Opening statement:"Good to see you guys – appreciate you being here. We had a good practice, good week, and all eyes are on Sunday afternoon."
**John, we always hear about how difficult the AFC North is. What's your message to rookies to prepare them to play in this division? *(Luke Jones) *"We really haven't made a big deal out of that. It's something that probably just part of us thinks they understand it. They understand the division – more importantly who we are and how we want to play. That's really the message more than anything. But it's a great division, and the kind of football that is played in this division is clear. Our guys understand that."
I know every road game is difficult. Winning in the NFL on the road is very difficult. Is it a little more difficult when it's the home opener? (Jamison Hensley)"It certainly is. The home opener is real. Not only that, [but] they have the greats coming in. That makes it even more difficult for the opponent, because the crowd is going to be amped up to see all of the legendary Browns players from over the years. We know what we're getting into that way. We know Cleveland, we know their fans, we know how tough they are [and] how much they support their team. It's always loud. They're not big fans of the Ravens, obviously. They've made their feelings very clear to us over the years about how they feel about us, so we'll be hearing about it. *(laughter) *We're kind of looking forward to it."
*I saw that they're going to put up a statue of Jim Brown before the game. Are you surprised it took so long? *(Jerry Coleman) *"Come on, man. (laughter)* Really? Really? (laughter) Wow. I love Jim Brown. (laughter) I really grew up a Browns fan. Jim Brown was it. I was a little more Leroy Kelly. He was the next running back. I think when Leroy Kelly took over, I was about 10 years old. We knew all about those guys. The unbelievable thing is I had a chance to meet Jim Brown. He's been around the whole family now a few times. What a great man."
Obviously, OLB Elvis Dumervil is still out, and there's a question with OLB Za'Darius Smith. Are you pleased with the progress LB Kamalei Correa and OLB Matthew Judon have made as young outside linebackers? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Absolutely. They've both done a tremendous job and have demonstrated that they can play in this league. That's an ongoing process, and whatever opportunities they get, we'll be expecting them to make the most of it. We're going out there as a team to go win the football game."
John, OLB Za'Darius Smith is listed with an ankle injury. Is that just lingering from what he had in training camp? (Luke Jones) "I really don't know. I don't remember. The injury report will be out later."
*Research revealed you haven't had a road winning record since 2010. Is there anything you can do to change that? *(Jerry Coleman) *"Win. That would help if we won more on the road. That would be the idea. Obviously, I'm a terrible road coach. *(sarcasm) I have to change that. There's only one way to change it. That's the insinuation of your question, so I'm cool with it. The proof is in the pudding. The proof is in the pudding. You know what you have to do? You have to go out there, and you have to win. That's what we work hard to do. That's what we plan to do and intend to do."
**When you do play music at practice, how much of a benefit do you think that is once you get in a real stadium atmosphere? *(Jerry Coleman) *"I think it's a benefit, or we wouldn't be doing it. Also, which is not implied in your question, is that we do it at home games, too. You're probably aware of that, right? You come here for home games, as well, so you know that. Obviously, it's for when our offense is up on the road and when our defense is up at home, because when our defense is out there at home, it gets pretty loud at our place. Communication is critically important. It's a lot easier to communicate when you can hear. When you can't hear, it's a lot tougher. It especially goes for cadence on the road for the offense. Pre-snap penalties and making your checks is really important."
With another week of practice with QB Joe Flacco and the receivers – he had 10 different receivers catch balls last week – do you think this will be a chance for him to make another step forward? (Jim Forner)"We have to keep moving forward and getting better. That's the thing. We need to improve every day if we're going to get to where we want to go in terms of execution. We all know it when we see it. Everybody standing in this circle is going to know it when they see it – when it starts clicking like we want it to. Even then, we're going to have to keep getting better, because things change from week to week. By no means are we where we need to be with our passing game, no matter how many guys caught passes last week. We just need to get better. When we do, you'll see it. We all know what it looks like. We've seen it in practice. We need to see it in games."