Falcons coach 'whole lot better' after stay in hospital

Atlanta head coach Mike Smith was rushed to a Charlotte hospital after experiencing chest pains Sunday. He didn't shed light on the cause.

 FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Falcons coach Mike Smith was back at practice Monday night and planning to return “first thing in the morning,” one day after being checked at a Charlotte hospital.

“I feel a whole lot better today than I did yesterday, I can assure you of that,” a smiling Smith said after the practice, which lasted about 40 minutes.

Smith was examined for a “non-emergency matter” after the Fal­cons’ 31-23 win over Carolina on Sunday.

Smith offered few details of his hospital stay.

“I’m really embarrassed to have to even be talking about it,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about it. I’d prefer to talk about the way our guys played in the second half and we’ve got a short week and we’ve got to get ready for Jacksonville.”

The Falcons (8-5) have only three days to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Jaguars at the Georgia Dome.

Because of the short week, the team planned Monday night’s unusual light practice before Smith’s medical scare.

He said he was committed to keeping to the schedule and planned no changes to his coaching routine.

“No, not at all,” he said with a laugh. “I’m going to have to evaluate some of the things I do, not in coaching this team but in terms of how we coach this team. We’re going to keep doing it the way we’ve always done it simply because it’s the only way I know how to do it.”

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