Titans-Falcons Week Press Pass: Bobby Petrino

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Bobby Petrino fields questions from the Nashville media.

(on how comfortable QB Joey Harrington is with Atlanta's offense)

He's done a nice job of picking it up. I think he feels a lot more comfortable than he did at the start of the year, and understands what we want done as far as operating the offense. I think the relationship that he has built now with the receivers, tight ends and running backs is something that really helps you feel more comfortable.

(on what the Falcons saw in Harrington that made them sign him to their roster)

We were looking for a backup quarterback. We watched all his video at Miami. I liked the way he had the ability to come in and throw it around and wasn't shy of throwing it into tight spots, which is what you kind of look for when you need a backup quarterback, someone who comes in with confidence to make throws. When he came in and sat down and visited, I thought the relationship would go very well.

(on the chain of events that led to Harrington becoming the starter)

I think you know the chain of events. Once we got started in our camp, he knew coming in that he was going to be the starter. He prepared very well for it. He's done a nice job of working on leading the team and doing the other things outside of the "X's and O's" that you need to do to have a chance to be successful.

(on how hard it has been to deal with distractions during his first season as Atlanta's head coach)

Well, we tried to not make it hard. We just tried to understand what our job was, and not sit around in rooms or in corners and talk about the situations. We just wanted to focus on football and on getting better individually and getting better on both sides of the ball.

(on if RB Warrick Dunn is underrated)

I don't think so at all. Everybody knows Warrick and how well he has always done. Everyone has a lot of respect for what he has done as a running back in this league.

(on how Dunn compares to second-year RB Jerious Norwood)

Well, [Norwood] is still working on learning everything we're doing in the running game. There has been some transition in schemes, and we're not where we want to be yet, but I think we're improving. The line is getting better. Our running backs are having a better understanding of the different runs we're asking them to do, but we're certainly not where we want to be yet.

(on the transition from coaching in the college ranks to the professional level)

You know, I've never been a guy who has been in the biggest and hardest and the best this [or that]. I'm fortunate that I worked in Jacksonville for three years and had an understanding of what I thought the league was like.

(on the impact of TE Dwayne Blakley)

Dwayne has been injured the last couple of weeks, but prior to that he had been doing a nice job for us.

(on how much the change at QB altered his offensive scheme)

Well, it changes. You always try to mold your offense around what your quarterback does well, the different things he brings to the table. There certainly was change. It wasn't like we reinvented an offense or anything. We were in the process of installing it for the third time. We knew there would be certain things that one guy did better than the other, and then we're just trying to mold the offense around him right now.

(on how QB Byron Leftwich has done so far)

I like what Byron has done. He's come in, and he's a very quick learner. He has a lot of knowledge of the game of football, and he's a very good student. I think he understands what we're doing offensively. I think he has a good idea of it; the only thing is he hasn't had the reps. That's a tough situation. At least in preseason and everything, you get reps in practice and in the preseason games, and he has had none of that. So that's a little concerning.

(on if Atlanta's defense will have an advantage playing against Titans QB Vince Young after practicing against QB Michael Vick for several years)

I'm not sure.

(on what stands out about Young)

I think he's done a real nice job of throwing the ball. He's working hard at being a pocket passer. He's getting the ball out on time. Of course, the thing I hate to see is when he tucks it and runs. He's so dangerous when he does that.

(on the status of the spread offense in the league and if it has become a new trend)

No, not really. I think everybody just tries to mold their offense around their personnel. With Vince back there as a threat to run, and you have to cover down on the receivers and you spread it out, and you still have two threats in the backfield to run the ball, it's very difficult. So, the style [the Titans] are playing certainly fits their personnel.

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