2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Smith says he hasn't given up on Falcons' season

By CHARLES ODUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 16:58

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Mike Smith is not giving up on the Falcons' season, just as he wouldn't give up in the closing minutes of a lopsided loss to Seattle.

Smith was criticized for exposing quarterback Matt Ryan and others to injuries by leaving them on the field late in Sunday's 33-10 loss to the Seahawks. The coach said he wouldn't abandon the idea of trying to win.

Similarly, Smith said Monday he hasn't given up on the season even when three straight ugly losses have left the Falcons 2-7.

The Falcons already have matched the high mark for losses in Smith's first five seasons - a 9-7 finish in 2009. Atlanta trails first-place New Orleans by five games in the NFC South.

Smith said he's heard plenty of negative talk about the outlook for the remainder of the season, including this week's game at Tampa Bay.

''This season is not over,'' Smith said. ''I know people want to say doom and gloom. That's not the case. We've not played the type of football that we'd like to play in the first nine games. It is well below our expectations and we're going to continue to work and get ready to play the Buccaneers.''

Smith acknowledged there must be improvement on both lines and in the running game.

In his third game back from a hamstring injury, Steven Jackson was held to 11 yards rushing on nine carries. Seattle's Marshawn Lynch ran for 145 yards and a touchdown, and Smith said Seattle dominated both lines.

''I think we did not win the physical battle ... they won that handily,'' Smith said. ''I felt like they won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football. That's where games are won and lost.''

As a result, Jackson often had no chance.

''Of course I'm frustrated,'' Jackson said.

''The thing about it is you have to keep chipping away. No one is going to come in the locker room and save us. We have to save ourselves. ... We can't dwell on it. One thing about being a professional, you have to acknowledge the things you made a mistake on and move on to the next one.''

The Falcons quickly fell so far behind that they abandoned any hope of balancing their offense in the second half. Ryan had to carry the load.

''On our first possession of the second half, we were down 26-3, and at that time your run game basically goes out the window,'' Smith said.

It was not a new problem.

''I know that Steven is a guy who gets stronger as the game goes on,'' Smith said. ''Unfortunately, in the last three weeks the game has gotten so out of hand coming out after halftime we've had to basically ditch the run and start throwing the football, so we haven't had an opportunity to really concentrate on running the ball for 60 minutes.''

Left tackle Sam Baker was held out with a knee injury. He has missed five games this season. He played on Nov. 3 against Carolina but couldn't stay off the inactive list two straight weeks.

''Yes, it is a concern when you're not able to play consecutive games,'' Smith said.

The offensive line lost center Todd McClure, who retired, and right tackle Tyson Clabo, who was released, from the 2012 starting unit. Mike Johnson, who was expected to replace Clabo, was lost for the season when he dislocated his left ankle and broke his left leg in training camp.

With Baker's ongoing knee problem added to the mix, the lack of continuity on the line has been a constant issue that resurfaced against Seattle.

''A couple of our opportunities to run it, we never got a chance to get it going,'' Smith said. ''There were some individuals and individual blocks and combination blocks that were executed very well and there were some blocks that were not executed very well on the same play. As a unit, you've got to hit on all your blocks if you're going to have a chance to have a successful running play.''

Smith said linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will be activated off the injured reserve list by Wednesday. Weatherspoon, one of the defense's leaders, has been out since hurting his foot the second week of the season.

Smith said he had no update on tight end Tony Gonzalez, who briefly left Sunday's game with a toe injury.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group