Falcons coach says it’s a third down league

Posted by Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor on February 25, 2012 – 3:03 pm

INDIANAPOLIS–It was a couple of failed fourth-down plays in a playoff loss to the Giants that helped end the Falcons’ season, but Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith says the NFL is a third down league.

“You have to play them to get to third down. That’s when you get into situational football and that’s where the game is really played. Pass rush is very important to win on third down,” Smith said during his media conference at the scouting combine. “Your predominant defense is a five-defensive back package. You’re seeing more teams playing six defensive backs.”

The Falcons had never enjoyed consecutive winning seasons until Smith came along. Now they’ve had four in a row. So what are they saying about Smith? He hasn’t won a playoff game.

That’s life as a head coach. Unless you win them all, somebody’s going to complain.

There were complaints about Smith’s decision to go for it on fourth-and-one twice in the playoff loss to the Giants. It was one of the first questions posed to Smith in his press conference at the scouting combine on Saturday. He smiled and said: “When it doesn’t work, it’s not a good call. When it works, it’s a great call.”

Just win, baby.

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