QB Alex Smith: "There is obviously a lot on the line."

Quarterback Alex Smith speaks to the media prior to practice Wednesday.

Statement on NBC Sports Washington Writer Rich Tandler's passing:

"I heard the news about Rich Tandler. I just wanted to obviously offer my thoughts and prayers to his family. You know, I'm obviously pretty sorry to hear about the news."

On the Dallas Cowboys defense:

"Yeah, I think similarities to kind of what they've been the last few years. On film as far as, they don't do a ton. They don't make you prepare. They're not one of these defenses that play eight different coverages or exotic pressures. They're not reinventing anything. But obviously, I think you look at them statistically over the last few years and certainly this year, what they do, they do really well, and they play fast. They're good across the board from a personnel standpoint up front, second level, [and] on the back end. They play together. They play fast and physical, so I think all those things. Sometimes you can watch the film and when you look at some of the numbers, like I said, they don’t [play] all these coverages and things, but the subtleties of what they do really jump out on tape and [they] have had a lot of success doing it."

On building chemistry with WR Maurice Harris and WR Michael Floyd:

"It's the name of the game. At this level, guys have to be ready to roll and have to step up. I think we have that kind of group. Obviously, you named a couple of those guys that have stepped in and haven’t missed a beat helping us, and that's what you have to do. Good teams do that. Guys have to be able to [be the] next man up and you have to roll."

On RB Adrian Peterson adapting to his new role:

"I haven’t asked him. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, so it would be hard for me to say. I think he enjoys not being pigeon holed in a role. I think that can happen to old guys (laugh). You get told what you can and can't do. I think this year thus far has been a great example. I think he can do about everything. Coach has done a good job not limiting him and he's gone out there and made a ton of plays for us."

On if holding the football too long before throwing is a result of being in a new offense:

"There's a lot of things in there, that'd be part of it. I think all those little situations, you know, where you're holding on just a fraction too long or you don't cut it loose. That's the name of the game in the NFL too. That's playing quarterback. I mean there's always going to be pressure, every front, every week's usually pretty good. Timing and anticipation are critical. Yeah, it also has to do with concepts and the defense we're going against, all those things, in-game adjustments. There's a lot that goes into that and cutting that ball loose that fraction earlier. I mean conceptually some things we do that I have a long history with that obviously come very easy and others that [I'm] still new at, still getting the feel for."

On the offensive line facing Dallas' defense that plays a similar defensive front as the Colts:

"I mean, in the run game, yeah, it's not as much. I think the biggest thing is we all have to be on the same page, right, on how we're seeing things, our identification of all the fronts, anticipating what's coming. Not only in the run game, but obviously pass protection as well. I think the biggest thing for us there is preparation through the week, seeing the same things, speaking the same language up there, all being on the same page. I think any time your front… everybody's on the same page good things happen."

On if learning a new offense is a progression or something that is up and down each week:

"I think you hope it's always trending, but there's certainly going to be depending on week to week, yeah there are going to be dips. Some weeks it's going to feel great, you know, I think just depending. A ton goes into that, timing and all these things, when you're getting plays called, what you're getting them against. But I think generally speaking, you hope that you're just consistently trending and getting better. That's the biggest thing. But certainly, week in and week out those challenges change."

On if he will go back and watch the tape from the Indianapolis Colts game to prepare for Dallas:

"Hard to say, I think we have 50-plus snaps of cover two in that game. It's not really what Dallas has been doing. Could they do that? Sure. I think you certainly I mean very similar systems. Obviously he [Colts Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus] was there last year so probably a tape they're looking at, something we'll have to get ready for. But like I said, I don’t anticipate them totally copying that I guess."

On figuring out second half struggles:

"I think every single one of those is its own unique situation. It kind of goes back to every week is a different challenge, so to lump them all together is unfair. I think they all happen for different reasons. It's not the same thing going on. Certainly something we want to get remedied though. But, like I said, I think there are a ton of different reasons that change from week to week and each week presents a completely different challenge for us to figure out."

On facing Dallas and the rivalry:

"You said it, every game is huge, division games are even bigger – they almost count for double. But, anytime you have a storied rivalry like this that goes back that long, there is obviously a lot on the line. A lot of history there on both sides, for us, we've got them at home, we've got them here, a chance to get them in our place and take advantage. Certainly, thinking back to this last Sunday and what that looked like in the fourth quarter, FedExField was pretty sweet. It was rocking and we certainly hope to carry that over to this next week. But, we've got to go out and prove it. There is nothing we can really say or talk about, we've just got to go out and do it."

On the win-loss pattern and taking strategies away from practice for this situation:

"I don’t know if it's the week of practice. I've said this before; I've yet to see a lack of effort or work ethic. I mean this team works really, really hard to prepare, going about their business, from top to bottom, the entire building, I'm lumping in to that. I think if anything, you hope, maybe our sense of urgency on the details, the sense of urgency, period, on everything that we are doing. I think that it's only natural as the week goes on that mounts. That's good, I think that’s healthy, it's what you want. Hopefully we can carry that with us."

On TE Jordan Reed's one handed catch and if it changes his ability to throw the football:

"All those plays and the hundreds of other ones he's made in camp, in practice, yeah that gets banked, absolutely, in both of our [memories]. I think you just log all that stuff and no question, when it comes time, that's not a conscious thought you are making, all those little – John [Keim] talked about it earlier, the fraction of a second early. Cutting those things loose, certainly when you have a guy like that who has proven he can make those kinds of plays, has that kind of trust, you turn those balls loose more often than not."

On the fast starts in the first half:

"I think same thing, it would be hard for me to put one thing on that. I think they've been different every week, a lot going into that. Hopefully we keep that going; you love to come out starting fast, getting into a rhythm. Love to play four-quarter football, but obviously this is an NFL game, it's going to be a division game, it's going to be a physical game, hard fought. To expect that it's going to be smooth is unrealistic."

On what he has noticed from WR Josh Doctson:

"I mean, yeah, they [wide receivers] are all different and that’s something that you've been recognizing and you work on going back to April. Josh is a guy I appreciate, obviously, crazy talented, a ton of physical ability, but continues to work, every single day, comes out here and works, works hard. Anytime you check us out on special teams or down time, he's over with us, getting some catches, talking through stuff and as a young receiver, I really appreciate that. Obviously, I think he's got a bright future and kind of continue to work on those little details of the position and our communication."

On Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence:

"Besides the sacks and the tackles for loss and negative plays and pressure, he's a disruptive player, a really disruptive player. He jumps out on film; he's been doing this now for a couple of years, so he's a guy that certainly commands attention from the opposing offense."

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