Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino’s thoughts on the 49ers

Oct 31, 2007 at 6:37 PM--


Atlanta Falcons head coach Bobby Petrino had a conference call this morning with the media. Below are some questions asked regarding the 49ers and his answers to those questions.

Have you seen much of the 49ers this week?
"Way too much. We had the bye last week, so it feels like we've been watching film on the 49ers forever."

What are your general impressions of the 49ers?
"Frank Gore is a guy that worries you. He's been running the ball hard and competes. We have to tackle well. There are issues there and we have to make sure we tackle well. His ability to bounce the ball outside concerns you. Alex Smith is just coming back. I've seen a lot from him in years past. His ability not only to throw the ball down the field, but his ability to run is a concern of ours because that's something he has done very well throughout his career."

Defensively what do you think of the rookie, Patrick Willis?
"He's playing very well for them. He's very instinctive. He understands the game of football. He runs and hits. He is young and a rookie, so there are some mistakes you make as that, but he's been very impressive on video."

Does Alex Smith's injury factor in to your defensive approach to the quarterback?
"We did see him get hit and we would certainly like to do that. I think it's important for us to be able to win the game to be able to get pressure on the quarterback and hit him. But you also gain a tremendous amount of respect for him. He stayed in there and kept playing and I actually thought he played well in the fourth quarter."

Is it obvious from the game film that Alex was in pain?
"You don't see as much on the game film, no, because they cut it off. You're looking at other things other than the up close view of the quarterback. So you don't really see that a lot on the game film."

Did he look affected by his (Alex's) shoulder?
"That's hard for me to tell. We're just watching what he's doing, what his reads are, what the patterns are, so it's hard for me to say."

Do you expect to get Alge Crumpler back?
"We're hoping to. I think it's still a process. He's worked hard over the week he took off prior to the bye and over the bye. But there is still a ways for him to go."

Will Joey Harrington be your starting quarterback?
"Yes."



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