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Mike Smith, the first-year coach of the forlorn Atlanta Falcons, handled his first session with the national media with aplomb yesterday in the Indiana Convention Center. He fielded all questions and delivered few answers with the skill of a veteran coach.

Smith's coaching staff is in place and his rebuilding plans are in order. What little the former Ravens assistant was willing to divulge is that the Falcons will be physical up front and they're open to all options in the draft.

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Holding the No. 3 pick and in need of a franchise quarterback, Smith declined to surrender any clues. "When you get to the draft, there are a lot of options," he said. "At three, there are a number of otpions. The dynamics always change day to day in the draft. You have to have contingency plans in everything."

Sitting behind Miami and St. Louis, the Falcons might be able to land quarterback Matt Ryan of Boston College. Although Ryan had some flattering things to say about both Miami and Atlanta during his session with the media, Smith had little to say about the No. 1 quarterback in the draft.

"This is a quarterback driven league," Smith said. "We have to look in all the areas, including free agency and the draft [for a quarterback]."

Smith is also the brother-in-law of former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who was fired in January. Smith said Billick had just returned from a visit to Iraq and was "doing well."

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