Coach Smith says Falcons' failures are his fault
By George Henry | 11/21/2013, 11:08 a.m.
Smith was harping Monday on his team's inability to manage momentum swings.
On the first offensive possession, Jackson ran for 15 yards and had a 12-yard catch. Ryan and Gonzalez connected for an 18-yard gain, and the Falcons stood at Tampa Bay's 35.
Gerald McCoy, though, beat right guard Peter Konz for sacks on two straight snaps, and Atlanta was forced to punt.
On the second defensive series, Vincent Jackson caught a 43-yard pass and Bobby Rainey ran for 23 yards before breaking off a 43-yard touchdown run. Ryan followed with his first interception, which Mason Foster picked off for a 37-yard touchdown return, and Atlanta trailed 17-3 midway through the second quarter.
Smith hinted at personnel changes, but it's unclear how much they might help.
Antone Smith, a fourth-year veteran who's played most of his career on special teams, will get some snaps at running back. He ran for a 50-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter at Tampa Bay, but he began his game with one career attempt for minus-3 yards.
Konz, a second-round draft pick last year, began the season as the starting center, but Joe Hawley took the job last week as Konz was moved to right guard in favor of Garrett Reynolds. Konz played so poorly, though, that Reynolds was put back at right guard.
Free safety Thomas DeCoud was pulled in the fourth quarter in favor of rookie Zeke Motta. Rookie Ryan Schraeder took over at right tackle for Jeremy Trueblood.
"It's my responsibility,'' Smith said. "It's not the players in the locker room. It's my responsibility as the head coach to make sure that our guys are prepared and motivated to play.''
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