In three of the last four seasons and in the last two, the Atlanta Falcons have made the playoffs, only to lose their first playoff game. Two seasons ago, the Falcons had earned a first-round bye before losing to the Green Bay Packers. In his Monday press conference, Smith said that compared to two years ago, the Falcons will spend more preparation time on the field:
This year we are going to spend more time on the field. We're going to be out on the field four days this week. It won't be long practices, but we will be out on the field. We feel like the way our schedule is laid out this year in terms of the Bye week right at the middle, we had the Thursday night game, we had the Saturday night game, we have a couple of days rest now that we can get out there and get some work done.
Smith also spoke about how the coaches are preparing. As of now, the Falcons can play one of three teams, the Seattle Seahawks, the Minnesota Vikings or the Washington Redskins. Smith spoke about how the team would prepare for each team:
As a staff, we'll spend one day over the next three days on a specific team and that's how we will do it. When we're out on the field we'll be working Falcons-on-Falcons. There will be no on the field work, but in terms of game planning we will start working on our game planning with our coaching staff working one team per day."
Smith said that because the Falcons have already played the Redskins, they will wait to prepare for them until later this week. Smith also updated reporters on the status of defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson, who were injured in Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saying that he expects both to be able to play in the divisional round game:
"I can tell you this on both of the players that left the game yesterday. I fully anticipate that they will be ready to go on Sunday, January 13 at one o'clock."