What the Falcons said after their 34-10 defeat to the Bengals in the exhibition opener at the Georgia Dome:
“Preseason games are an opportunity for us to evaluate our roster. (We have) a lot of young players and those young players are guys that are fighting for spots on our roster… . . It’s obvious that we have a lot of work to do with those young guys. We’ll spend tomorrow looking at the tape. We’ll regroup with the team on Saturday and get back to work.”
Falcons coach Mike Smith
“We came out firing off. (Desmond) Trufant got some plays in so he got his whistle we early, which is good. He needs the experience going into the season. We’re definitely going to need him heading into the season. Overall, we did a good job. I’m sure we had some mistakes out there, we just have to watch the film and be able to correct them (in practice) on Saturday.”
Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux on the starting defense
“It’s one of those things that as you are more experienced you know are not going to be there the whole game you are not going to be in a normal rhythm. At the same time, you want to execute at a high level. We did a pretty good job of that. We moved the ball fairly effective. We had a chance to score a touchdown on that first drive. We didn’t do that. That’s an area we can improve. All in all, a decent start for us but we’ve got to get better.”
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan
“Great catch. Drew has been doing that all camp, though, he really has. He’s a guy who stepped in for us last year and made some big plays throughout the year., caught a touchdown up in Philadelphia. I think he’s improved a lot this training camp. For him to get it on film and get it done in a game I think is awesome.”
Ryan on Drew Davis’ 31-yard reception.
“I’m hard on myself. I’m my biggest critic, and I think I played horrible. In the first half, that pick I threw was just a dumb decision. But I got to keep pushing through. I got to keep playing football and I’m glad I came back that second half and got a drive together and got a touchdown going. But still a lot of room for improvement.”
Falcons reserve quarterback Dominque Davis
“It was a good job by the offensive linemen and Drew Davis blocking and Matt recognizing it. They went to a blitz, they blitzed over the slot. I caught it and ran with it.”
Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas on his 42-yard catch.
“I think he’s one of the most mentally tough guys in the world. Whenever you can come from the situation he was in and come out here and be living the dream he had set from when he was a kid, to be out here playing professional football, it’s a great deal. My hat is off to him. He’s a great individual.”
Douglas on Falcons rookie Brian Banks, who is making a comeback after his career was derailed by a false rape accusation.
“I think they did pretty good. Of course, this is your first game in the NFL and you’ve got to get acclimated to it. So far, from what I can see, they did pretty good.”
Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel on rookie cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.
“I remember watching my brother (Marcus, an NFL player) in his first preseason game. Something similar happened to him. It’s good. I’m still adjusting to the game. But I felt I did pretty good out there. I’m feeling good. I could have did some things better. But I’m feeling good overall because I was calm and comfortable out there. I didn’t have any missed assignments out there. Mentally, I was good. Now, I just have to keep adjusting physically.”
Trufant on his missed tackle early in the game.
“With time I can get used to the right side. I feel like I’ll keep working and will see what happens. It’s always easier to concentrate on one side.”
Falcons rookie Ryan Schraeder, who is competing with Lamar Holmes to replace injured right tackle Mike Johnson in the starting lineup.