Friday Practice Transcript - 9/16


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement "Good to see everybody. [It was a] good practice – very spirited. It was Wilbert Montgomery's birthday, so we had a little fun with that [cake in the final huddle]. Obviously, you guys saw that. Everybody is watching their back on their way off the practice field for cake in the face. But it was sharp; could have been better. Just keep getting better, keep getting ready for Sunday."

On whether the players' jersey switching throws people off:"The jersey switching does not throw us off. We know it's Haloti Ngata in No. 5. (laughter). There's no mistaking Haloti in a No. 5. The other No. 5, the red No. 5, that wasn't too tough because he wasn't playing quarterback. But, it's fun. It's kind of a tradition around here. They were doing it long before I got here, so it's a neat deal."

On the status of G Ben Grubbs and if he will play on Sunday:"I think we just don't know. It's going to be a game-day decision. We're OK with him playing without this week of practice. He's practiced a lot over the years, and he's our best option. So, if he can go he will. It's a toe. It's getting better. It's not serious. But, there's no guarantee that he'll play. I'm pretty confident that he will play, but we'll just have to see. We're confident in all those guys; we'll just put those guys out there. They've gotten all the reps this week and they look good. They're veteran football players."

On his response to Tennessee defensive coordinator Jerry Gray saying that they have something in store for the Ravens if there is a chop-block made:"Something in store, like what? (Reporter: "He vaguely said that they would have something prepared if that happens.") I'm assuming that what he's talking about is a counter. The blocking scheme that we're talking about – that's come up this week – is one that almost every team in the National Football League runs. We've been running it for years. Some teams do it better than other teams. The block is absolutely legal. It's 100-percent legal, it's 100-percent ethical, and there is no danger whatsoever in the way the block is being executed, because it's in front. The adjacent offensive linemen, on a run play that's away, can cut the next defender. It is the defender's responsibility to not hold the center and keep him from getting up on the linebacker the center is trying to block and expose himself. It's his job to let that guy go and to defend himself. So, when you chose to keep that center off the linebacker, then you're choosing to leave yourself vulnerable to being cut in front. So just play defense, I would say."

On WR Lee Evans health:"His health? What about it? (Reporter: "On being back to full practice…") Well, you know, he's rehabbing it. He's going to play. Obviously, I think he's… Hopefully he's going to continue to get better and better. He's got some pain in his foot, but it's not something that he can hurt worse by playing or practicing. So, we're monitoring it and working with… He's got some new orthotics that should help a little bit. But, he's doing OK."

On what rookie WR Tandon Doss needs to do to be active on gameday:"To be active on gameday, he needs to be in the top five, you know, do enough for us. He's doing very well. He's practicing very well. He's learning the offense. He's growing. He's definitely good enough to play, there's no doubt about that. It's just a matter of either or. If it wasn't him, you'd be asking about the other guy that isn't active. So, when you get 46 guys, that's just how it works."

On how he gets the team to buy into the idea that any team could beat them despite a losing record:"Well, yeah, I think our guys understand that. We have smart guys. We have guys who understand that every week in this league you're playing a very good football team. Every time we go into one of these games it gets characterized as a team that – I don't know, a 'letdown game' are the terms that you guys use – that none of our guys are foolish enough to use. Because it's just foolishness to put a tag on it like that; it makes no sense at all. I'm embarrassed for you when you even say that, because there's no such thing as that in the National Football League. Every game is a challenge. We keep saying it, and you keep asking the same questions. We will be ready to play on Sunday, because we're playing a very good football team. I love you (laughter) – you're the guy who caught the brunt of that – but it's a statement for everybody out there. You want to write a story like that, and there is no story, because this is the National Football League and the Tennessee Titans are a very good football team who are ready to play us. I think their coach said, 'There is no better team to beat than this team that they're getting ready to play.' So, there is no better team to beat, than the Tennessee Titans, come Sunday, for the Baltimore Ravens."

On what he has seen from Titans LB Barrett Ruud:"Barrett is a great player. He's a guy that, at middle linebacker, is one of the premier middle linebackers in football. [He's good] sideline to sideline, very physical guy, very smart player. I think their defense kind of takes on that personality. When you look at them, they're a very physical, very active defense – very fundamentally sound. Big challenge for us."

On the progress rookie CB Chykie Brown has made:"I think Chykie is making progress. Chykie's got a ways to go. He's got to learn the defense. He's got to become a more disciplined player, a more fundamentally sound player. I think that was his issue. That's why he slid to the fifth round. He's a very talented guy that slid to the late fifth round for a reason. Chykie knows that, and so those are some of the things that we're working on. I've seen marked improvement, definitely, through training camp and… I think if you put Chykie out there now, physically, he'd be able to handle it. It's just a matter of getting better every single day with the details of the game."

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