On the blocked punt in Week 9:
"I think the biggest thing was it was an alignment issue. We have a set depth that we like to play at. Sometimes that changes based on the opponent, but for the most part, it is always pretty much a standard. Anytime that you are in a situation where something is different, you have to be ready to make a quick adjustment. The depth probably created most of the problem there in terms of being able to get his hands on the guy quick enough. You have two options – he is either going to try to edge you, which means you have to protect inside out; or he is going to cross your face, which means you have to flatten him and finish him so that we can get across. When that distance between the final part of the set is closer to the block point, sometimes a guy like that can just kind of ricochet, which is basically what it was. It was a six-box return scheme, but most people in this league are going to force the back side, wrap that guy around and do something to tempo the punter to not let him sit back there and hold the ball any longer. Although, that was not a problem in terms of that particular play. It was just more about the launch point, and things like that affect you so much in special teams – eight yards on a field goal. and it is generally going to be about a 9.5 to a 10-yard block point on a punt. It is kind of like a quarterback in a shotgun. You have different launch points and you have to know how to protect against that."
On if the punt was normal for the unit, outside of the block:
"I am not going to say it was normal because we were not going to give that kid (Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill) the ball(laughter), you know what I am saying? It was going to be an interesting play had we have been able to get it off because both of the gunners did a nice job on getting off their release versus their vice and both of them were going towards the direction of the kick. It was a play that we were prepared to try to be able to take the guy out of the game if we could either with the kick itself or with the coverage."
On if the punt was kicked lower when it hit the Chiefs player's hand:
"No, it was not a normal drop in terms of what we were doing, but it was a planned deal that we had going in to try to eliminate a great return guy. You have to do that sometimes with either the punt, the location of the punt or with the coverage itself being able to take care of it. I was grateful we did not punt but twice, I know that."
On if it was good to see K Greg Joseph convert a 51-yard FG:
"Yeah, it was. A little bit of hesitation there, I was waiting for (special teams assistant) Sam (Shade) upstairs to tell me when he said 33-yardline. That was about where we knew going in where we were going to hit from in that particular situation. He went out there, stepped up and made a big kick. Have to do it again this week. That is not going to change for us. It was nice. It should be a confidence builder for him in that respect."
On how long it takes for a young kicker like Joseph to build trust, particularly given questions about whether the team should look to acquire another K:
"You guys asked that question that day (laughter). I have had young punters, and I have had young kickers. This league is so different, particularly with the ball situation. You are a yard deeper with the snap than you are in college. For example, when I had (former Cardinals K and Buccaneers K Chandler) Catanzaro in Arizona, we had a good team and he was making kicks. We were going to be productive in that area. His rookie year, I think the made the first 17 or 18 in a row. That is the thing that gets them a little bit more experience is when they can go out there like he (Joseph) did in Pittsburgh where he had a chance to make three in a row. I think those things build more experience quicker. Generally, it is going to take about a year for a guy to settle into this game because every situation is going to be different. It was good to see him get a long ball because he has that type of leg."
On clarifying the differences with the ball and placement in college and the NFL:
"In the NFL you have a K ball. College ball, you can use whatever ball the quarterback likes is going to be used – whatever ball the kicker likes is going to be used. In this league, I think two balls are prepped per side per team. That is generally what you are going to get unless one gets into the stands or somebody scores on a touchdown and takes it out of the game, you are probably going to deal with two balls a game and they are going to be balls that are fresh out of the box the morning of the game. I think it is a 45-minute rubdown process that they allow each team to get two balls ready to play on each side."
On Joseph preparing to kick in weather conditions:
"First of all, we changed the shoe weeks ago – his plant foot shoe – so I think we have that figured out in terms of what we need to do with the plant because that is a critical part of it, as well. Practicing in situations whether we are inside as a team – like last week, he went out – we took him outside, even though we were inside because of the weather he was able to go out and get his work done. I think those are things and our fields do – the game field right now and the practice field they are in excellent shape, and they are very similar to how they play here. The problem at practice is you do not have the stadium surroundings and you do not have the wind consistently like that, but I think it is just a deal where getting out there, getting the shoe and all of those things and going out and testing it in pregame once you get to the game site."
On if today would be ideal for Joseph to practice kicking in cold and raining:
"We normally do not kick him on Friday so he had his work yesterday, and from what I have seen game time, it might be a nice day from the standpoint of the at least the snow or rain. I think pretty much our fields match up with what we are going to face, and our guys do a great job of getting those ready for us. He will have plenty of opportunities to get himself ready during the week for what he is going to encounter. We have the turf obviously when we go to Cincinnati. Houston is now turf, as well, so the next two games will be a little more footing in terms of that."
On if there is extra emphasis on kickoff returns this week as the Falcons did not kick as many touchbacks last week:
"We generally try to spend equal amount of time during the course of a week. If we need an extra walkthrough or something like that on a scheme we might have been punting in for the week, we will, but practice time is the same amount. The biggest thing is we try to always make sure when we rep a practice play, we rep it with a hit to the left and a hit to the right, anticipating that the stadiums are going to play different on each end of it. To answer your question, I guess you would say we do spend a little bit more time. Yesterday when we repped – I think we had like eight reps – two reps, one went here and one went there. It might be the same play just trying to make sure we handle where the ball is going to land, sit and stuff like that because kickoff return is so much about spacing."
On if DB Jabrill Peppers will be prepared to return more kickoffs this week and as weather conditions change:
"From a standpoint of distance, I do think five to eight yards or something like that is taken off and then hang time, obviously a ball can get beat down quicker. (Falcons P Matt) Bosher has been kicking a long time so his ball, we know a lot about where his balls usually go when they do play outside. I think they played three outdoor games this year so we focus and study on that as much as we do anything else. Everybody better be ready to be a fielder in conditions like this."