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Sunday, December 1, 2013
Smith not happy with lateral by Alford

By Vaughn McClure

TORONTO -- Television cameras caught a shot of Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith having an extended conversation with rookie cornerback Robert Alford after Alford lateraled a fumble recovery to Desmond Trufant.

Alford
Alford
Maybe under difference circumstances, Smith would have had no problem with Alford's decision. But since it came after William Moore forced a fumble by Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler on the first possession of overtime, one could understand why Smith was a little annoyed.

"Obviously, said that should be the last time you do that," Smith said of his message to Alford. "That wasn't the exact quote. But that's paraphrasing it. We don't need to do that in that situation. And I think he understands that we won't do it again."

Actually, the result worked in the Falcons' favor. Although Alford loss five yards, Trufant ended up picking up 18 yards after the lateral. It gave the Falcons first-and-10 from the Buffalo 47-yard line. Matt Ryan's 20-yard connection to Harry Douglas two plays after the turnover set up Matt Bryant's game-winning, 36-yard field goal.

Trufant explained what happened on the lateral from his vantage point.

"It was like Madden," Trufant said. "It was in slow motion. But it was great. We work on it in practice. Not for that exact situation, but we work on lateralling. So it's probably just a natural instinct for him. But it got us in good field position. We ended up winning."