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Week 9 at Cleveland: Friday Transcript

Posted Nov 1, 2013

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: “Welcome to the Morgan State [University] journalism students. Thanks for being here; great to have you guys here. Go Bears!”

“K.O.” [Kelechi Osemele] – is his back starting to loosen up, or does it feel like it’s going to be a miss-a-game-type of deal or maybe longer? (Aaron Wilson) “We’re going to see about that. Right now, there are some changes in his back that we discovered this week. He’s not going to play in this game. Going forward, I think the chances of him playing the rest of the year probably are pretty slim. There’s a good chance he’s going to get surgery here real soon. I don’t want so say for sure 100 percent, because I don’t know if I’m authorized to say that, but I would anticipate that right now. So we’ll move forward on that with the guys that we have, and we’ll be in good shape. The back was just getting a little worse and a little worse as we went. We went back in and looked at it, and there’s some things that need to get taken care of there.”

John, we saw A.Q. Shipley fill in for Kelechi Osemele in the Miami game. How nice is it to have that versatility? (Luke Jones) “That’s the thing – you want your guys at 100 percent. So, A.Q. [Shipley] has played well. He’s played very well when he’s been in there. He’s a football player. He’s always played well whenever he plays, and he’ll play well. And there are other guys that will be in the mix. Jah Reid will be in the mix. Jah will play going forward. Rick Wagner has done a great job. The offensive line is developing very well, and I’m excited to see how they play going forward. So, we’ll actually be better, I think, with a healthier player.”

Coming off of the bye week, how important is this week to get a win and get back to .500 and get the momentum going? It’s been very good off the bye. (Bill West) “All those things are important. Every game is so important, and the way it’s going to shake out … You look down the road, games are going to be won, games are going to be lost, and we just need to stack wins. And we need to get one. We need to get one every week, and this is the one we need to get this week. So, it’s important for all those reasons.”

Do you pay attention to games around the league, like the Bengals game last night, or do you just say, “Hey, we’ve got to go out and win our game and not worry about other games?” (Garrett Downing) “You do both. You certainly can’t be concerned with other games around the league, in terms of having an impact on them. I didn’t watch last night’s game, but I did see the score, and I can’t say that I was disappointed with it. (laughter) But we have to win our games. If we win our games and take care of our business, we’ll be where we want to be when it counts.”

I know you guys spent a lot of time self-analyzing during the bye. One of the themes has been slow starts. Do you feel like you’ve figured out those problems? (Clifton Brown) “I sure hope so; that’s the plan. I believe so. I know we’re on the right track. I absolutely have 100-percent confidence that we are on the right track with what we’re doing and with the players that we have. We’re going to keep chasing fast starts and great finishes and execution in between. That’s what we’ve got to try to do. So, it’s all that. But starting fast, getting leads – that’s something that will be a plus for us. We haven’t been able to do that too much this year, and it plays well for our defense if we do that. And that’s what we need to try to do.”


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