to put pressure and make the quarterback move off the spot and have a hard time throwing the ball that far down the field."
(On whether or not he anticipated more interceptions at this point in the season)
"That's a good question and, honestly, not to evade the question, I don't think about that too much, like 'we need more picks.' I think sometimes those things come in bunches and you can catch yourself playing some zone coverages where they throw the ball to you or some tip-passes in man-to-man coverage, but the biggest thing is how you're doing on third down and what your wins and losses are in the different passing downs on first and second downs. You always hope for more and like I said, sometimes you get two or three in back-to-back games and your stats go way up but you can hit a dry spell too."
(On Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez)
"He's still a guy that they're totally leaning on and counting on getting the ball in very key situations, whether it's in the rezone or third down – he's still a big-body target. He's as nifty and as clever, as far as using his body to screen guys out away from the ball, he's got great hands obviously, and they do a good job of putting him in stacks with other adjacent receivers so you've got to kind of fight through that to get on him. They're going to use all their guys to rub off of him or him off them and [Falcons Offensive Coordinator] Dirk [Koetter] does a great job of utilizing him. He's still there guy now that [Atlanta wide receivers] Julio [Jones is out] and Roddy [White] – will probably be back for the game – but he's been nicked up a little bit. He is there guy and still is and still perfectly capable of changing a game unless you do something to take care of him."
(On if Gonzalez defines the tight end position)
"He's exactly what you've been looking for. Maybe he would say it was 10 years ago maybe he was a little bit faster, [but] he can still run you've got to run him down because if he can catch a run still – it's not like he's a catch and go down guy, he'll catch and run after the catch. He's everything you'd look for because he still run blocks too."
CB Johnthan Banks
(On rebounding from giving up big plays)
"I've just got to live and learn. I'm playing this game, I'm a rookie, I'm out there flying around having fun making plays. I made two mistakes that cost our team some big yards and seven points, but I'm just out there having fun and it's a big learning experience. If I don't take anything from those games there's no use of me being out there. Every game I'm out there I make a mistake, I learn from it. That was one of those things where I hate that it happened, but I'm kind of glad it did happen. It's something I can learn from, it's something I can work on and get better at."
(On having the support of his teammates)
"My teammates, they're always supportive. That's one thing about this team, I came from a great team in Mississippi State, but the family environment here it's like totally different, I'm so comfortable being around these guys. I enjoy coming into work and working with these guys. All these older guys, [cornerbacks] Mike [Adams] and [Darrelle] Revis, they knew I was kind of down about it and they both just kept talking me up and they've been helping me out along the way and it's been fun."
(On playing elite quarterbacks)
"I'm getting used to it, it's been fun, just getting to go against these guys. [Atlanta Falcons quarterback] Matt Ryan, I think he's similar to [New Orleans Saints quarterback] Drew Brees, all of them are different but I honestly think Matt Ryan is similar to Drew Brees. He's a really good quarterback, probably one of the top five, top 10 quarterbacks in this league and it's going to be another challenge going out and facing him."
RB Doug Martin
(On if the offense is passing the ball more to try to open up the running game)
"With the pass game and the run game, they work off each other. If you have eight guys in the box, you have to pass the ball. That's what we want to do as an offense and I think that we're doing a pretty good job of it and we're going to continue to do it and hopefully that opens up the run game."
(On if throwing the ball has helped the running game)
"It has opened up the run game, definitely. We had some holes and we had some good runs last game, but unfortunately we were held back by the penalties which we're also working on."
(On if the offense has made progress)
"We've definitely taken a big step forward. We have some offensive schemes in there working with eight or nine [defenders] in the box, and Mike Glennon's doing an awesome job connecting with the receivers and we're getting a better chemistry as an offense as a whole, so we're definitely taking the right steps forward."
CB Darrelle Revis
(On the team's 0-5 record)
"It's been rough. I think our expectations were totally different, but this is the state we are in right now and the only thing we can do is prepare for the next game. That's it. We can't dwell on the past or dwell on us being 0-5. We can prove something each week and that's going out and winning."
(On if he thinks he's not playing enough man-to-man coverage)
"I don't get into all of that, into all the fans or press clippings or what people [have] got to say. The only thing we can do is control what we do in here and I've got to do a better job, as well as a number of my teammates doing a better job, of executing the plays better."
(On mentoring cornerback Johnthan Banks)
"Well he is responsible, but at the same time the only thing I can tell him is I went back to when I was a rookie and made a couple of mistakes when I was a rookie and told him you're going to have bumps in the road. It's a learning experience; he's going to get better and he's going to improve, so that's the only thing I gave him – to make sure his spirits always stay high."
(On if players are trying to do too much instead of focusing on their assignments)
"I don't really think guys are thinking that, or trying to overdue their assignments, I don't think so. I just think there are just certain breakdowns here and there. I remember telling you guys weeks ago, it's just about being consistent and we're not – we haven't been getting it lately with the whole team. If we can all be consistent in all three phases then I think you will see a complete game and you will see us win a game. I think that's the focus, we just [have] got to be consistent at all phases."
(On Atlanta's offense potentially without wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White)
"Those two guys are a big part of their offense and their passing attack. I don't know what they're going to do, to tell you the truth. With those two on the field, including [tight end Tony] Gonzalez, it's probably the best passing attack in the NFL. Losing those two key guys, I don't know what their game plan is. I'm sure they're trying to sign receivers and stick with the guys that they've got right now."