Q. What's the outlook on G/T Todd Herremans?
COACH KELLY: He went yesterday. It's what he can deal with. But he's back up, ready, slated to go today. We'll see what he can do this week.
Q. It seems unusual for a guy to play with that type of injury. Do you have any clarity from head athletic trainer Chris Peduzzi or the doctors about how a guy can play with that kind of biceps injury?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't.
Q. How did he look towards the end of the Cardinals game when he was playing with the injury?
COACH KELLY: He was okay. Obviously he was in pain, but he was okay.
Q. Who is the primary backup at right guard?
COACH KELLY: Just depends on the week. So depending on who it is, it's either [T/G Andrew] Gardner or [G/T Dennis] Kelly or whoever's up, depending on ‑‑ we'll go through the whole week. There is not a primary today because we're not playing a game today. We'll make a decision as we get on later in the week.
Q. C Jason Kelce received some first-team reps yesterday. How is he looking? He said he's really going to push it this week.
COACH KELLY: He looks like ‑‑ he's coming off surgery. I think it's just a matter of what he can handle. In a lot of those situations, Todd's, Jason's, all those things, I defer to the player and they can tell me how they feel. They have been around long enough; I have great faith and trust in them in terms of where they are. He's looked good the last couple days. We'll see as it gets extended, when ‑‑ he trained yesterday, he trained today, he'll train on Thursday and train on Friday, and then we'll make a decision on Saturday with him.
Q. Will you get Kelly or Gardner or whoever, some first-team reps this week?
COACH KELLY: We get reps with everybody, so everybody rotates in there. That's not a big deal.
Q. In these past 20 months you've spoken a lot about LB DeMeco Ryans, but what about him most resonates with you in terms of the way he operates and the way he carries himself?
COACH KELLY: I think everything about him resonates with me. There's not just one thing that stands out. I think his approach to everything: I think he's exactly what you want in a professional in terms of the hours that he puts in here, how important the game is to him, how much he studies just the game of football, how he trains when he's in the weight room, what he's like on the practice field.
I think there's a consistency to him that I think separates kind of the great ones from everybody: it's that he's the same person every single day here. He's always a calming influence, he doesn't lose his mind on game day, but there's a calm intensity about him in everything he does.
I think we try to get our younger guys to understand that if you want to know what a football player looks like, watch DeMeco and how he handles himself, not only on the field, not only in the training sessions, but 24 hours a day.
Q. When asked about the red zone earlier this week, you mentioned turnovers, but you're also settling for a lot of field goals. What to you are the biggest issues inside the 20?
COACH KELLY: Turnovers. You're not going to score any points in there. I think our mind‑set is you have three, we're greedy and we want seven, but you can't come away without anything in that situation. I think the turnovers are really the biggest part that's killing us in the red zone right now.
Q. How about generating turnovers? Last year you had 19 interceptions as a team, this year just three. Is there any reason for that?
COACH KELLY: No, I think they come in bunches, something like sacks. I think people were concerned about sacks, but I think we're close and we're in areas and then all of a sudden for some reason, it just seems like it happens in situations like that. But I think overall I'm pleased with our defense and we'll continue to do it.
I thought [S] Nate [Allen] did a great job on the turnover he created. He really, truly created it himself with a great secure the tackle, strip him, and the presence of mind to keep his feet inbounds. I think they are going to come.
Q. How is the Texans defense different when LB Jadeveon Clowney is in there and healthy?
COACH KELLY: I don't think they change schematically, but I think obviously his athleticism, you can see it. But the one thing that I don't think people give them enough credit for is that [LB Whitney] Mercilus and [OLB Brooks] Reed are really, really good. So, it's not like they don't have players at that position. I think they have got a couple really good outside linebackers. And then obviously they move [DE J.J.] Watt around; if Clowney hadn't been gone, they use Watt a little bit more at defensive end. So they have some other players besides him.
But I think his athleticism, his ability to rush the passer, his explosiveness coming off the ball is very evident when you turn the tape on.
Q. Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur mentioned that it is difficult to double team Watt because they move him around so much. Is it still possible to slide protection wherever that guy is, knowing that's the guy that you're going to double?
COACH KELLY: No, I mean, I think they move him around at so many different spots. I think you don't have a beat on when you can and when you can't handle in terms of pushing things to him and not pushing things to him. There's going to be some times where he's one‑on‑one and you're going to have to be able to block him in one‑on‑one situations.
Q. How important, then, is communication up front in terms of blocking?
COACH KELLY: It's always big. It's got nothing to do with whether they have a good player on the defensive side of the ball. I mean, communication is always a key, especially when you're going on the road. You're playing in a dome; you're playing in a loud environment. I think communication is always extremely important for you.
Q. But because they move Watt around so much, do you think it might be C David Molk's biggest test this season, if it is in fact Molk who is playing center on Sunday?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, but we are not pushing things to him, so there's not a test there. It's based on what defense they are and as great a player as J.J. Watt is, they have some other really, really good players.
If your sole attention is just on stopping 99, you can do a great job of stopping 99, but Mercilus, Clowney, Reed, all those other guys are very good football players, too, and it's a very sound defensive scheme. It's not just geared towards one guy.
Q. Your run defense has been pretty good all season long. When you watch the film, what are the key reasons for that success?
COACH KELLY: I think our guys are playing with great fundamentals. Our defensive line, especially, is doing a great job of two‑gapping things, especially when we are in our base defense, and forming flat walls across the front and making the ball bounce to the perimeter.
I think our outside linebackers are doing a great job of setting the edge, and then I think we have inside linebackers that have a great knowledge of where their fits are and where they are supposed to be in the front.
And I think, also, having guys like [S] Malcolm [Jenkins] and Nate [Allen] at the safety spot who can really fit and understand what we are supposed to do. So, it's really a team effort on the defensive side especially stopping the run.
Q. How has S Earl Wolff been doing in training sessions in recent weeks and what have you seen out of him from a progress standpoint?
COACH KELLY: Earl's been okay. I think he needs to be a little bit more consistent from that standpoint, but he's okay.
Q. How well did you get to know Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien on those visits you made to the New England Patriots when he was on their coaching staff? What impressions do you have of him?
COACH KELLY: I've known Billy for a long time, so it was just my visits [to the Patriots]. I visited him when he was Georgia Tech, I visited him when he was at Brown. I've known Billy for 20‑plus years. He's a hell of a football coach, competitive as you can get, really smart, really intelligent. It's not surprising the success he's had in his career, because you can tell that from the first time you met him.
Q. Did he talk to you at all before he took the Texans job?
COACH KELLY: No. Q. What is behind WR Jeremy Maclin stepping his game up? He's looked great. What have you liked about him since you arrived here?
COACH KELLY: I've liked every day since we've had Mac' here. The only issue Mac' had is that he tore his ACL in camp two years ago. So, you didn't get a chance to see him last season, but I thought he had the talent.
Obviously, he's got outstanding speed. He's got really, really good hands. He's made some outstanding catches for us, especially on the sideline. He's done an unbelievable job this season of making great catches on the sideline for us. I think he's got a real toughness to him. He's a complete receiver because he not only is he ‑‑ he's not a selective participant when it comes to the run game, I think he's been a real physical blocker for us on the edge.
He's a really, really good route runner, so I think it's not just a speed component that makes him a good receiver, I think he can run really, really good routes and I think he's got a want‑to in terms of wanting to go get the ball and being that type of guy that when you call his number, he's going to go get it.
I think the touchdown he scored on the post was a prime example. He was a fourth read in that progression, but he ran that route like he was a number-one read and he got the ball and made a heck of a touchdown catch for us.
Q. You've known WR Josh Huff going back to his high school years. How is he responding from adversity this week?
COACH KELLY: I think Josh is fine. I think he obviously put the ball on the ground in the red zone. They made a good play stripping it from behind, [he] wasn't aware of where the play was coming from, but I thought he bounced back and played really well for us after that. When you watch him, the contributions he's making not only in the run game, from the physical presence he has out there, but you watch what he's doing for us from a special teams standpoint. I think for a guy who has missed the first couple games of the season with that injury, I think he's coming along and progressing and we are really excited about him.
Q. What have you noticed about Texans RB Arian Foster, especially with him coming back from a serious back injury?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, it doesn't look like that injury has hampered him at all. He's got great vision and a great understanding of running zone plays, whether it be the wide-zone play or the tight-zone play. And then makes great decisions of sticking his foot in the ground and getting physical and getting up the field. He can run through arm tackles, but he's also a really good receiver coming out of the backfield and I think Billy [Bill O'Brien] does a great job of kind of complementing not only what they do with him in the run game, but what they do with him in the passing game. Big, physical guy -- you have to get a lot of guys around him. I don't think one guy necessarily is going to take him down. It's going to take everybody on the defensive side of the ball being kind of keyed in on him to stop him in this week.
Q. How has TE Zach Ertz's blocking been and progressed during the season? Particularly, how has it been in the running game?
COACH KELLY: He's getting better. I think it's a work‑in‑progress for him. He would obviously tell you, and I think everybody would tell you, he's a better receiving tight end right now than he is a blocking tight end. But I think he's worked very, very hard at it in our training sessions and it's starting to translate on the film.
Q. What do you need to see out of Herremans in training this week to determine whether he's going to be able to play on Sunday?
COACH KELLY: A lot of it will be Todd's determination of what he can do and can't do. A lot of it, we'll just sit down and visit with him at the end of the week and make a determination of what he can do and can't do. From a guy like him, a veteran like him, that understands himself, [a player] that has been through a lot, a lot of that is on him and our doctor staff. None of it is on my call. I don't make any calls on who plays and doesn't play. It's really our medical team making the decision of can he play, and then Todd's decision of if he can play.
Q. Have you ever had a guy play with a torn biceps?
COACH KELLY: No.
Q. Regarding the big plays on defense, there have been about five plays of 50 yards or more and obviously a couple the other day. When you look at the film, is it technique or is it a lack of focus and concentration? They seem to be coming in a stretch where you guys are playing really well defensively and then there's a big hit.
COACH KELLY: No, there's not one thing where you can just say, 'Hey, it's this or we can fix it.' It's come in a lot of different situations and the plays have been diverse, too, in terms of what they have been in terms of what it is. One of them was a double move, one of them was a screen pass down the field where we didn't get fit in on it the right way.
So there's a lot of different things that contribute to it.
Q. Are the looks that defenses are presenting to QB Nick Foles any different than they were last year?
COACH KELLY: No. I think we probably have seen a little bit more zone this year than we saw last year, but everybody's playing either three‑man front or four‑man front. It's still base football.