Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith expects a great crowd at Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers. This game will be the Falcons' first game this season not only against a division opponent, but against a fellow NFC team.
In his interview after practice on Thursday, Smith talked about how the crowd will add to the atmosphere:
Ultimately, the first step in any season is to try and win your division. To win your division, you have to beat division opponents so it'll be a fun afternoon. I know that the fans have a good rivalry with Carolina and they'll probably bring some folks over as well.
Smith talked about other things in his Thursday interview, including the return of the regular NFL officials:
"I'm looking forward to having the experienced guys back. In terms of our preparation, it's not going to change the way we prepare. We have a big challenge this week with Carolina, but definitely glad to have the experienced guys back."
The Falcons play the Panthers on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. It will be televised on FOX.