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John Harbaugh Press Conference Transcript

Posted Dec 11, 2017

JOHN HARBAUGH MONDAY PRESS CONFERENCE

Opening Statement: “It is good to see you guys. I appreciate you being here. We are back at it – coaches, players. We have had about 20 players in working out today, and the coaches have been at it, really, since we got back, in terms of finishing up the Pittsburgh tape, delving into it, in terms of what we can learn and the ideas that we can use going forward to improve, and then going to work on Cleveland. That is where we are, and I will take any questions that you have.”

Going back to the end of the game, after the field goal by the Steelers with 42 seconds left, you guys have the ball. The decision in terms of the call there … There was two passes, one run. Was there consideration in running the ball, perhaps again on third down or maybe on first down? (Jerry Coleman) “Not once we were out of timeouts. We had to get the clock stopped and get the ball down the field. Once Jeremy [Maclin] got hurt with only 40 seconds, we needed a chunk play. Running the ball, clock running … We need chunk plays at that point. You have to try to push the ball down the field and get chunk plays.”

I believe the question was more of when there was 3:29 left. It was the second to last drive. (Jamison Hensley) “Oh, yes. Well, yes, we could have run it. You can pass it. You do whatever you can to try and get yards. If it works, it is a good call, and if it doesn’t work, it is not a good call.”

Leading into WR Jeremy Maclin with his situation, was there an effort to try and get him off the field? Or was it just something where he could not get off and it ended up costing you a timeout that you needed? (Jerry Coleman) “Right – he couldn’t get off. I think that was clear. Did you see it?” (Reporter: “I saw it, but there was questions by the fans, because he came back two plays later.”) “He was laying there. A player has to get off on his own power. You can’t go out there. As you said, could you get him off the field? If you go on the field, they stop it. It is an injury timeout. That is how it works.”

Moving forward, you have three games to go. You control your own destiny. Obviously, that would be the position you would want to be in, besides winning the division. Does that situation perhaps make the loss last night a little more palatable? (David Ginsburg) “We are looking forward to an opportunity to win the next game and what that entails. We are in it. We have earned our way to be in it. We are right there during a Wild Card berth, but there are three games left, and we have to make it happen for ourselves. We understand that. We talked about it last night in the locker room with the guys. The guys have been in today talking about it, and we are excited about that. [It is] a big challenge. We have to go on the road, and we have to beat Cleveland. We have to come back and beat Indianapolis. We have to come back and beat Cincinnati. It is the National Football League. Those will be three very challenging football games for us, but we are capable of doing it. We expect to do it, but we have to have all hands on deck for the next challenge, and that is what we are going to do.”

When a guy goes off offensively for the other team, reporters and fans always ask why you didn’t double them or give them more attention. Looking back at the film, when you go over the play calls and stuff, were there certain times you wish you would have given Steelers WR Antonio Brown more attention, specifically on that long catch on Pittsburgh’s last possession. (Jeff Zrebiec) “Sure, that is what you do. I am sure baseball pitchers wish they had not thrown a fastball when they threw a fastball or a curveball when they hung one in there for a home run. You always look at it that way.”

With the way CB Marlon Humphrey was playing and doing so well, was there a discussion of putting him on Steelers WR Antonio Brown? (Jamison Hensley) “Yes, there is always a discussion like that, but that is not our gameplan. Then, we have to basically lock into man coverage at that point, and Ben [Roethlisberger] knows you are doing that. Those are easy fixes from an outside perspective, but we are playing multiple defenses, and we are trying to keep them off balance. That doesn’t really work when you start chasing a receiver all around the field; it exposes your coverage.”

How did you feel CB Marlon Humphrey played as a starter? (Ed Lee) “I thought he played well.”

Is there anything that stood out to you about how CB Marlon Humphrey played? (Ed Lee) “No. I thought he played well.”

Did you get out of the game pretty well, health-wise? (Jeff Zrebiec) “It looks like we did. It doesn’t appear to be anything too serious.”

Did WR/RS Chris Moore have a hip injury? I think they said that on the TV broadcast? (Luke Jones) “He had an issue. [I’m] not really going to get into diagnosing it, but we’ll see as the week goes on how serious it is. He’s pretty optimistic today, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

How has WR/RS Chris Moore emerged? Clearly, special teams has been his knack for the last year or two, but [he is] emerging more as a consistent contributor at receiver. (Luke Jones) “He really made some plays. I thought Chris came up, obviously, with a touchdown pass, which was big. The sideline catch, the diving catch, was big. He’s coming on. So, that’s exciting for us, and hopefully he’s out there next Sunday.”

Was there anything to be gained last night, in terms of confidence and knowing that you can go out there in a hostile situation and put up the points and go toe-to-toe with a team like that? (Jerry Coleman) “I don’t know. You can ask the players. Our guys are confident. I don’t think they really need that. Maybe the fans will be more confident, which is cool. But, the players are confident. They believe in themselves, and you just have to keep working. If you keep working, you get that much better. We said all along: You improve that much, then you get a lot better – especially this time of year. We’re working hard to improve that way, every single day. The guys have really worked hard to get a little bit better every single day and stack that up and see if it can multiply for us into success. The story is still to be written on that. It needs to be applied to winning a game – all three phases working together. All three phases could have done something. We get one more stop, one more first down, one more score – whatever it might be – one more play on special teams, we win the game. That’s how all of our guys look at it; that’s how our coaches look at it; that’s how we look at it. We’re trying to win games. We really don’t need assurance. We just need to get ready for the next game.”

Cleveland had a two-touchdown lead on the Packers. Is [Cleveland] a better team than when you saw them in Week 2? I realize you’re early in the game film, but I’m sure you’re looking at it as a challenge. (David Ginsburg) “We have to go win the game. I’d probably have a better answer for you on Wednesday about that, after having a chance to study it more. I’m sure they’ll be very motivated. They’re very well-coached. They have very good players, playmakers – added a big playmaker recently – and [their] defense is very tough to game-plan against. It’s a very creative defense. We just have to get ready to go play and win.”

What are you seeing from WR Jeremy Maclin the last couple of weeks? It just seems like he and QB Joe Flacco have had a lot of plays where they’ve been out of sync. Is there anything sticking out, as far as why they’re just not connecting? (Luke Jones) “No, not really.”

 

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