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Falcons Vs. Chargers: Atlanta Coaching Staff Familiar With Chargers, Says Mike Smith

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith held a press conference after Wednesday's practice, discussing the team and their preparations for their upcoming matchup with the San Diego Chargers.

One of the first things Smith addressed was the injury report, telling reporters that running back Antone Smith and cornerback Chris Owens did not participate in practice. Smith injured his hamstring in Monday's win over the Denver Broncos, and Owens has a concussion. As for starting running back Michael Turner, Smith said he went through his normal Wednesday practice routine, and that the team is "planning on having a full boat" when they travel to San Diego.

Smith discussed defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's familiarity with San Diego head coach Norv Turner, noting that the two had faced off many times and had held positions on the same staff. Smith had praise for the Chargers:

We have to prepare to go play a very good San Diego team. Defensively, they're playing outstanding. They are very strong against the run. They have only given up 83 yards in two games, which is number one in the League. They're outstanding in third down efficiency and they're scoring a lot of points. Rich Bisaccia, their special teams coordinator who we're familiar with from Tampa Bay, was on the Tampa Bay staff for a number of years. He's got those guys running and hitting on special teams. It's going to be a fun game.

Smith also mentioned the team was prepared for Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, as offensive line coach Pat Hill was Mathews' head coach in college. He also said they were prepared for no-huddle looks from San Diego, and pointed out that the Falcons themselves are a tough team to prepare for.

Stick with this StoryStream for more on the Falcons vs. Chargers game. For more insight and analysis, check out Falcons blog The Falcoholic.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.