Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "It's good to see everybody. [We had] two good days of practice. The guys worked hard, did a good job. We feel good about that. Their spirits were very good. The effort was very good. Now, we'll give them the time required off, but also the time needed off to rest and recover, and then we'll get back to work on Cleveland on Monday."
**Was there anything specifically you worked on or was it just generally to get a look at all? *(Dave Ginsburg) *"There were lots of specific things that we worked on, yes. It wasn't one specific thing. It was a number of specific things that we felt we needed to improve on, and we did that. I feel like we made some progress."
**There was a report that said that Dennis Pitta might be able to come back by mid-to-late November. Is there any timetable for his return? *(Jamison Hensley) *"I don't think anything has ever changed. I don't know what the report said, so I can't comment on the report."
**It just said that the Ravens expect he could possibly be back by mid-November to late-November. *(Jamison Hensley) *"That sounds similar to what was said in August when we first heard the timeframe. So, nothing has changed as far as I know. Everything is on schedule. There have been no setbacks with Dennis [Pitta], so we'll just have to see how it goes. Until we get him on the field and see him start running around, I think we'll know more then. And I'm looking forward to that. That will be very interesting."
With Josh Bynes' finger, is he expected to be able to go after the bye week? (Mark Zinno) *"I don't know if 'expected' is the right word. I guess I probably feel that way, but I don't want to speak [on it], because you never know with an infection. But there's a good chance that he would be [ready]." *
**With Kelechi Osemele and Bernard Pierce, how good was this week for them to rest some things? *(Aaron Wilson) *"It was good, yes. It was good."
What would give you cause for optimism? I'm just saying, there are a lot of people out there that are worried about this team. What makes you optimistic that this can alter? (Dave Ginsburg) *"I'm not going to get into justifying or trying to explain. There are a lot of people out there that are never going to believe in anything. It doesn't really matter. The people that want to see us do well – they'll stay in our corner. And those are our fans. We love our fans. We're going to work hard. We've done it every year. You hit tough stretches every single year in football. There's no guarantee. This is tough. There's no guarantee this year. But, we have done pretty well over the last five years anytime we've hit a tough stretch, going back to work, dealing with the things we need to correct, overcoming adversity. It's a tough league. We're right in the middle of the pack right now. So, we can either go down, stay the same or get better. We intend to get better. What we need to do is go win the next game, and then the game after that, and then the game after that, and then the game after that, and do our best and see how the chips fall when it's all said and done. But what makes me optimistic is I'm always optimistic, because I know how hard we work, I know what good people we have – coaches and players – and I really believe in where we're going schematically. I think we understand how to solve problems. And that's what football is – it's a problem-solving business. There always are problems – everybody has them. And I'm very confident in our ability to solve problems, and I know we've got the people to do it. So, that's probably where it starts." *
**You guys have speed at wide receiver. Are you satisfied with your ability to go deep and connect deep, or do you think it's something that you guys can improve on once the bye week is over? *(Clifton Brown) *"We can definitely improve on that. Making plays down the field in the pass game is something that we did last year, especially when we got really rolling. It opens everything up for you. We've got speed to do it, [and] we've got a quarterback who can throw it. It's something that we feel confident that we can do and we need to do."
**With this being the bye week, is it good to have that extra time to prepare for the next game against Cleveland? *(Adam Vorce) *"It's helpful. We've played them once already. And not just Cleveland, but some other opponents that we're going to see in the near few weeks. We spend time on the game-planning part of it, yes."
**You guys have an extra roster spot after the Bryant McKinnie trade. Is it going to be a practice squad promotion, or are you still working yourselves through that? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"We're still working ourselves through that. It could be a practice squad promotion. It could be somebody off a practice squad roster or somebody who's available right now as a free agent."
QB Joe Flacco
On if he thinks he's been more consistent this year than in the past despite his numbers: "No, not really. It's just about going along and trying to do the same the thing I do every year."* *
On finding more success with the deep passing game: "I'm not really too frustrated. It's just some little things that we have to clean up here and there. We'll get everything going."* *
On if a heightened sense of urgency can be a good thing: "I think you always have a sense of urgency about what we have to do. We always look at our schedule, and we understand that we've got to win a lot of games. It's no different this year. We've been in different situations where we've been similar at this point. We've just got to continue to take it one game at a time, and it'll turn out the best that way."* *
On how he feels he has played in the first half of the season: "I don't know. You guys can look at that. I go out here … I practice every week, go out there, and you try and play as well as you can. The bottom line is, you just want to look at wins. We haven't been good enough in that department, and we haven't been good enough on offense. It starts with me."* *
On if the Ravens have confidence:"Yes, no doubt about it. We're still right in the middle of things. We've just got to win a couple more football games and get headed in the right direction."
On if it has been a benefit having so many wide receivers available to him:"I don't know what you'd call it, but yes, I guess you can. It's definitely been a good thing. We've gotten a lot of guys work and a lot of guys are getting good. We're going to have a lot of guys to call on when we need it. That always proves to be big when you get late in the season and you're playing a lot of big games. We'll need a lot of guys that have some experience and have some confidence to put in there and play; we've got a lot of them right now."
WR Torrey Smith
On if the bye week is a big benefit: "Yes, definitely. The best thing about the bye week is … We're going into this bye week a little bit different than it has been in past years. Our winning percentage isn't how we want it to be. You get the opportunity to step back away from the game, enjoy your family, and get away from [football.] That way, we'll focus for the second half – which is going to be a grind for us."* *
On what they have to work on during the bye week:"We know what we have to do. There's no secret. We haven't been playing the way we wanted to, but what we need to fix is obvious. It's not like it's a rough project. It's really on us as players to go out there and get it done. At the end of the day, if they call a play, offense and defense, and it works because we execute – everyone is a genius, everyone looks good. If we're out there and we're not playing the way we're supposed to, then it looks pretty bad and nobody fought but us as players. We've got to go out there and get it done."* *
On if he feels chemistry is an issue:"At this point, everyone has been playing football for a while. Once you know what you're doing, you can go out there and play ball. I don't think it's necessarily a chemistry thing. We've just got to go out there, play ball and get it done. It's just execution; it's that simple."* *
On the deep ball passing game: "I think we've had some chances. Obviously, we've missed on a few. Even though we did have a few big gains in the past, we've definitely got to get that going again."* *
On the specific problems that need to be fixed: "Just execution and consistency. When you watch film, there's time where we're looking dominant up front. There are other times where there are missed assignments where I run the route the way it's supposed to look and the quarterback misses his throw, or running backs miss the hole. So, it's all of us. There's no one person that we can point the blame to. A lot of people are [blaming] the offensive line. It's not all their fault. It's all of us as a group. That's what we're really focusing on. At the end of the day, it's on us as players to go out there and get it done."* *
On if the team feels like it has an emergency on its hands:"[Terrell Suggs] said 'state of emergency.' I think he's watching too many movies. (laughter) At the end of the day, we know what's on the line. When you lose games early, you lose your leverage. Your leverage is your ability to make mistakes. We don't plan on losing, but it's better to have more wins than losses. At the end of the season, we're going to have to count them up, and our room for error is [small] now."* *On TE Dennis Pitta' potential return: "He's working his tail off. It's always pretty cool to see him out there and really see his progression. Hopefully he can get back. I don't know an exact date, and if I did, I wouldn't be dropping hints anyway. He's definitely a lot better, and the fact that he's even walking, considering what he's done, is awesome."