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Head Coach John Harbaugh Monday Press Conference

Posted Oct 7, 2013

Opening statement: “Good seeing everybody. Welcome, thanks for coming over. A couple of injury things: [Kelechi Osemele’s] back is feeling better today. We’ll just have to see throughout the course of the week how he responds. Marcus [Spears] had some work done on his knee; he’ll just be getting treatment. When I say that, I mean treatment-type work, and it’s nothing major [or] structural in there. We’ll just have to see how that responds, and he’ll probably be day-to-day. Marlon Brown, we’ll hope to get him out there on Wednesday. We’ll see if we can do that. It would be good to do that. Arthur Brown had no issue with his [pectoral] strain. He seemed to be 100 percent. Ray [Rice] continues to get better. Jacoby [Jones] will continue to practice this week. We’ll see how he does. And then [Lardarius Webb’s] hamstring got through it pretty well yesterday. So, that’s how it went with injuries. Just watching the tape, [it was] very similar to what we thought after the game. The offensive line, it seemed like, played even better than we thought when you watched the tape, as far as the run blocking. They blocked exceptionally well in the run game. Our conditioning really showed up in that game. It really showed up in that heat down there. It was a tough, hard-fought game. But by the second half – particularly in the fourth quarter – our conditioning seemed like it took over. The effort and heart were tremendous, and it was just a great win. And our fans – I’ll tell you – our fans are fabulous. You guys saw that down there. That was special.”

Each team presents a different set of circumstances as each game unfolds, but would it be too blunt to say that you will never ever give up on the run game again – that the Buffalo scenario will never happen again? (Joe Platania) “Come on. What else do you have?”

When you talk about the conditioning of the team, did it surprise you? Miami plays in that type of weather all the time, and the Ravens held up as well as or better than the Dolphins in the heat. (Jerry Coleman) “It’s a compliment, definitely, to the work our guys have put in. Our guys have worked really, really hard. They work really hard every day at practice. And we’ve been blessed with some hot weather here. We’ve had a lot of humidity. The first two weeks – the Denver week and the next week – we had a lot of heat at practice. And then we had a lot of heat last week, too, so it helped us.”

Can you talk about the offensive and defensive play on third-down situations? (Aaron Wilson) “We were close to 40 percent on third down, which is OK. But our defense was completely dominant on third down, especially in the second half. I think we were 78 percent on third downs on defense. [It was only] one out of seven they converted in the second half. That’s the thing, [and] that probably leads to what you are talking about. You get your defense off the field, and your offense can make a few first downs and extend some drives, and that leads to that conditioning factor.”

John, if Jacoby Jones comes back this week, do you put him in as the return guy? Or will you just try to take it slow with him and do it gradually in both positions? (Mike Preston) “That’s the question we’re asking ourselves right now. It probably depends on how he looks during practice. If he looks really, really good, we’d be willing to put him out there. But if we feel like we need to protect him, then we will.”

John, was the pass protection better this week than it was last week? (Mark Zinno) “I would say so. I would say it was improved. We lost a couple one-on-one battles in there that got to Joe [Flacco]. Again, Joe, I would say, [was] still under too much duress, but they were one-on-one battles. They weren’t situations where we had miscommunications or protection errors, so that was positive. And we had a lot of good protections, too.”

A.Q. Shipley played yesterday at a spot that he hasn’t played at much before. Looking at the tape, how did it look like he did? (Garrett Downing) “I thought he did a great job for the situation, especially. He came in there … We didn’t know anything [about Kelechi Osemele’s back tightness] until pregame. Now, [Shipley] knows he’s in that spot. He practices there, but he didn’t expect necessarily to be out there; we didn’t see this coming with ‘K.O.’ [Osemele]. So, he jumped in there and did a nice job, which we would have expected.”

How about the receivers? Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson did a great job. Ed Dickson made a few catches. They certainly gave Joe Flacco some good support. (David Ginsburg) “They did, they made some good plays. Doss made a great play over his right shoulder, then over his left shoulder, however that one went. And Joe made a great throw while basically getting hit, made the throw out there. That was a big play for us. We only had three of those guys [wide receivers active], and they played a lot throughout the course of the game. Torrey [Smith] continues to just make a bunch of plays week-in and week-out. Deonte went up for a ball down the field and got a big interference call, made some plays for us that way, too. So, it was good.”

What is your thinking on Eugene Monroe and Bryant McKinnie at the left tackle position going forward this week? (Aaron Wilson) “We’re in wait-and-see mode right now. We’ll see what happens over the course of the week. [We] don’t really know for sure right now. I hate to add this … Yes, [Monroe] looked good last week; he looked really good, OK? We’re just going to have to see how it plays out. This is uncharted territory for us, it really is. We’ve never been down this road before. So, we’ll see what happens.”

Did you get an explanation on the John Simon personal foul? (Aaron Wilson) “John [Simon] dumped the guy after the whistle. We saw it on tape. It was foolish. It was just a bad penalty. There was really no reason to do that. John, right away, when he came off the field, he said he messed up. That’s not something that we need to have.”

Going back to the run game – last week it was 15 yards at halftime for a 2.1 average. This week, it was 33 for a 2.2 average. Was there anything specific you saw that made you say, ‘We could still go down the road of running the football and be successful at it.’? (Mark Zinno) “Yes. I thought we could be successful at it in the second half, whereas last week, I did not think we’d be successful at it in the second half [with] the way we were blocking.”

What gave you that [inclination]? (Mark Zinno) “Well, we’ll go through the tape later if you want. I’ll sit down and go through every play with you later. We blocked better – that’s what we did better. We blocked better. But you know, they have that thing now – 11-on-11. Take a look at it, and you tell me what you think.”

With a road win now, and of course you’ve got Green Bay coming in, and you’re tied atop the AFC North … Are you OK with where you stand at this juncture of the season? (Dave Ginsburg) “No, I’d like to be 5-0. That’s where I’d like to be at this juncture of the season. But we’re not. We’re 3-2. So, we’re going to try to be 4-2 after this game.”

John, you talk about the fan base traveling. How does it feel to a team when you wind up in a stadium and you get to hear all your fans, and they support you so much when you turn around and see so much purple? (Bill West) “I’ll tell you, it’s just unbelievable. When we came out for pre-game, it might have been 10-to-1 Ravens fans. And then, of course, the Dolphins fans filled in. We came out for kickoff, and we were introduced, and we came running out there, and it was a loud cheer. You expect to get the boos, and we heard the boos, too. But that was heartening. It was emotional. We’ve got amazing fans.”

With Torrey Smith, he’s been pretty consistent through every game. Have you seen defenses try to limit what he’s done as the season has gone on? (Jamison Hensley) “Yes. He gets a lot of double coverage. He gets a lot of press [coverage]. He gets a guy pressed and then a guy on top of him – what we call ‘choke’ coverage. And he’s done a good job handling all of those things. He gets off the line of scrimmage against press better than people think. They think they can keep him on the line of scrimmage, but he does a better job releasing than people expect.”

Kyle Juszczyk had one target. I know he didn’t get a lot of offensive plays yesterday, but he was targeted with one pass. Is that a byproduct of you guys being shorter on receivers yesterday, or something that you want to see more offensive snaps for him? (Ryan Mink) “We’d like to see more with him. He’s coming on. [He’s a] talented guy, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can develop him even more.”

How impressed were you that you were able to get things done yesterday being so thin at wide receiver? And there was talk that Brandon [Stokley] was back in the fold … (Jerry Coleman) “I was really happy to see the way our receivers played. It was tough, it was hot, [and] we only had three of them. We’ve never had that before, never had any experience with that before. [We] didn’t know how that was going to go, especially in that heat. Other guys, like Kyle [Juszczyk,] took up the slack as well. As far as the other question, I don’t know how that’s going to shake out. We’ll see.”

Going in with the three wide receivers, you said that that is something you’ve never experienced on any level before. That was a totally new thing for you. But it was something that you were prepared for more than ‘K.O.’ [Kelechi Osemele] going down in warm-ups? (Jerry Coleman) “Yes, we thought it would be a possibility that we’d be in that situation.”

John, your run defense was dominant yesterday. Compared to the week before, was that a scheme adjustment you made or more winning one-on-one battles? (Gerry Sandusky) “We played better run defense.”

John, you alluded to the throw that Joe [Flacco] made to Torrey [Smith.] What does it say about Joe that he’s willing to stand in there and take those hits? I know not every quarterback is as continually willing to get hit like that while making throws down the field. (Matt Vensel) “We talked about it a little last night after the game. That’s part of Joe’s [Flacco] greatness. That’s a part of what makes Joe who he is. You look around the league, and you’ll see a lot of quarterbacks not doing those things [and] not standing in there the way he stands in there. He’s special that way. We don’t win that game without him, without his willingness to stand in there and make those throws.”

[Ryan] Tannehill made some plays, extending yesterday, and that’s something Aaron Rodgers can do as well. Is that something you can emphasize this week as far as not getting guys lost when plays get extended? (Clifton Brown) “We’ll work hard on the extended coverage. When quarterbacks scramble, that’s something we work very hard on. We’ve been doing that for a very long time, [preparing for] playing against Ben Roethlisberger. That’s been a big emphasis for us, always is every practice. We make a point of that. It’s easier said than done, but you need to try and stay on top of those routes.”

How about the play of [Terrell] Suggs? It seems like he and [Elvis] Dumervil have really been working together, and Suggs had the three sacks. (Dave Ginsburg) “For a guy to take over the game like that, you don’t see that too often. He took over the game in the fourth quarter, as you said, and Elvis [Dumervil] put the exclamation point on it with that last sack. That was tough. We had them at fourth-and-long there, and [Ryan Tannehill] scrambles out to the left. He makes a pretty incredible throw on the run, hits [Mike] Wallace on a diving catch, and now they’re sitting there close to field goal range – probably are in field goal range with their kicker. Right out of the gate, ‘Doom’ [Dumervil] gets the sack. But before that, we had two drives that were snuffed out in the fourth quarter by our defense by the pressure we got, mainly by Terrell [Suggs].”

John, any concerns about Sam [Koch]? A couple of times yesterday, [he had] just a couple of short kicks. (Bill West) “That was very un-Sam-like. Those are two shanks that he usually doesn’t have. He was really doing a great job; he’s done a great a job. We’ve faced some really good returners, no less this week. We try to punt to the sideline. On the one hand, we always say, ‘Why didn’t he just punt it out of bounds?’ You guys have asked me that before: ‘Why not just punt it out of bounds?’ Well, sometimes that’s why. If you punt it out of bounds, those angles change over there. If you hit it a little bit off center, [then] that’s what happens – real short punts. We’ve asked Sam to do that a lot, and he’s done a great job of it. But on those two, it didn’t work out so well.”

 

 

 

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