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Mike Smith Quotable


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Q: What’s the latest on Grady Jackson? Has that come to fruition yet?

A: “Well, no. We’ve had some talks with Grady’s agent. We’re just checking out each other’s interests at this point, but there is nothing concrete to say about that right now.”

Q: Do you expect Joe Horn to report later in the day?

A: “Joe has already checked in today so we’ve seen him and talked to him.”

Q: Is everybody here and accounted for except the two rookies?

A: “There are a number of rookies that are flying from the West Coast that have a late arriving flight. They get into Atlanta Hartsfield at 3 pm. We anticipate they will be here for our 6 pm meeting as long as the traffic allows them to get here.”

Q: Have the two rookies signed yet, the first (Sam Baker) and second (Curtis Lofton) round picks?

A: “Right now from what I understand Sam has not signed at this point and time but Curtis Lofton has. Curtis will be here tonight for our meeting.”

Q: How important is it to get those rookies in here at the beginning of camp and get their feet wet and acclimated to the NFL?

A: “Well I think it’s very important. I think that every snap that they don’t take is a snap that is going to hurt them and hurt our football team. So I think it’s really important that we get them here. I know that our negotiators are negotiating with the agent and I hope that it will get done by the time we start practice tomorrow.”

Q: Nowadays with OTAs and mini camps they (rookies) certainly get a dose of things?

A: “Well they certainly do and they have basically have about 85 percent of our playbook to this point. We’ll be starting tomorrow and we’ll be swiftly putting in and installing the things that we did in the OTAs. We’ll just be doing it at a little faster speed as far as the input is concerned. It’s not like they’re going to loose everything, but we would like for them to get as many snaps as they possibly can.”

Q: Back to Joe Horn for the moment, what was the nature of your conversation with him today? Does he want out?

A: “No. Joe is here and he’s told me that he’s ready to go to work and he’s ready to compete. Those are the things you want to hear as a head coach from your player. It was a very positive conversation with Joe.”

Q: It sounds different from what we (reporters) heard when he (Joe Horn) didn’t want to show up for the voluntaries...

A: “Well I think what happens is there is a time for play, there is a time for pay, and there is a time for negotiations. That (Horn not wanting to show up to voluntaries) was in the time for pay and negotiations part of the season. Now it is football season and time to play and Joe is an Atlanta Falcon and he’s ready to play.”

Q: How much contact is in there? How much hitting live are you going to do during camp?

A: “We’re going to be in full pads for nine practices prior to the end of training camp. So, there will be nine opportunities that we’ll be in full pads. We’ll have five scheduled shell practices which will be shorts and shoulder pads and then the rest of the time we’ll be out there in the same gear as the OTAs. Even though you’re in full pads, you’re not going to have full contact. You just can’t do that with an 80-man roster and the rigors of training camp. You just have to be smart in how you work your team. I think it’s going to be very important. Our number one goal and I’ll tell our team this at our meeting tonight at six o’clock is to get to the opener healthy. We’ve got to have all our parts if we’re going to be successful. That’s the number one goal. We’ve got a lot of goals but if we can get to the opener healthy than we’re going to have a chance to compete.”

Q: Was it a good sign that Matt (Ryan) checked in early yesterday?

A: “We had a number of guys, I think close to 30 or 40 guys that checked in early. I think that’s an encouraging sign that these guys are excited about getting to training camp because as a coach or player or anyone who has been to camp there is not a whole lot of fun about it. It’s something that we have to do and a way for us to prepare, but they’re not fun.”

Q: Is it your understanding that the (Sam) Baker negotiations are close to evolving?

A: “They are on going at this point of time.”

Q: And Curtis (Lofton) was today?

A: “Yes. Curtis was today. From what I understand it was somewhere around noon.”

Q: How does Doug Plank work into your coaching staff?

A: “We’re real excited and I’m real excited at having Doug Plank join our staff. One of the first days that I was here I went down and introduced myself to Doug. Doug talked to me about football philosophy and we had a very engaging conversation and talked about different things. I really liked what I had heard and he said he would like to get involved with at some point and time with the Falcons. We had a conversation and we talked about it a couple other times throughout the season. I’m excited that he will be a coaching assistant and really what Doug will be doing for us is special projects for the coaching staff. He’s got a wealth of knowledge as a player and a very successful coach in the arena football league. So, I think that anytime you can add quality coaches to your staff, you strengthen your staff and I’m excited about Doug coming here and becoming familiar with our system and then also being able to use him as a resource in terms of our game planning as we prepare for the season.”

Q: Now that camp is here what are your emotions as you all work things up and get ready to go?

A: “Well, it’s another step in the process in terms that we set out back in January and said that we are going to go very systematic in the approach. This is just another step in the process. I think our players will find that out when we start because they’re going to be real familiar with what we’ve done in terms of practicing and how we practice and how we structure things. It’s going to be no different then what we’ve done in the OTAs. So my emotions, of course I’m excited about it. Anytime as a football coach you get to go and get out on the field, that’s what we do and that’s what we have the most fun doing is out there on the field coaching the players.”

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Q: What’s the latest on Grady Jackson? Has that come to fruition yet?

A: “Well, no. We’ve had some talks with Grady’s agent. We’re just checking out each other’s interests at this point, but there is nothing concrete to say about that right now.”

Q: Do you expect Joe Horn to report later in the day?

A: “Joe has already checked in today so we’ve seen him and talked to him.”

Q: Is everybody here and accounted for except the two rookies?

A: “There are a number of rookies that are flying from the West Coast that have a late arriving flight. They get into Atlanta Hartsfield at 3 pm. We anticipate they will be here for our 6 pm meeting as long as the traffic allows them to get here.”

Q: Have the two rookies signed yet, the first (Sam Baker) and second (Curtis Lofton) round picks?

A: “Right now from what I understand Sam has not signed at this point and time but Curtis Lofton has. Curtis will be here tonight for our meeting.”

Q: How important is it to get those rookies in here at the beginning of camp and get their feet wet and acclimated to the NFL?

A: “Well I think it’s very important. I think that every snap that they don’t take is a snap that is going to hurt them and hurt our football team. So I think it’s really important that we get them here. I know that our negotiators are negotiating with the agent and I hope that it will get done by the time we start practice tomorrow.”

Q: Nowadays with OTAs and mini camps they (rookies) certainly get a dose of things?

A: “Well they certainly do and they have basically have about 85 percent of our playbook to this point. We’ll be starting tomorrow and we’ll be swiftly putting in and installing the things that we did in the OTAs. We’ll just be doing it at a little faster speed as far as the input is concerned. It’s not like they’re going to loose everything, but we would like for them to get as many snaps as they possibly can.”

Q: Back to Joe Horn for the moment, what was the nature of your conversation with him today? Does he want out?

A: “No. Joe is here and he’s told me that he’s ready to go to work and he’s ready to compete. Those are the things you want to hear as a head coach from your player. It was a very positive conversation with Joe.”

Q: It sounds different from what we (reporters) heard when he (Joe Horn) didn’t want to show up for the voluntaries...

A: “Well I think what happens is there is a time for play, there is a time for pay, and there is a time for negotiations. That (Horn not wanting to show up to voluntaries) was in the time for pay and negotiations part of the season. Now it is football season and time to play and Joe is an Atlanta Falcon and he’s ready to play.”

Q: How much contact is in there? How much hitting live are you going to do during camp?

A: “We’re going to be in full pads for nine practices prior to the end of training camp. So, there will be nine opportunities that we’ll be in full pads. We’ll have five scheduled shell practices which will be shorts and shoulder pads and then the rest of the time we’ll be out there in the same gear as the OTAs. Even though you’re in full pads, you’re not going to have full contact. You just can’t do that with an 80-man roster and the rigors of training camp. You just have to be smart in how you work your team. I think it’s going to be very important. Our number one goal and I’ll tell our team this at our meeting tonight at six o’clock is to get to the opener healthy. We’ve got to have all our parts if we’re going to be successful. That’s the number one goal. We’ve got a lot of goals but if we can get to the opener healthy than we’re going to have a chance to compete.”

Q: Was it a good sign that Matt (Ryan) checked in early yesterday?

A: “We had a number of guys, I think close to 30 or 40 guys that checked in early. I think that’s an encouraging sign that these guys are excited about getting to training camp because as a coach or player or anyone who has been to camp there is not a whole lot of fun about it. It’s something that we have to do and a way for us to prepare, but they’re not fun.”

Q: Is it your understanding that the (Sam) Baker negotiations are close to evolving?

A: “They are on going at this point of time.”

Q: And Curtis (Lofton) was today?

A: “Yes. Curtis was today. From what I understand it was somewhere around noon.”

Q: How does Doug Plank work into your coaching staff?

A: “We’re real excited and I’m real excited at having Doug Plank join our staff. One of the first days that I was here I went down and introduced myself to Doug. Doug talked to me about football philosophy and we had a very engaging conversation and talked about different things. I really liked what I had heard and he said he would like to get involved with at some point and time with the Falcons. We had a conversation and we talked about it a couple other times throughout the season. I’m excited that he will be a coaching assistant and really what Doug will be doing for us is special projects for the coaching staff. He’s got a wealth of knowledge as a player and a very successful coach in the arena football league. So, I think that anytime you can add quality coaches to your staff, you strengthen your staff and I’m excited about Doug coming here and becoming familiar with our system and then also being able to use him as a resource in terms of our game planning as we prepare for the season.”

Q: Now that camp is here what are your emotions as you all work things up and get ready to go?

A: “Well, it’s another step in the process in terms that we set out back in January and said that we are going to go very systematic in the approach. This is just another step in the process. I think our players will find that out when we start because they’re going to be real familiar with what we’ve done in terms of practicing and how we practice and how we structure things. It’s going to be no different then what we’ve done in the OTAs. So my emotions, of course I’m excited about it. Anytime as a football coach you get to go and get out on the field, that’s what we do and that’s what we have the most fun doing is out there on the field coaching the players.”

Baker agrees to terms in time for training camp

by AtlantaFalcons.com

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News » Transactions » Press Releases » Sam Baker »

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons first round (21st overall) draft selection, offensive lineman Sam Baker, has agreed to terms on a contract and will be present at the team’s first training camp practice tomorrow morning.

Baker, 6-5, 312 pounds, became only the third three-time All-America first-team selection in University of Southern California history after starting 49 of 52 games in his Trojan career. He registered 197 career knockdown blocks while allowing just 4.5 sacks in USC’s last 889 passing plays.

The Falcons traded with the Washington Redskins and moved back into the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft to obtain Baker. Atlanta also included two of their second round selections and a fourth round pick in the deal.

Baker is the final Falcons rookie to join the team and Atlanta will have all 11 draft picks present on the first day of Russell Falcons Training Camp which will be held tomorrow, July 26, at the team’s Flowery Branch headquarters. The first practice of a two-a-day slate will begin at 8:30 a.m. The afternoon practice will start at 3:45 p.m. and both sessions are open to the public.

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/News/Article...ining_camp.aspx

:o

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