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Ravens Wednesday Transcripts

Posted Nov 1, 2017

WEDNESDAY TRANSCRIPTS: Week 9 at Titans

Head Coach John Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, WR Jeremy Maclin, ILB C.J. Mosley & OLB Terrell Suggs

(The transcripts of conference calls with Tennessee head coach Mike Mularkey & QB Marcus Mariota are also below.)

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: “OK, good seeing everyone – appreciate you guys being here. [We’re] preparing and working hard for Sunday. What do you have?”

Do you expect QB Joe Flacco to practice today? (David Ginsburg) “We’ll see.”

Did you like what you saw from G Matt Skura on Sunday? What are the key things he needs to work on to lock down regular playing time going forward? (Childs Walker) “Well, he’s the starting right guard. So, he’s locked down regular playing time.” (Reporter: “For seasons to come, I guess.”) “I’m not thinking that far ahead. I guess it’s an OK question, if you’re doing a Skura piece – maybe you are – which is great. [He’s a] great guy, works hard, and I thought he did a really good job last week, in terms of coming back from the knee [injury]. It wasn’t too long – it was only two games, I think – he was out. So, I was really impressed with the way he played, but he has to keep getting better and keep improving. He’s come a long way, and I’m sure he’d tell you he has a ways to go. We’re happy with him.”

Is it more physical stuff or is it technique where he needs to progress? (Childs Walker) “It’s everything. It’s a tough position to play. Offensive line is complicated and challenging, and you’re going against great players all the time. There’s a lot that they have to know, and there’s a lot of technique to it. So, it’s probably all of the above.”

How impressed have you been with the way CB Jimmy Smith is playing? (Garrett Downing) “I’ve been saying it all along – you can go back and see my quotes about what I thought about Jimmy. I’m sure you have them written down somewhere. I think very highly of him as a player. He can be the best corner in football; I think I said that three weeks ago. Now, everyone is getting onboard. It’s good that you guys saw the light. (laughter) He has to keep playing that way. It’s a big challenge again this week. We have all of our DBs going against a great receiving corps, a heck of a quarterback – so, they have their hands full.”

Has there been an area where you’ve seen the most progression with CB Jimmy Smith? (Jamison Hensley) “No, I haven’t really thought about that. I’m not thinking along those lines right now. I’m just trying to get ready to play and win the game.”

A strange season for WR Jeremy Maclin … He has 19 catches, three of them touchdowns, of course. He was out two weeks with a shoulder injury. Do you see better things coming for him in the second half of the season? Do part of the low numbers were that you weren’t hitting the wide receivers? (David Ginsburg) “[We’re] just trying to get ready for this game right now – just trying to find ways to get guys open. Jeremy Maclin is a big part of our game plan right now. He’s going to be a factor in this game, for sure. I’m sure [Tennessee] is thinking about him; they’re concerned with him. We want to find a way to get all our guys the ball.”

What’s it going to take for QB Joe Flacco to practice today? (Jerry Coleman) “What is it going to take for him to practice today? It’s going to take him being cleared and ready to go. When do we practice?” (Reporter: “2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.”) “Two o’clock, right? You just can’t wait to find out?” (Reporter: “It’s a Twitter world!”) “I don’t live in that world. My brother does, but I don’t.” (laughter)

What has been the difference with ILB C.J. Mosley? He’s been playing phenomenally the past few weeks. Have you seen anything different in the way that he’s playing? (Ed Lee) “He’s playing great – just as you said. I’m seeing a good linebacker playing linebacker very well. He’s a very instinctive player. He’s a great athlete, obviously. He kind of has a prototype physique for the position, talent for the position. He’s playing really well.”

Regarding Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota, from everything you’ve seen, is he 100 percent [healthy]? (Jerry Coleman) “I don’t know. I’m not privy to any of those conversations that they have in Tennessee about the health of their players. I wish I was, but, I just see a good player on film, and I see him. I’m not looking at his health. I know that he’s going to be playing and that we’re preparing for him. I can’t judge that; it’s just impossible for us to judge that.”

What was your reaction to the NFL announcing that they weren’t going to suspend Miami LB Kiko Alonso? (Ed Lee) “I didn’t have a reaction. I just read it. It’s nothing I’m involved with; I didn’t have anything to do with it. They didn’t ask me my opinion.”

You’ve taken a couple deep shots with WR Breshad Perriman, and it seems he’s just a tiny bit off from making that big play. Do you see him progressing – just close, and if it happens, it could open up the flood gates? (Jeff Zrebiec) “Yes, I would agree with that. It’s close, and that’s a big part of our offense. It goes back to [the previous] questions: We need those guys to make plays. He’s a speed guy for us, and he’s capable of going up and making great plays with the ball; I’ve seen him do it. So, we just need to see him do it.”

QB Joe Flacco

On how he feels and if he is ready to go this week: “Yes, I feel good. I feel real good. I am definitely ready to go.”

On if it was nice to have the extra time off to recover and on how soon he felt normal after the hit: “To be honest with you, I felt pretty normal pretty quickly. It definitely is a good thing [the game] was on Thursday night, just to get time to rest on the weekend and kind of take it easy and not have to get back ramped up quicker than I wanted or anything like that. I honestly felt good pretty quick after it all happened. But yes, the extra time does not hurt”

On if he remembers the hit the minute after it happened: “Yes, I remember getting hit. I remember standing up, looking down at my chinstrap. I am a little foggy about a couple of things after that, but once I got time to sit down and gather my thoughts a little bit, I felt pretty good.”

On if the hit looks worse than it felt: “It definitely doesn’t look good. I finally saw it when I was in the training room at some point. I wasn’t really sure what happened. It looked like my neck kind of got twisted and jacked up a little bit. But yes, it probably looked a little worse than it felt.”

On what experience he has with concussions: “None. I have never had anything like that happen before. I have never even had a mild concussion or anything like that. I think I have been pretty fortunate, honestly, to not have had to deal with anything like this. Even if this situation, I feel pretty fortunate. I feel like it could have been a lot worse, and I don’t ever really feel it really got to that point.”

On if he is completely out of concussion protocol: “At this point, it was good to get out there and practice. I feel good, so yeah.”

On if he feels he slid late: “I have probably slid at that point plenty of times. What happened, happened.”

On if he is disappointed Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso didn’t receive a suspension: “No, I have bigger things to worry about than whether guys are suspended or not. I am getting ready for the Tennessee Titans, and that is really all I can worry about.”

On if he has to wear special kind of protection so he won’t aggravate the stitches in his ear: “My ear is whatever. I don’t really feel it. It is not like there is anything brushing up against it. I just have a couple stitches in it, but my ear doesn’t feel bad or anything. It is not really that big of a deal. I guess my helmet could get ripped off again, and that might matter or something, but really, who cares? It is just a little bit of blood.”

On if he feels like the team is ready to turn the corner offensively: “Yes, we are ready to do it; we just have to be more consistent. That is what we have not had, but we are going to continue to go to work every week and work on being more consistent and work on those things. I have been telling a couple of people that we take pride in the way we work around here, and that is all we can do is put our heads down and continue to try to get better. That is what we are doing, and I think we are definitely ready to make that turn but we have to go out there and prove it.”

On the team scoring 40 points vs. Miami: “That is what happens when you go out there and you can play pretty aggressively early on and you can put a team in a hole and you get them doing things that they don’t necessarily want to do or they aren’t great at. A couple of things happened, and that is what we have done to ourselves in some of the losses. We have dug ourselves a hole, and then you have to do certain things to make up for it, and it is either hit or miss. You hit some of those things on some of the chances that you make. In the games that we have gotten ourselves down, we have tried to take some chances here or there, and we have not hit. We have turned the ball over and kind of did what they did against us on Thursday night. That is where I think you can see being aggressive early on and doing those kinds of things paying off.”

On Miami LB Kiko Alonso’s text apology: “Yes, he texted me the day after, and I texted him back. I mean, we both kind of texted. He was just checking in, and I was just replying back saying, ‘I’m good.’”

On if he put pressure on himself to return quickly or is it in the hands of the medical staff to decide his return: “Yes, pretty much [it’s in the medical staff’s hands]. I think when something happens like that, and looks the way it looks, there’s definitely going to be questions surrounding that. I think they definitely side on being more cautious more than anything. I think when you’re a player in my position … If this was high school, I probably would have sat on the bench and gathered for a couple minutes, then went back out there and played defense, you know? (laughter) But, it’s just one of these things that you have to trust their judgment. I remember thinking to myself – that’s the one thing I remember thinking to myself – because a lot of times I’d probably be telling people to go back to the bench and let me stay out there … But, I do remember thinking to myself when I got up and looked down like, ‘Alright, you’re a little more messed up than normal. Do what they tell you to do and get off the field.’ I don’t usually say that to myself, but that’s what I remember saying to myself. You have to leave it in their hands with things like this. It didn’t hurt that we were up 13-0 at the time and that our team was able to go out there and continue to play, finish off that drive and continue the way they did the rest of the game. It definitely didn’t hurt.”

On if the hit was tougher on his family than it was on him: “Yes, I’m sure. At the same time, once they find out I’m OK, it’s probably not that big of a deal. It’s football – people get hit all the time.”

On if he would hesitate to run on third-and-8 again: “No, I don’t care. What are you going to do? Sometimes you get hit, sometimes you get knocked out, I guess. (laughter) That’s just part of the game.”

On when he was cleared from concussion protocol: “I’m not going to disclose that information.”

On if he had concussion-related symptoms: “No, I felt good pretty quickly afterwards. I haven’t really thought anything.”

On C Ryan Jensen defending him after the hit: “I thanked Jensen. That’s great – I definitely love to see teammates come to your back. I know he’s gotten a lot of love on social media and things like that, and he’s been bragging about it. Yes, I love Ryan for that. Those are the kind of guys we need playing for us, the mean, nasty guys that have each other’s backs. If I was put in that situation, hopefully I’d be able to return the favor.”

On if he is surprised that these types of hits still occur: “No, I’m not surprised. You can debate whether it’s avoidable or not. A lot of those times it’s not avoidable. You’re going to hit the guys and … It’s football. That’s why people love this sport, because they get to turn on – on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday – they get to turn this sport on and watch people go to battle. That’s what separates this sport for fans and for players. At any point, our careers could be ended because of the physicality of the game. So no, it doesn’t surprise me. No matter what you do, or what you put in place, people are always going to get hurt. We wear helmets for a reason.”

WR Jeremy Maclin

On how good it felt to be back on the field last week: “It felt good just to finally be able to play again after sitting out the previous two weeks. Just being out there playing with the guys – that’s what it’s all about. I was fortunate enough to get in the end zone last week. But, it felt good.”

On if the offense will be trending in the right direction once he and WR Mike Wallace are healthy: “You’d like to think so. We’ll continue to get better each and every day, continue to get the reps in on the practice field and just try to be on the same page during football games.”

On if it’s a strange season for him recording 19 catches thus far: “That’s just how the chips have fallen so far. We still have a lot of football left. We’ll see how the second half of the season pans out. As long as we win the football game – that’s what it’s all about.”

On what has been rewarding for him during his first year in Baltimore: “Just to embrace everything this organization represents. It’s a first-class organization, the fans here are wonderful, and just having the privilege to play here – an organization that I’ve always had respect for. It’s pretty cool.”

On if he foresees a successful second half season for himself and the wide receiving corps: “As long as we win the football games. Whatever that entails – if it’s us catching the balls, if it’s us running the football – as long as we’re winning games.”

On how QB Joe Flacco appears to be feeling: “He seems like Joe, but I’m not going to get into his situation.”

On if he was relieved to see QB Joe Flacco up on his feet so quickly after the hit: “Absolutely. This is a very, very intense sport. Collisions like that do happen, unfortunately. It is football, and football is a physical sport. You never want to see anyone go down no matter what team they’re on – but especially not your own quarterback. I’m glad he’s up and moving around.”

On CB Jimmy Smith: “He’s good, he’s good. He has some measurables that not a lot of guys that play his position have. He’s very good at the line of scrimmage when he presses people. His ball skills have improved big time since he’s gotten in the league. I think that has led him to making some plays, catching some interceptions this year. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best in the league, and he’s proven that.”

On the responsibility as a veteran to keep younger wide receivers like WR Breshad Perriman confident: “You just continue to have that relationship with him and establish it on a high enough level to where he feels comfortable coming to me and talking to me about pretty much anything – not just football-related. This is a weird game, and one thing that hopefully he understands is that it only takes one game to get you going. He has the talent; he’s made plays here. And I’m pretty sure that whenever he gets those plays and those things going, he’ll start rolling.”

LB C.J. Mosley

On what has allowed him to make a huge improvement compared to previous years: “Being in shape – that is the first thing. Being able to run around like that, play every snap and D-linemen doing a great job of taking on double-teams and helping me run to the ball. [It’s also] great coaching, obviously, and the durability and staying healthy for the whole part of the season. I think it was a little bit earlier in the season last year when I pulled my hamstring, and I had to miss a couple games. That has been the main thing – just to be able to stay healthy and being able to play every snap on defense.”

On what it means to be part of a defense that has had two shutouts in eight games: “It means a lot. It shows our potential. A few games this season, we definitely let some big plays get through in the run and pass game. We gave up a lot of points, a lot of yards in the run game, something that we really aren’t used to. That just shows that when we put our mind in the right spot and everybody does their job and does their technique, we can be a shutout-type of defense every game.”

On if he thinks about becoming the next face and leader of the Ravens’ defense: “In the moment, no. But that is definitely where it is heading. I am proud to be in that position. I hope I stay in that position for a long time here, because I love it here with the defense, with the coordinators and with the teammates that I plan on being with for a long time. As long as I just keep doing things right on the field and off the field, it looks like it is going to be that way.”

On what he has seen from CB Jimmy Smith: “That is one of the things I was just saying about me – it is the same thing with him with him staying healthy. He has always had that type of big-play mentality. He has made those plays over the years, but like you said, the injuries kind of just lingered on him, whether it caused him to miss some games or he just played through it. That is kind of the mentality he has. No matter what it is, he always is going to try to play through it, and he always wants to take on the best receiver, because he feels like he is one of the best corners. That is the kind of mentality you have to have playing cornerback in the league.”

On if he feels like the defense turned a corner on Thursday: “I wouldn’t say turned a corner or a certain switch clicked in. We just played Raven Football. We did what we did Thursday [during] the first two games [and] what we did all preseason. We just got away from some fundamentals. We got away from playing sound technique, and we let a couple of runs get out on us in certain games. Even though it might have been one or two runs, it definitely didn’t look well on the stat sheet with us being ranked last or 31st or whatever it was. That last game was just what we have always been about, what we teach every day. That is the kind of mentality we have to have every game going in – which is what we do have – but we have to make sure we are playing our type of football every week.”

On how his body feels on a Wednesday after a Thursday game compared to a Wednesday after a Sunday game: “It feels pretty good. That little break definitely helps. You can see your family, you can relax. You can get a little extra treatment in, extra lift in. You can do whatever you have to do to get your mind off football for those couple days or any little thing that helps you get your focus back for the next game, because in the second half of the season, even though we have this game and a bye, these next eight games are going to be crucial trying to make a playoff push.”

On how meaningful it has been for him to play so well this year: “It is fun. I am just having fun with my guys, having fun playing with the Baltimore Ravens. That is what it comes down to. If you have fun and you love what you are doing, you are going to be able to make plays like that, and you are going to be able to have fun with a good defense. That is all I am really thinking about. The football side of it is easy. I am used to playing the run, playing the pass. It is all about just flying around and making plays and celebrating with your teammates after.”

Do you care about the label “best middle linebacker in the league?” Is that something that matters to you? “A certain point of it does. I pride myself in the way I play. I pride myself in being the inside linebacker and one of the captains on this team and on this defense. At the end of the day, you want to be known as one of the best linebackers in the league, but I am not really a big individual guy. As long as the team is winning, as long as the defense is doing good, I am happy with that. As long as I am playing my part in it, that is all that matters.”

On if he likes leading the NFL in tackles: “It is cool. People look at that and they see my name first. But like I said, if I am leading the league in tackles and our defense sucks, then what is the point of that? For me, as long as the defense is doing well, getting shutouts and stopping the run, that is all that really matters.”

On what sticks out to him about the Titans’ running backs: “Even though they are big backs, they definitely pop a lot of runs out on the perimeter. That is one of the things that we have to work on. What kind of hurt us at the beginning of the season were perimeter runs – runs getting outside of us on the edge. We did a great job of that this past Thursday [with] setting the edge on the outside and everybody staying square inside. Everybody else definitely has to run to the ball and gang tackle a guy, because they are good at spinning off tackles, and they both have really good stiff-arms. Play your technique, set the edge, everybody run to the ball, and we should have a chance.”

On passing OLB Terrell Suggs in career interceptions: “Yes, we talked about that after the game and yesterday, actually. Last year, he was saying, ‘Yeah, you still don’t have me in interceptions.’ [I said], ‘Well, I think I am one up on you now.’ It would be nice for him to pick off a screen here or there, like he has done in his past, but for right now, I got him.”

On how much pride he takes in getting interceptions and defending the pass: “I take a lot of pride in that. Being an every-down ‘backer, you have to be able to stop the run and stop the pass. You have to be able to cover tight ends and running backs. Their [Titans] tight ends are going to be really featured in this game. They might as well be wide receivers once they flex out or get empty. Some of the guys on film are running middle reads and over routes looking like wide receivers running. That is what we think is going to be a big part of the game for our linebackers. We are going to have to play matchups with them, because they can be empty in any kind of formation, so we have to be able to adjust to it.”

On his reaction to Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso not getting suspended for his hit on QB Joe Flacco: “It is what it is. I know he got fined, I’m pretty sure, so that might hurt him a little bit. He is a football player. He tried to make a play. We don’t think it was intentional. You can be on both sides. You can say that he [Alonso] could have avoided the hit, or you can say Joe [Flacco] could have went down – ‘either or.’ The biggest thing is that Joe is fine, and he is healthy, and we are going to have him ready for Sunday. At the end of the day, that is what the main thing is.”

OLB Terrell Suggs

On having a few extra days off after playing Thursday last week: “It was good. We’ve been pretty banged up, so it was good to kind of get healthy and try to get some of our guys back.”

On if you can build off a dominating win like last week’s game: “Anything positive you can build off of. We can’t be delusional; we still feel like we have some things we need to work on, some things we need to get better at. It’s just a good starting point.”

On Titans QB Marcus Mariota: “He’s a special talent, especially with the run-pass option. There are very few quarterbacks who can pull that off, and he’s one of them. He can make a play with his arm, he can make a play with his legs, and that’s definitely something we’re going to have to take a look at and tend to.”

On how encouraging it is to see QB Joe Flacco back on the field after the hit he took last week: “It feels good. We know Joe is tough. He’s taken hits before – I don’t think any like that, none to the dome – but he was able to shake it off and get back out there again. It was good to have the four days off, though, to get him back – get his senses back.”

On if he sees LB C.J. Mosley becoming the Ravens’ next great linebacker, with the likes of himself, Ray Lewis and others: “Hold on, I’m in there, though? I appreciate that, I appreciate that. Yeah, he’s ‘Half Man, Half Amazing.’ C.J. has done some great things, and he’s getting better and better every time he takes the field, coming into his own. That’s what we’re known for here, but C.J.’s play kind of speaks for itself.”

On the challenges they’ll face in stopping Tennessee’s rushing attack: “It’s always a challenge. I don’t know what we’re ranked this week; I know going into last week we were 32nd. So, we’ve got our work cut out for the rest of the year, and with this duo, it’s definitely going to test us to see if we got some of the leakage stopped and some of the problems fixed. This is going to be a good test for us.”

On if he had a reaction when the NFL did not suspend Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso: “No, I didn’t have a reaction. It is what it is. I can’t really be concerned with that with a game [coming up], but I think it’s something definitely they’ve got to take a look at. But if they feel they were just in not suspending him, then we’ll live with it. We’re not stressing it too much.”

Tennessee Head Coach Mike Mularkey

Conference Call with Baltimore Media

Can you talk about QB Marcus Mariota’s progress through the last three seasons? Where do you see him now in the major improvements he has made since Day One? (Mike Preston)  “I know there was some talk and concern about him being able to transfer to the pro system with being under center, and that was never a factor. I was here when we drafted him. You would never have known he was a shotgun quarterback in his college career, and that has not been an issue. What he has done though to improve is to understand not just our offensive scheme, but how defenses operate and function, where defenders are supposed to be in specific coverages and fronts and how they correlate with each other. As far as offensively, we have given him more on his plate to get us in the correct protection, in the correct play if we have to without overbearing him with too much information. He has grasped more and more to a point right now, where it is probably at the limit for me, as far as trying to get him to make some adjustments.”

You have been around and designed offenses before. How much did you have to mix and match with what QB Marcus Mariota done before with his skill level and what he was doing at Oregon? (Mike Preston) “He has a unique set of skills with his ability to run the ball. I had some of that with Kordell [Stewart] in Pittsburgh when I was the coordinator there. You have to adapt to what guys do best. That is everybody, not just the quarterback. That is everybody at each position. You don’t want to put them in a position where they are not confident in what they are doing. He has some ability that other quarterbacks don’t have. We have adapted to what he does best. That is why I think we have been kind of limited with his injury that he has had the past couple games. I think he should be back to the Marcus that we all know. We have kind of adjusted our way we attack with his set of skills. I would like to say we have done that with everybody on our team.”

How much have the injuries over the past three years affected QB Marcus Mariota? Has it set him back much, or is he right on schedule? (Mike Preston) It is frustrating for him. He likes being on the field. He is a competitor. He wants to play; he wants to practice. He wants to continue to get better each year, and I think it has been frustrating for him that he hasn’t been able to do that. It is part of the game. It is unfortunate the way it has happened, but it has happened. He has done a good job of rehabbing and coming back like he has. It is just unfortunate that it is part of it.”

I saw a report in the last couple of days about QB Marcus Mariota’s numbers being down in the red zone, and you would like to see more big plays. Is that true, or is it just something that has been exaggerated? (Mike Preston) “Some, yes and some, no. Obviously, we were No. 1 in the red zone last year in regards to producing touchdowns. We have not been at that pace this year by any means. We did a little study on ourselves down there to get a better idea of what is going on – if you want to call it a problem. We are down there a lot more than we were last year. We just have not been able to finish drives like we have. That is not just Marcus. That is our offense.”

Two guys that stick out on the Ravens’ defense are LB C.J. Mosley and CB Jimmy Smith. Can you tell us what you think of both of those two players? (Mike Preston) “They are good players, very good players. I don’t know why you are not mentioning [Terrell] Suggs. He looks like he is playing about as well as he has played.” (Reporter: “He is a given!”) “Yes, he is pretty good, too. (laughter) They [Mosley and Smith] are playing well. You are talking about Jimmy – that was a very good acquisition to get him outside. He is a very good corner; he has great size. He does exactly what they need in that scheme. Mosley is making a lot of plays. Obviously, you can’t be a leading tackler if you are not where you are supposed to be. He has a nose for the football, and I’ll say this: He is about as good as there is in the league from what I’ve watched on tape of shedding blockers and getting off blocks and making plays.”

You have a young receiver, WR Corey Davis. How difficult is it for him to miss time and come back and have an impact? (Mike Preston) “Well, we will see. He has missed a lot of time. We got him back just in time to play against Oakland. He had six catches in that game. He made some catches we have not had around here in a while. He was hurt again the very next game early, and he has been out since Week 2. We will find out how much it is going to hamper him coming back. I don’t think, mentally, it will. I know he stays very active in our game plans. We will discuss if he is in game condition. That is maybe the biggest concern.”

Tennessee QB Marcus Mariota

Conference Call with Baltimore Media

On the modifications to Tennessee’s offense due to his injury and if he is healthy for Sunday: “I’m feeling good. I think the coaches have done a great job of finding ways to execute when not everybody is as good as they can be. But, that’s the NFL – week-in and week-out you have to deal with some things, and the coaches have done a great job.”

On rating his performance so far this season: “OK. I’d like to finish drives. I’d like to score more points. I think we need to be better on third downs and in the red zone. But, you know what? We’re 4-3, and we have an opportunity to continue to get better, and hopefully, end the season the way we want to.”

On the hardest part of the transition from Oregon’s offense to a professional offense: “I was very fortunate at the University of Oregon. We did a lot of different NFL pass concepts, NFL run concepts. So, for me, that transition was really learning a different language – learning how we called it here in Tennessee. For the most part, I thought it was pretty smooth. The coaches here have done a great job of helping me through that transition. Obviously, I can always get better, but I think it’s gone fairly well.”

On his expectations for the season: “It’s really just finishing on top of our division, hopefully getting into the playoffs and then making a run at it. That’s our team goal, that’s our goal as an organization, and that’s my goal, as well.”

On if injuries slowed the team’s progress the past two seasons: “I don’t know. I really try not to focus on those things. It is tough, but it’s part of it – as an athlete the that’s things you have to deal with. I’ll never make that an excuse; I’ll never allow that to define me as a player. I just have to go out there and continue to get better and focus on how I can be the best player for this team.”

On if WR Corey Davis could make an immediate impact despite his time missed: “For sure. I think he understands the game, even without being a part of it – whether if it was in training camp, whether it was in OTAs. He missed some time. But, at the same time, he did come back for that first week against the Raiders; there was no hiccup. He just went out there and played well, understood where he needed to be, made plays. I think if we continue to have that from him, he’ll find a way to be a force for us on offense.”

On Ravens ILB C.J. Mosley: “He’s playing at a very high level. He really kind of runs that defense. He finds ways to make tackles, gets off blocks well, very athletic guys that can do pretty much everything. He’s been very impressive on the team, and we have a challenge on Sunday, for sure.”

On his jersey outselling Patriots QB Tom Brady’s during his rookie season: “Honestly, I didn’t put much thought into it. It’s a blessing for sure, something that I won’t take for granted. But, man, I just play football and try to focus on what’s going on in the field.”

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