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Week 7 at Pittsburgh: Friday Transcript

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: “OK, good to see everybody, thanks for coming. [It’s a] beautiful day here – a good practice. [We were] very pleased with the effort and attitude with our guys, as always. We have one announcement to make regarding Josh Bynes: He went into the hospital earlier this week. His finger that he cut a couple of weeks ago and played with got infected. He was on antibiotics for two or three days there. We felt like he’d be fine; we felt like he would play in the game. We thought we’d have him back to practice Wednesday, then Thursday. Last night, the infection beat the antibiotics, so he had to get surgery on that finger to get it cleaned out. He’s doing fine, but that will preclude him from being able to play in this game. He’ll be out of this game. I can’t think of anything else injury-wise off the top of my head.”

Unfortunately with the Tampa Bay incident, infections are in the news. It’s not something like that – MRSA – or anything? (Jeff Zrebiec) “No, I don’t even know what one infection is from the other. But I’ve never heard anything along those lines. No.”

Jameel McClain has been practicing in full. Is there any chance that he could possibly play in this game? (Jamison Hensley) “He’s up. It’s just if we want to take him off that designation and put him on the 53- [man roster.] Why don’t we just wait and see on that.  I’m not prepared to make an announcement on that right now.”

That’s by 4 p.m. tomorrow, if you were to place him on the 53- [man roster] to play Sunday? (Luke Jones) “Right, that’s correct.”

How about Brandon Stokley? Is he coming around, or is it still lingering a little? (Aaron Wilson) “Brandon came out on Wednesday and got through the practice 100 percent. [He] came out on Thursday and didn’t feel as good. So, we’re continuing to rest him to try to get that right. I don’t foresee him playing in the game at this point, unless something changes.”

As far as not having Josh Bynes, can you just talk about the depth that you have there, that you’re hoping some guys can step up? (Jamison Hensley) “I’m hoping for guys to step up, absolutely.” (laughter)

How has Arthur Brown progressed this year in terms of the injury that held him out? What have you guys seen from Arthur? (Aaron Wilson) “He’s been progressing nicely. What are you going to say? He’s improving, he’s learning, he flies around, he plays fast, and he’s got a great attitude. Arthur is just a tremendous young man. He’s very talented, he’s learning the defense more and more every week, and I just think when he’s out there … As he gets out there more and more, he’s going to make more and more plays. Those plays are going to give him confidence, and he’s going to take off from there. But he’s a big part of what we’re doing. He’s played the last few weeks, so we don’t have any problem with him being out there at all.”

 

RB Ray Rice

On his level of confidence in the running game: “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to Sunday. It’s the Pittsburgh Steelers, great rivalry, and this is a great game to be a part of. It’s old-school football. We’re just looking forward to going out and getting a win. But in terms of running the ball, like I’ve said week-in and week-out, execution level has to be better. And you’ll see the changes that will be made on Sunday.”

On the changes in the blocking scheme: “It’s the same stuff we’ve been doing, it’s just minor tweaks. Without going into too much detail with it, you’ll just see a lot more of the changes on Sunday in terms of what we’re going to do. We’re running the same stuff – it just might be out of a different formation or something. We’ve just got to execute. It’s not the play-calling. It’s just the way we’ve got to execute.”

On his health: “I feel pretty good.”

On if he’s at full strength: “There’s no way you can’t call me full strength. When I’ve had a chance to hit the hole … You’ve seen what I did when I ran down Dallas Clark last week [following Clark’s touchdown]. (laughter) When I get the chance to hit it, you’ll see I’m at full strength.”

On if it’s been a frustrating week: “I don’t have frustration. Like I said, [we’re] not winning football games enough. Honestly, it’s just getting to the next week. I’ve dealt with my own adversity with my injury, but I’m back. [I’m] looking forward to this game, getting back from the bye week, getting some time away, and then I’ll come back the second half of the year ready to roll again. But I’ve been through a lot of adversity in my life. This is an injury I’m going through. It’s not going to faze me. It’s one of those things … I’ve played through some stuff. This is the first year I’ve had to deal with something like this. But I’m back. I feel pretty good.”

On the pressure of being the 2012 Super Bowl champions: “It’s just hard. Like I said, we’re getting everybody’s best [shot]. Sometimes, we might have been a little bit too predictable. I think now we’ve changed it up a little bit and get some things going and spread the ball around a bit, we’ll start getting the creases that we need to get. Every year around this time, we try to re-identify ourselves. We could be sitting here at 5-1, and we wouldn’t be talking about any problems. We’ve identified our problems, we’re eager to fix them, and we’ve got to get ready for Sunday.”

On the importance of winning before the bye week: “We just want to get a win, obviously. If we go out there and put our best foot forward and go out there and try to get a win on Sunday, that’s going to be great, because, you know what? Anytime you go into the bye week on a win, get that time to rest and come back ready to work, it’s a good feeling.”

On balancing weight and agility: “For me, I’ve never had a problem with my weight or anything. I come into the season at a certain weight. Actually, I do my best to keep it on. It hasn’t been a problem with me in terms of my conditioning and everything else. For me, it was just going out there now for this year [and] battling through what I had to get through. I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew I was limited, but now that I’m back at full strength, I’m looking forward to making an impact in the pass and run game.”

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