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Transcript: Mike Smith Post-Practice Interview

On DE Ray Edward's role being decreased so far this season:

"I don't think Ray's role has decreased at all. In terms of the substitution patterns we had in the game last week, we weren't able to make changes during our drives when they were in the no huddle. If you do that then you're going to get Peyton up to the line of scrimmage, so you're going to see a different substitution pattern this week."

On what exactly the defense last week was:

"It's the 2012 Atlanta Falcons defense. That's what it is. It's been a collaborative effort by a bunch of guys and players, but it's our 2012 defense. We made a lot of mistakes in those first two games, and we have a lot of things we have to get fixed before we go out to San Diego."

On whether the team has bounced back from a tough game on Monday night on short notice:

"Thus far, very much so. There was a lot of emotions on a Monday night game, and then having to turn around and come back less than 48 hours and have to practice. They've done a nice job. We've reduced our volume in terms of the number of snaps we're going to work this week. I think the guys have handled it well. The next step is we get on the plane tomorrow afternoon and instead of a one day business trip it's a two day business trip. We've got to go out there and prepare ourselves. We've got some work to do, and we'll end up doing it out there. We'll actually end up practicing out in San Diego on Saturday."

On challenging the offensive line in the offseason and how they've responded:

"Through two games they've done a very nice job protecting the quarterback. We've done some nice things in terms of the scheme, but we've also done some improvement in terms of our one-on-one. Both of our tackles last week had tough draws on both sides of the rush, and I thought they did a nice job."

On the injury report:

"Injuy report is the same as yesterdays. There will be no changes. We have the two guys that were out in RB Antone Smith and CB Chris Owens. Chris Owens and Antone did not participate. Then we had the limited guys: DE John Abraham, T Tyson Clabo, WR Julio Jones, LB Sean Weatherspoon, LB Stephen Nicholas, and WR Roddy White. Those guys were limited in their number of snaps."

On CB Robert McClain:

"He's a guy that's taken advantage of his opportunities. Second play in there, he got the interception. He has proven through the preseason when he's gotten to play, he goes out there and competes and does what we have asked him to do. His role has definitely changed since the start of the season."

On thinking TE Antonio Gates will play this weekend:

"We're anticipating that we'll see Antonio Gates on Sunday. We're anticipating that we'll see RB Ryan Matthews. I think the tackle and the corner are two guys that we probably won't see looking at their injury report, but we anticipate Antonio Gates will play and it will be a big challenge. [TE Dante] Rosario did a great job when he was in there last week to have a three touchdown game. The tight end position is a critical part, not just Antonio, but the other guys have done a nice job in his absence."

On the Chargers carrying four tight ends:

"He does. It's for both the run and the pass game. They've got some guys that can catch and they've got some guys that can do a nice job blocking. I think the Chargers and Coach Turner want to run the ball. They've got their number one back this week, Ryan Matthews. It'll be the first time this week he's played this season. He had the collarbone issue the first week of the preseason. He practiced last week and we're anticipating that he'll play because he practiced yesterday."

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