What Kyle Shanahan had to say ahead of Sunday’s season opener

Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan spoke to Atlanta media Thursday ahead of Sunday’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Here’s what Shanahan had to say:

On the balance of the running back position between Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman: "(We'll) go with the guy that's hot, keep them both fresh and I don't worry about that stuff too much. I love both those backs. There's really no difference to me which one's in the game, so it's a good problem to have. Whoever's rolling with it, you stick with them and when they need a break, the other guy comes in and try to keep them both fresh, see how it pans out in the game."

On what he sees in Tevin this season: "He's just more comfortable, I think like all second-year players. Your first year is a long year. You don't know what to expect. I think Tevin did a really good job for a rookie, but second year, you have a lot more confidence. You know what to expect, you're going through it a second time and you're not thinking as much and you can just play ball."

On how Shanahan thinks the offense looked throughout preseason: "We had our ups and downs. There's some good times, some bad times. But you know I wasn't really happy with the third game versus Miami, but i thought we did a good two job in the first two games, but it's preseason… I'm thinking about Sunday right now."

On what stands out to Shanahan in the Buccaneers' defense: "They got a lot of good players. They got a good scheme. I know Mike (Smith) hasn't done the defensive coordinator spot for a while, but I've gone against him back in the day in the AFC South and it's always been a real good scheme. It's sound. With the players they got, I know it's going to be a tough challenge."

On increased continuity on the offensive line this season: "It helps because of all the practice you're doing. You're practicing with the guys you're going to play with in a game. Last year was a little uncomfortable feeling this time. We had just traded for Andy Levitre a few days prior to what today is so you don't really know what's going to happen until the game. We played with the same guys all last year and we added (Alex) Mack so we got one new guy in the group, but at least we had him through OTAs and training camp so it definitely makes it a lot more comfortable going into the game."

On if Alex Mack at center makes the option of going no-huddle any easier since Shanahan and Mack played together in Cleveland: "Not totally. I mean, no huddle is never about one player in particular. We did a lot of no huddle in Cleveland. We did the same amount here last year, so you do it when you think it's effective. You do it when it involves the whole team, what your game plan is and what your defense is going against on the (opposing) offense. It's how you want to do the game once you work at it. You can't work at everything. So I can't tell you exactly what we're doing week to week, but we try to do the stuff we work the most at, we think we're the best at."

On how much the Falcons work on no huddle offense: "We're never not working on it. We always got a part of it. It doesn't matter what team I've been on, you're always incorporating no huddle throughout the week."

On how Julio Jones looking in Thursday's practice: "Julio always looks good… It's an easy answer."

On the Buccaneers' corners against the Falcons' receivers: "They got some good players back there. It's where they've probably improved the most in the past year with their high draft pick. And then Grimes, going against him over the year and then the guys know him from here. Here's a good player. You can never be comfortable with him. He's got a chance for a pick-six at all times. He's one of the better zone corners and even man-to-man corners that I've seen over my career. You combine those corners (Hargreaves and Grimes) with their pass rush and they definitely are players you got to respect."

On what Shanahan sees from Vernon Hargreaves: "I see a good talented player. He moves well going off preseason tape where you can see the athlete. You know why he was a high draft pick and I'm sure he's going to have a lot of success in this league."