Q. Who do you expect to go today or be held out?
COACH KELLY: I expect all 63 to practice today.
Q. Is today a normal length practice or is it typically what you have normally on a Tuesday?
COACH KELLY: Today is a normal Tuesday.
Q. Do you have any sense of TE Zach Ertz and what his situation is going to be in the opener?
COACH KELLY: We'll monitor him during the week, but he's cleared to go today, so we'll see how he handles it.
Q. LB Marcus Smith is good to go?
COACH KELLY: Marcus Smith is cleared to go today, so we'll see how he handles it also.
Q. Has Ertz missing the preseason impacted your ability to judge his progress as a blocker?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, I mean, we didn't get him in the games, but I think he has improved. You can tell from a technical standpoint what he's done, and Justin [tight ends coach Justin Peelle] can tell that during drill work what he's done to improve from that standpoint.
Q. What's the challenge of preparing for a team with a new coach that you might not have had film on to prepare a game plan?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, you don't. You've just got some preseason games, and obviously I don't think Dan [Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn] used everything in the preseason, both offensively and defensively, just because of how preseason expresses itself. So you've got to kind of look at the coordinators and where they came from and kind of match up what you think is going to happen, but there will have to be some in game adjustments both offensively and defensively in terms of what we are preparing for.
Q. Is Dan Quinn using a lot of the stuff that he was using in Seattle?
COACH KELLY: He did, but also their coordinator came from Denver. So I think you have to look at where they all came from. Same thing offensively; Kyle [Falcon's offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan] is there, but it's not exactly what he did at Washington, because obviously [Falcons QB] Matt Ryan is a little different than [Redskins QB Robert Griffin III] RG3. But you have an understanding of what they are going to do. But there will be things that they show in the first game that they didn't show in the preseason.
Q. What did you guys see in QB Stephen Morris to sign him as the third quarterback?
COACH KELLY: We just had him he was our highest we have everybody rated, and he was the highest rated guy that was available after the waiver wire went through.
We like his arm. He's got a really, really strong arm, quick release. [Eagles offensive line coach] Jeff Stoutland knows him pretty well, was actually at Miami when he played there, so kind of know the makeup of the player. Talked to him back when he was coming through the draft process, so kind of relied on all of our information that we had, but he was the highest rated guy we had that was on the waiver wire.
Q. You extended a couple of offensive linemen. What was behind those decisions to do it now?
COACH KELLY: Just don't want to have a lot of free agents at the end of the season.
Q. Can we say T/G Andrew Gardner is the right guard now? [Laughs]
COACH KELLY: Yeah, he's starting during game week. Yeah, so we got to game week, he's the starting right guard.
Q. Did you have that advantage back in your first game? Did you feel like because nobody knew what exactly you were going to bring to the program that you had some sort of you guys jumped on Washington, right?
COACH KELLY: No, but I mean, we did what we did in the preseason, though, so it wasn't like we didn't do anything really different in that first game that we didn't do in the preseason.
Q. Your secondary is going to be tested right out of the chute with Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Falcons WR Julio Jones, talk about ...
COACH KELLY: [Falcons WR] Roddy White and Tamme [Falcons TE Jacob Tamme] and there's a lot of good players down there. So that's going to be a big matchup. Generating the pass rush and obviously pass defense consists of pass rush and pass coverage. So try to get to Matt so we can get the ball out of his hands a little bit quicker than probably he hopes to get it out. But you know it depends on how their protection can hold up versus our rush and then how does our coverage hold up against some really talented receivers, and especially Julio and Roddy, those are two of the tops and a really good pair. So it's not like you can just single one guy out. We feel like they have a couple guys there that you have to really put a lot of attention on.
Q. You are going to have a different group of linebackers than you started the year off with last year. After the preseason, how confident are you in their pass rush abilities and where do you think they are going into Week One?
COACH KELLY: You'll see, a lot of things Billy [Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis] did we didn't do a lot of stuff in the preseason. We did a lot of coverage, did just a lot of four and three man rushes. So you know, try to see mix that in with what else we'll do in terms of game planning for Atlanta, but we're confident going into the game.
Q. As far as Gardner, what did he do from the time he came in last spring to now, to earn that type of commitment?
COACH KELLY: Just think he's a lot more consistent. You know we were excited with how he played during the end of last year. He played an extensive amount after Todd [former Eagle Todd Herremans] got hurt, so he's got a real good grasp of what we're doing. I think he's a real smart football player and he's always where he's supposed to be when he's supposed to be there. There's a lot of consistency in Andrew's play.
Q. You talked earlier about DE Fletcher Cox being able to play every spot on the line. Was he that way when he got here or did he turn himself into that kind of player?
COACH KELLY: I think he was like that. I think he's a multi position player along the defensive front. He can play defensive end for us and can also play nose for us. But I think all three of those guys-- I think Ced [DE Cedric Thornton] can do that and I think Bennie [DT Bennie Logan] can do that, also. But that's what he was like when we got here. He's a very talented player.
Q. Seattle last year really shut your offense down better than anybody. Was it their personnel or was it something they were doing schematically?
COACH KELLY: Both. I mean, they are an extremely talented defense. Probably the best corner in the league, best safety in the league, and the best pair of safeties in the league, too. They had talent across the front. But Dan does a good job. It's a very sound scheme. It makes you you know they will be prepared so you know that you have to be prepared when you go against them.
Q. Can you talk a little about your philosophy of, 'good people making good football players,' and how that applies specifically to LB Connor Barwin?
COACH KELLY: I just think that's kind of simple. If someone is doing the right things all the time, I think what you do off the field carries over to on the field. I think Connor is a prime example of that.
Q. What role do you think Barwin is going to play in the pass rush this season?
COACH KELLY: Hopefully the same role he had last year. I think he led the NFC in sacks. We're hoping we can get a similar type of production out of him this year.
Q. Is DB Eric Rowe far enough along where he can have a significant role right out of the chute, or does he still need some more seasoning in your opinion?
COACH KELLY: I think Eric can have a significant role right out of the chute. We are confident in Eric going into this game.
Q. You tried so many different combinations in that secondary. Do you anticipate it being a continuing process, or do you want to just get settled Monday and go with the same group, especially in the slot?
COACH KELLY: Whatever is best for us to win is what we are going to go with.
Q. What is good about the Falcons defense?
COACH KELLY: I think they have got a good rush. The front four can get after the quarterback just in a four man rush. Coverage wise, Trufant [Falcons CB Desmond Trufant] is a kid-- I know him really well, and played against him when he was at [The University of] Washington. He did not play in the preseason, but has had an outstanding career so far now in Atlanta. I think their linebackers are active, and I think they picked up on what Dan is trying to do. They look sound and everybody is on the same page in the preseason games that we saw.
Q. What about Falcons OLB Vic Beasley Jr. *
*COACH KELLY: Good, dynamic pass rusher. I think they try to always get him to the open side, so he's not always lined up on one side, so that will be a good test for both JP [T Jason Peters] and Lane [T Lane Johnson].
Q. When you walked off the field of the week 17 Giants game last year, did you envision as much change to the team as there's been as you head into Atlanta?
COACH KELLY: I mean, I didn't walk off the Giants field thinking about any type of change. I was worried about the bus ride home to be honest with you.
Q. After the bus ride?
COACH KELLY: Every offseason there's always turnover on a team. I don't think the turnover, when it's finally settled and how many players we have new, it's really not any different than any team at this that's just kind of what happens in this league. That's the nature of the business.
Q. Are you guys at the point where you're pretty sure what you're going to do with regards to the nickel and the third safety, or are you still experimenting?
COACH KELLY: No, we've got a game plan.
Q. You're not going to share that with us, are you?
COACH KELLY: If it benefitted us, I would, but I don't see it benefitting us, does it?
Q. What do you think about the job that Head Coach Matt Rhule has done with Temple?
COACH KELLY: I think Matt's done an unbelievable job. You just watch how hard they played. I got a chance to watch their game on Saturday, and I've seen a lot of their games. I go over we have practice on Saturday morning and then we'll go over and catch some games over there. So I've seen them play the last couple years and I see that team keep improving. He's doing a hell of a job.
Q. He said you texted him after the game. What did you have to say?
COACH KELLY: Are we really talking about text messages between two men right now? [Laughter] I said congratulations on the win.
Q. The top two Falcons running backs were banged up in the preseason, but do you get a sense of their running game from film?
COACH KELLY: Yeah because they are rookies and so you look at Tevin Coleman and what he did at Indiana; you kind of look at that. He didn't play a ton of snaps, but he did play in the last preseason game. So you get a chance to see him a little bit and he's a big, physical back. Runs down hill, plays behind his pads. Got a pretty good feel just off of what anybody would have with any type of rookie playing in his first game. But he's a tough, hard nosed physical running back.
Q. There were a lot of people surprised that WR Rasheed Bailey wasn't put on the practice squad. What went into the thinking and compiling of putting the team together?
COACH KELLY: We just grade every player, and we had Rasheed did a really nice job here, but when you look at inside receiver, outside receiver, and special teams, we just had Freddie [WR Freddie Martino] and Quron [WR Quron Pratt] rated higher.
Q. Is there something Bailey needs to do to be in the NFL?
COACH KELLY: No, he just needs to continue to improve. But it's a tough deal now, making an NFL team, whether it's on the 53 man roster or on the practice squad. But coming from where he came from, I thought he had really worked extremely hard on it. I actually talked to a CFL team that called about him yesterday. I hope he continues to play because I think he's got a bright future. We just go on who we got graded higher and who the best are at that position.
Q. Lane Johnson has had a pretty steady transition to the NFL compared to some other players at his position. What do you think the key to that has been? Is it playing with a good line? Is it just something he does?
COACH KELLY: No, I think it's based on the individual. And I think Lane -- we were excited that we had an opportunity to get him. We didn't know if he was going to be around when we picked at four. But he's got a great skill set. He's tall, he's long, he's physical. He runs extremely well for someone that size.
And the big thing with Lane is he was just raw. He didn't have a ton of snaps at tackle. He started off as a J.C. [junior college] kid that was a quarterback, then played some tight end, then played some defensive end and had a minimal amount of snaps as an offensive tackle compared to some other guys. But I think what we saw is a guy that had a great potential, and I think he's fulfilling that potential right now.
Q. Why is a guy who was so raw and inexperienced able to avoid some of the bumps in the road that a lot of the other guys in that position--
COACH KELLY: I think he had some bumps when he was a rookie, just like anybody else, but I think it goes to his work ethic and how hard he works at his craft.
Q. What about the third outside linebacker? Have you settled on that yet? Are there any injury setbacks with Marcus Smith being that guy?
COACH KELLY: Depends really what happens with Marcus health wise, but Vinny [DE Vinny Curry] is out there full time now. So you've got Vinny, you've got [LB] Brad Jones and you've got [LB] Bryan Braman if Smitty [Smith] can't go.
Q. How eager are you to see QB Sam Bradford play a full NFL game, which really he has not done for two years?
COACH KELLY: Not very. It's not a big deal. [Joking] We're eager to go play, so it's not about watching one guy play and am I eager to see Sam play as opposed to [RB] DeMarco Murray play or anybody else that's new? Or [CB] Byron Maxwell? We are just excited to go play in a game.
Q. So Curry will play exclusively at outside line?
COACH KELLY: I did not say that. I said Vinny is in meetings and practice, but Vinny can still play defensive line because he has a tad bit of experience at playing the defensive line position. When I referenced 10 linebackers the other day, Les [Philadelphia Daily News reporter Les Bowen], and you were confused, we count Vinny as an outside linebacker in our mix. We have six outside linebackers, four inside linebackers and six defensive linemen. But that doesn't mean Vinny is not going to line up on the defensive line in the Atlanta game, so don't come back in on Tuesday and say, 'You didn't say Vinny was going to play on the defensive line.' He'll play defensive line, he'll play nose guard.
Q. So Curry is still getting reps at defensive end?
COACH KELLY: Yeah, everybody gets reps, but he's meeting with the outside linebackers now because he's been in the defensive line meeting room for a long time.
Q. Bradford didn't see a lot of blitzing in the preseason, is that kind of the last thing he has to answer?
COACH KELLY: I think he saw blitzing. Did you see the Packers game? I mean, the touchdown pass he threw with the guy in his grill, I think was a blitz on fourth-and-three. People came after him. Sam got hit around a little bit.