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Cardinals vs. Falcons: Coach Mike Smith impressed with Arizona defense

Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith spoke about the Arizona Cardinals and gave an update on the Falcons' injury situation after Wednesday's practice.

Chris Graythen

Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith spoke to the media after practice on Wednesday, updating the Falcons' injury situation as well as speaking about their upcoming opponent, the Arizona Cardinals.

Smith spoke highly of the Cardinals' defense and touted their aggressiveness (via the Falcons' official site):

"I'll talk about their defense first. They have one of the top defenses in the League. They're based out of a 3-4. Coach Horton is from the Dick Lebeau family so there is lots of blitzing. Probably, blitz more than any team in the League percentage-wise. They create a lot of issues. They're very stout up front with two good defensive ends. They got an inside linebacker that's had eight sacks in ILB Daryl Washington, and then they have a good cover corner."

Arizona's pass defense is currently second in the NFL, so it will provide a good test for the high-powered Falcons offense, which is fourth in the league in passing.

The Atlanta passing game could be missing one of its key members this weekend, as wide receiver Julio Jones missed Wednesday's practice. Smith would not divulge much about Jones' injury, and said the receiver will be evaluated again on Thursday.

Smith also revealed that Sean Weatherspoon, Kevin Cone and Charles Mitchell missed practice along with Jones.

Atlanta will be looking to rebound against Arizona from their first loss of the season last weekend, and Smith said the loss has not affected the team's preparation:

"I think that gets so overblown. It's week-to-week in terms of your preparation. Whether you win or you lose, you're going to learn from it. You're going to put it behind you as quickly as possible, and you're going to move forward. Your focus has to go onto the next game and that's the way we've always done it. I think it's way overblown in terms of whether you've won the last game or whether you've lost the last game that your preparation changes. No it doesn't. You go right back to work and these guys came out and we had a good days practice. We've had a lot of good days of practice so far."

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