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Week 2 vs. Cleveland Browns: Friday Transcript

Posted Sep 13, 2013

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: “Good to see you guys. Thanks for coming over. We had a roster move [on Wednesday]: We put Aaron Mellette on IR, and we brought in a running back – Shaun Draughn – [from] Kansas City, who we played against. We think a lot of [him] and have been very impressed with him throughout practice. [Mellette’s] knee was kind of bothering him, but he was working through it all through training camp. He was fighting it, but he seemed fine. It would swell up, and then he would take a day, and then he’d be OK. We sent him down to Dr. [James] Andrews just to check it, and he ended up having two cartilage tears. [It’s] not  major, but they would be four-to-six-week [injuries], so we don’t really have time for that in terms of holding a roster spot. We figured we’d go ahead and make the move and get him healthy. As far as injuries, there’s really nothing new to report. There probably won’t be – any Friday – other than the injury report, just to give you a little head’s up on that as we go forward. I think we’ll just leave it at the injury report.”

Can you tell us how Art Jones is progressing from a football conditioning standpoint? (Luke Jones) “I would say he didn’t get too out of shape. He’s progressing well. We’re just going to have to see how he feels on Sunday. He looked OK at practice, but that’s something that we’ll have to see how he is feeling on Sunday. He’s got a chance.”

Is there any progress with Jameel McClain? (Ryan Mink) “No – nothing to report. What would I report about that? What would I say about Jameel McClain? He’s on PUP. He will be eligible to come back after six weeks.”

Is he going to doctors or going back periodically? (Ryan Mink) “I really don’t know, to be honest with you.”

With Brandon Williams, do you think [his injury] is short term enough where you think he’ll get back this year? (Aaron Wilson) “I think I’ve addressed that already. All those guys are doing a really good job with their rehab. Nobody is behind schedule. You start laying out a schedule, and then all of the sudden it doesn’t work out. [If] he’s back sooner [or] he’s back later, and then everybody acts like you didn’t tell them the truth the first time. These things you don’t know for sure. He’s healing well, he’s on schedule, and he’s working hard. We feel good about where he is.”

Having played on Thursday, does it seem like, when looking at the guys, it was a mini-bye week? (Jamison Hensley) “I really don’t want to put any labels on it. Then I’ll be quoted as saying that that’s what it was. It was nice to have the extra time. To rest coming out of training, I think helps you [with] preparation and those kinds of things. It will all be determined by how we play on Sunday.”

What are your impressions of Joe Haden, the young cornerback in Cleveland? (Aaron Wilson) “Joe Haden, I’ve known him since he came out [of school]. I think the world of him. People don’t get open too often [against him]. I think they’re building their secondary around Joe, and you can see why. It’ll be a big challenge for us.”

Now that you’re going to have a Sunday-to-Sunday schedule all the way up to Thanksgiving, [is] continuity and that kind of thing good because you seem to be a creature of habit? (Joe Platania) “Continuity is always good, in football and in life. I think most of us appreciate continuity.”

Sunday is the first regular season game back since the Super Bowl. You love the fans getting behind the game and always talk about the fans being a part of that and coming back from the Super Bowl win. (Bill West) “That will be great. It’ll be great. People have asked a lot about the banner and those kinds of things going up, and I don’t think it’s going to have any impact on either team. Both teams are focused completely on the game and getting ready to play the game. I saw a quote where Paul [Kruger] said the same thing, and I would agree with that. It’s great for the fans, but by the same token, and if it is a problem, it’s a problem we’ll take every year. It’s a good problem to have, so we’re happy that they’ll get a chance to enjoy that.”

How much can you look at game tape from years past, being their division opponent, and extrapolate some stuff that you can use going into a team that’s almost as different as you are when it comes to free agents and a new head coach? (Mark Zinno) “Our memories are long as far as playing the Browns and the types of games that we’re always in, so I think you understand the type of game you’re going to be in by playing those guys. But they do have a lot of turnover, and they have new coaches. Probably most of our go-back tape has been the coordinators’ tape. It’s been Norv [Turner], and it’s been them defensively at Arizona. It’s been the coordinator tape that they’ve put out there the last couple years.”

How concerned are you with the Browns’ pass rush and how much pressure they may get on Joe [Flacco]? (Clifton Brown) “We’re concerned with everybody’s pass rush, for sure – their pass rush as much or more than anybody else’s. Your point is right. They have a very good front seven. They’re good. They can rush the passer. They got a lot of heat last week, [and] they stopped the run last week. In many ways, you might say it’s the strength of their team right now. They’re good. They’ve got good, young players. They’ve done a good job with that group, so that will be a big challenge for us.”

Is the key with Trent Richardson trying to prevent 3-yard gains from being 7-yard gains, considering he’s such a power back? (Ryan Mink) “The key is always you’ve got to control the offensive line when you want to stop the run; you’ve got to get off blocks, and you’ve got to tackle. Trent Richardson complicates that because he’s so hard to tackle. The fact that he can break tackles and make you miss at the same time is real challenging. He’s such a physical guy and an athletic guy. So, we’re just going to have to do a real good job of tackling him and not letting him get the extra yards after contact, which I think is what you’re saying. If we can limit the yards after contact, that would be very valuable for us.”

Do you sense that these guys really want to get back on the field? Coach [Dean] Pees was so passionate on wanting to get back because the defense had given up so many points. He seemed like he wanted to suit up and go himself. (Jim Forner) “I do sense that. Anytime you lose, you feel that way. Even when you win, you feel that way. I would hope everybody feels that way, and I believe they do.”

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