Q. The Texans don't allow a lot of points, but teams seem to throw for a lot of yards against them. What goes into that?
COACH KELLY: They play good red zone defense. I think they are really sound. They don't ‑‑ they do a really good job of keeping the ball in front of them. I think they tackle very well at the secondary, so if the ball is completed there's not a lot of run after the catch. So it's a real disciplined group on the defensive side of the ball. Romeo [defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel] does a really good job with that whole group.
Q. There are seven former Texans on your roster and six came since you've been here. Is there overlap in terms of what former Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak did schematically and culturally with what you're doing here?
COACH KELLY: No, it's just ‑‑
Q. Just coincidence?
COACH KELLY: We just love Texans and Oregon guys [laughter]. So run with it. Run with it. No, it's got nothing to do with that, trust me.
Q. WR Jeff Maehl is the daily double then?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he's the daily double. He should be the big interview this week, right? We'll get Maehl in here and you can talk to him. And it's tough because [S] Eddie Pleasant plays for Houston and he played for us at Oregon, so they probably offset each other.
Q. Last year you guys were among the league leaders in converting short-yardage situations and this year it's been the reverse. Is that strictly the impact of not having C Jason Kelce and G Evan Mathis for much of the first seven games?
COACH KELLY: I think it's a combination of everything. I don't think there's one – and I've said it before -- there's not one thing. But obviously when you are missing some guys like that, I think there's a little bit of a different feel for what we've got going on offensive line-wise because we have been juggling a little bit. It's not an excuse; we need to do a better job there and we know that. We need to continue to stay on the field in third-down situations. It's about us executing and converting in those situations.
Q. You obviously take a hands‑off approach to injuries, but some coaches don't. Why is that?
COACH KELLY: Because I'm not a doctor, so ‑‑ I mean, I think that's simple. I can't tell the guy, you know, 'You're this, you're that.' Just tell me who can play and who can't play. I think people waste a lot of time on things that you don't control.
No, I don't control injuries; so, if someone can play, the doctors and the medical staff here I think are outstanding. They tell me who can and who can't. For me to weigh in on it is ludicrous. What am I going to ‑‑ what position could I take? "Dr. DeLuca [Eagles head team physician Peter DeLuca], I see it this way." It's kind of stupid, right? You guys are chuckling. That's the way it is. So just tell us who is up, who is down and who can go.
Q. You do have really detailed information on so many things about the players: their sleep habits and all that. You don't want detailed information on their injuries?
COACH KELLY: Because I can't affect that. I can affect their sleep patterns. I can't affect their injury, though. If a guy tore a muscle ‑‑ I'm not Dr. Miyagi. I can't put my hands together, rub them together, touch his leg and make him better. Just tell me who can play, who can't play. I'm really good at what we can control and what we can't control, and we can't control that. So let's go play.
Q. When it comes to G/T Todd Herremans, you said that he knows his body and certainly with a veteran you want to have him factor into the decision. Are you ultimately the one that decides which players you're going to give leeway to when it comes to injury decisions?
COACH KELLY: No, all the players have leeway. We never force a player to play here. No, it's nothing. I can't turn around and tell a rookie, 'I know you think it feels like this, but it doesn't. Go play.'
That's why ‑‑ we're chuckling, but that's the way it is. They know their bodies and they have the ultimate decision in terms of are they playing, aren't they playing.
Q. I understand you have to deal with injuries, but is there a natural deflation that comes with the fact that your offensive line is finally getting healthy with Kelce and Mathis being close to returning and then something like this happens with Herremans?
COACH KELLY: No, I don't look at it that way. We look at it as, there's challenges that are presented to you on a daily basis in this league and you've got to face them head on. If you start feeling sorry for yourself or get deflated about things, then shame on you. That's not the way we look at anything. We look at it as a challenge. Who is the next guy that is going to give us an opportunity to go beat the Texans?
Q. Is S Earl Wolff the next guy in when S Nate Allen is unable to practice?
COACH KELLY: It depends on how we go through training and what package Billy's [defensive coordinator Bill Davis] is in and how we are doing. So there are a lot of different variables that are involved in that.
Q. Is S Chris Maragos a guy who would get consideration in that spot?
COACH KELLY: Maragos is a guy that's involved in the mix. [DB Jaylen] Watkins is a guy that's involved in the mix.
Q. What's the process you use to come up with the play calls on the first drive? Do you decide that during the week or how does that go?
COACH KELLY: We game plan as a staff. Everything is a situational thing: What are our calls on first and second down? What are our calls on third down, third-and-short, third-and-medium, third-and-long? Where are we in the red zone? Are we in the high red zone, are we in the low red zone? Are we in a coming-out situation? Is it a two‑minute situation at the end of the half? All of that is game planned by our staff.
Q. In training camp practices Watkins was mostly playing mostly playing corner in the nickel. Is he taking more safety snaps now?
COACH KELLY: He's playing both. They go through everything. When you're down to what we have here, 53 players, everybody's got to play everything. You'll see a lot of different guys play a lot of different positions. There may be a play where someone is out for a snap or two and someone else jumps in and plays it. [LB] Trent Cole played the wing on punt yesterday because we were down a guy. I think someone went to the bathroom. So Trent Cole jumped in and played the wing on punt, but it's the same footwork that a tackle has on punt.
Q. Can you expand on what you said yesterday about Wolff's need to be more consistent? In what areas, exactly?
COACH KELLY: Everything. I think everybody does. That's not a slight on Earl. There's no one right now that I can say, 'Hey, they got it, go take it in, don't practice today.' I think he needs to show us he can be more consistent in terms of the way he practices and I think he'll be the first to tell that you.
Q. When LB Connor Barwin became a free agent, did you expect him to not re‑sign with the Texans and what made you guys interested in him?
COACH KELLY: I'm not involved in the negotiation aspect of it, so I don't know what guys' ties are to where they were and where they weren't. He was a guy that as our staff -- the defensive staff and myself -- just in evaluating the tape, he was the guy at outside linebacker that we thought was a fit for what we are looking for schematically: the versatility to be able to set the edge and rush the quarterback, and also the ability to drop. So he fit in terms of where we are. In terms of what his situation was with his former team, I don't get into that aspect, but I get into the evaluating aspect of it.
Q. Rookie wide receivers generally take a while before they are ready to make an impact. WR Jordan Matthews is just one of a large number of guys this year around the league that are putting up some pretty impressive numbers and contributing significantly. I know you had a high opinion of this wide receiver class. Are you surprised by what you're seeing around the league?
COACH KELLY: I'm not, and I said it before, I thought the wide receiver draft was as deep as it's been in a long time. I don't think the draft itself was, but I think at the wide receiver spot it certainly was. A lot of those guys went high. A lot of receivers got drafted early, but there was a reason for that.
I think those guys had the ability that translated to what's going on in the National Football League. Then Jordan specifically, there's just a maturity to him that really struck us when we met with him. I went down to pro day and had a chance to spend a lot of time with him. I was around Jordan a lot. There's a maturity to Jordan that I didn't think ‑‑ sometimes the transition from a physical standpoint isn't as difficult, but what is it mentally and how do they handle that transition? That's what struck me very much about Jordan, is how mature he was as a young man. I didn't think anything was ever going to be too big for him.
Q. There are three practices to go this week, but how uncertain are you about your secondary with Allen and CB Brandon Boykin banged up?
COACH KELLY: I'm not. I'm not, no.
Q. Earlier this week, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur talked about QB Nick Foles' pocket presence and sometimes how he flushes himself out. Is that the type of issue that you guys work on more on the field or in the film room?
COACH KELLY: Both. I mean you've got to show it to him on film. I think they need to ‑‑ the learning process for anybody is, 'I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.'
So you've got to see it on film to understand what's going on, but I think you've really got to put him through it. You know what I mean? You can show it to him on film and say, 'Hey, this is happening.' [Then they say,] 'I didn't think it was happening. It didn't feel like that to me.' Then you show it to him on tape [and they say,] 'Geez, I didn't know it actually transpired that way.'
Now when you go out on the field, you try to drill it and try to put him in those situations where he can get a feel for how the pocket is coming in on him, where we are, his ability to step up in the pocket and throw the ball on time.
Q. Has Wolff's second year come along the way you had hoped it would?
COACH KELLY: Hoped? I don't have any hopes or aspirations for anybody. I don't look at it that way. I don't put anything.
Q. Did you have a plan for him?
COACH KELLY: I don't have a plan. No. For an individual player ‑‑ I mean, we give them detailed plans in terms of workouts and things like that, but how they progress as a player, I think they are the one that has to have their own plan in terms of how they want things to work out. If you ask me what my plan was, it was for him to start every game, have 27,000 picks and win a Super Bowl. So he has not exceeded that right now.
Q. Is he a much better player now than he was at the end of last year?
COACH KELLY: At the end of last year, yeah. He missed a lot of last year. I think there was a lot of football that he didn't play last year. So I think that experience factor he doesn't have that a normal second-year player has because he's missed a lot of time.
Q. Are you not uncertain about the status of your secondary because you think Allen and Boykin are going to play?
COACH KELLY: Because I have three more days of training to go.
Q. How has Maragos in his first year here -- you brought him in largely for special teams --
COACH KELLY: No, we brought Chris in to play football. We don't bring anybody in to just play -- unless you're -- I brought [K] Cody Parkey in to play special teams. But I mean, when you bring a guy in here, we don't dedicate a roster spot and say, 'Hey, this guy is just a special teams player, don't worry about him.' They have got to contribute in all phases. I think Chris has the ability. Fortunately we've been healthy with Nate and Malcolm at that situation, so we have not seen [him] a ton out there. But I think our staff is confident in Chris, just as they are in Earl, about coming in there and getting an opportunity to play. But obviously Nate and Malcolm are our No. 1 and No. 1 safeties at both spots.
Q. Will how much LB Mychal Kendricks plays on Sunday depend upon how he feels or how much he does in practice this week?
COACH KELLY: Both. It's a combination of what packages Billy feels comfortable with in terms of what he's been able to do and execute on film. We are not going to put him in a situation where he has not got an opportunity to train in those situations.
But it's also [about] how does he feel? We'll get together after Saturday and get a read with him and with Chris [head athletic trainer Chris Peduzzi] and say, 'You know, how many snaps do we think is in the right ballpark for him?' Then Billy makes adjustments in terms of his play-calling packages in terms of how he can fit him in there.
Q. Over the last few weeks there have been a number of teams that have changed quarterbacks. In your experience, have you ever done that based on performance and what would it take for you to do it?
COACH KELLY: Have we ever changed quarterbacks based on performance? Yeah, I've done that in games before, yeah.
Q. What kind of goes into that decision?
COACH KELLY: Well, when we think the other guy is going to give us a better opportunity to win.