2014 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

Morgan BurnettJul 31 09:42a

Green Bay Packers FS Morgan Burnett (ankle) and SS Tanner Miller (undisclosed) are not practicing Thursday, July 31.

Nate GarnerJul 31 08:53a

Miami Dolphins C Nate Garner is working with the first-team offense again Thursday, July 31, over C Shelley Smith.

Allen RobinsonJul 30 10:13p

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (and fellow rookie WR Marqise Lee) have seen plenty of opportunity at training camp with WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) and [ More ]

Andre JohnsonJul 30 12:33p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, July 30. Head coach Bill O'Brien has said the team is being cautious with Johnson.

Joe LooneyJul 30 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers OG Joe Looney has been working with the first-team offense at guard in place of OG Alex Boone and has looked good during practices.

Allen RobinsonJul 30 11:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WRs Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson have looked comfortable and consistent in the early part of training camp, according to John Oehser.

Nate GarnerJul 30 11:03a

Miami Dolphins C Shelley Smith and C Nate Garner are splitting reps with the first-team offense at center Wednesday, July 30.

Clay HarborJul 30 10:53a

Updating previous reports, Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) will be out for a month due to the calf injury he suffered earlier in the week.

Odell Beckham Jr.Jul 30 10:43a

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is expected to be out at least another week, although tests on his hamstring came back negative Tuesday, July 29. The [ More ]

Marquis FlowersJul 30 10:33a

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring) were activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

David WilsonJul 30 10:13a

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) will sit out of practice the rest of the week and won't play in the first preseason game. He underwent tests Tuesday, [ More ]

Lardarius WebbJul 30 08:33a

Baltimore Ravens CB Lardarius Webb (back) had recent examinations reveal no structural damage to his back. It's believed to be a muscular problem that will require rest and rehabilitation. [ More ]

Chris RaineyJul 30 02:13a

LB Darrin Kitchens (Bills), OT Chris Faulk (Browns), PK Jake Rogers (Browns), OT Aslam Sterling (Broncos), RB Chris Rainey (Colts), WR Gerald Ford (Dolphins), OT DeMarcus Love (Giants) and [ More ]

Ricky SappJul 30 02:03a

The Houston Texans released LB Ricky Sapp (undisclosed) from their Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, July 29. Sapp is free to sign with any team.

Demarcus LawrenceJul 30 01:33a

Dallas Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) suffered a broken foot Tuesday, July 29, and he will need eight to 10 weeks recovery time, according to a source.

Brandon PettigrewJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew and the other tight ends have split time between working on the offensive line and working with the pass-catching receivers and running backs catching [ More ]

Corey HilliardJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions OTs Corey Hilliard and LaAdrian Waddle appear to be getting an equal shot at the starting right tackle job. Hilliard worked with the first-team offense Monday, July [ More ]

Kevin OgletreeJul 30 12:53a

Detroit Lions WR Kevin Ogletree has been spent time on the top unit each of the first two days of training camp, working as the No. 3 receiver. He [ More ]

Jason HatcherJul 30 12:13a

Washington Redskins DE Jarvis Jenkins said the team's signing of DE Jason Hatcher this offseason was a wakeup call that has motivated him to become a better player. 'I've [ More ]

Patrick PetersonJul 30 12:03a

Arizona Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson announced via Twitter Tuesday, July 29, that he has signed a five-year contract extension worth $70 million with $48 million guaranteed.

Robert MeachemJul 29 11:53p

New Orleans Saints WR Robert Meachem (back) and OT Tavon Rooks (back) returned to practice Tuesday, July 29.

Greg ScruggsJul 29 11:43p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill, SS Jeron Johnson, DE Greg Scruggs and LB Mike Morgan are four players that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn mentioned when asked what players have [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerJul 29 11:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor worked with the first-team offense in place of RB Andre Ellington (neck) Tuesday, July 29. Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com believes the move means that [ More ]

Jake MatthewsJul 29 11:23p

Atlanta Falcons OT Jake Matthews has impressed QB Matt Ryan during training camp. 'I think Jake, his size and he's very strong, very athletic,' Ryan said Tuesday, July [ More ]

Dale MossJul 29 11:03p

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent WR Dale Moss (Panthers) to a one-year deal Tuesday, July 29. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Jerrel JerniganJul 29 10:43p

New York Giants CB Charles James could make the roster as a punt returner as a result of injuries to RB David Wilson (neck) and WR Odell Beckham Jr. [ More ]

Zac StacyJul 29 10:23p

St. Louis Ram RB Tre Mason saw received some snaps with the first-team Tuesday, July 29, with RB Zac Stacy receiving a majority of the work with the first-team.

Ray McDonaldJul 29 09:53p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee), CB Tramaine Brock (knee) and DE Ray McDonald (leg) did not practice Tuesday, July 29.

O'Brien SchofieldJul 29 09:33p

Seattle Seahawks LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (stomach) missed practice Tuesday, July 29, with a stomach injury, and LB O'Brien Schofield was given a scheduled day of rest.

Bryan BulagaJul 29 08:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) performed well in one-on-one pass-blocking drills Monday, July 28, stopping a rush attempt from LB Clay Matthews and two attempts from LB Julius Peppers.

Calvin JohnsonJul 29 08:23p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson is taking part in fewer reps in training camp this year than in years past and said he is trying to be smarter about [ More ]

Giorgio TavecchioJul 29 08:13p

Detroit Lions K Nate Freese and K Giorgio Tavecchio both missed field-goal attempts from nearly 50 yards during practice Tuesday, July 29, and the two remain in a competition for the starting kicking job.

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