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Falcons LT Svitek on 'dirtbags' label: 'Going to do what we do'

According to Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, the Falcons' offensive line are less dirty birds and more just dirtbags.

And while most would take serious offense to a term usually reserved for the high school kids who hung out behind your hometown Walgreens and smoked cigarettes, Falcons offensive lineman Will Svitek didn't sound like a guy running away from the reputation Wednesday.

"If (Tuck) views us as cheap, so be it," Svitek said, according to the Falcons' official website. "Going to do what we do. You don't want to be viewed as soft."

"We want them to know we're there," Svitek went on. "We're going to be pests. We're going to be physical."

Falcons linemen have been repeatedly called out for using cheap and dangerous tactics this season. But veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez believes his beefier teammates wear their reputation like a badge of courage.

"Being considered a dirtbag is not illegal," Gonzalez said Wednesday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm pretty sure those guys take that as a compliment."

Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey pleaded innocent when asked about Tuck's comments ahead of Sunday's wild-card showdown with the Giants.

"We strive on doing things right, we strive on playing physical, we've been doing that for four years and that's just the way it is," Mularkey said Tuesday. "Nothing is ever preached beyond the whistle ... ever."

Preached? Perhaps not. But opponents claim it's still happening.

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