Opening statement: "It's been a good few days. We got back to work today. We had practice today [and] meetings this morning. The guys came back; everybody was here on time, ready to go and working hard with a lot of enthusiasm. That was fun and exciting, and we're looking forward to the challenge in front of us in the form of the Cleveland Browns. [They are] a tough divisional foe that is playing really good football in a lot of different ways. We're just getting ready to go play a football game this Sunday in Cleveland. One announcement to make, as you probably already know: We signed Bernard Scott as a running back. [He is a] former Cincinnati Bengal, and we're looking forward to seeing how he does."* *
Speaking of Bernard Scott, given Ray's [Rice] hip and Bernard's [Pierce] thigh problems earlier this season, how much do you see Bernard Scott contributing right away? (Joe Platania) *"I think we just play it by ear. We'll just have to see how it plays out, and it's hard to say. But, we're going to get him ready as quickly as we can, and there's no reason he can't be ready and up to speed very rapidly." *
Abilene Christian pipeline with Wilbert [Montgomery]? (Aaron Wilson) *"Wilbert [Montgomery, the Ravens' running backs coach and former standout RB at Abilene Christian] has been proud of those guys that come out of there. There are always fast guys, it seems, like that, who come out of Abilene Christian – starting with Wilbert." *
Do you think [Bernard] Scott can do some things out of the backfield, as a good pass catcher and things like that? (Aaron Wilson) *"Yes. We played him in Cincinnati, and he's got all those skills, as far as he's a bit of a perimeter runner. [It's] not that he won't run between the tackles – he will – but he's a speed guy on the perimeter, a pass catcher out of the backfield. He's always done a pretty good job of pass protection as well. He's a threat; he's a dangerous guy. He's a guy that can take it the distance, really, at any time. We saw him in practice today. He looked good. He had a good start, and we'll see how it goes." *
Did [the team] come back a nice, rejuvenated bunch after the bye week? Do you feel the rest was needed and that it came at a good time after seeing them today? (Jerry Coleman) "I thought it was good. I thought we had a good couple of days off. It was good to get them some time away with their families. The mid-season rest is always good. You get a chance to get your legs back, get a chance to get your body healed a little bit. Those are the positives of a bye week, the great thing about it. It was a plus for us. I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond in terms of how we play."* *
And you personally? Did you get some time away and were you able to relax a little bit? (Jerry Coleman) "A little bit, yes. I had some good family time."
Tomorrow is the trade deadline at 4:00 p.m. Do you anticipate any possible moves? (Jamison Hensley) *"I wouldn't comment on that anyway if I did, so it's probably best just to stay away from that." *
Cleveland is a lot different from when you first played them, at least in terms of personnel – no Trent Richardson and a new quarterback. How do you see them offensively now? (Clifton Brown)"Really the only thing that has changed is the quarterback. The quarterback has moved around. They've been looking for that answer, obviously. The offensive line continues to improve. They've been protecting the passer better and better all the time. They've gotten healthy in there. They've got an athletic bunch, and they do a good job. They did a good job against Kansas City. Kansas City has got a great pass rush, and they held them to one sack. I thought they did a good job. The run – they're a little more spread out now than they had been earlier. They're three-wide. They're opening it up a little bit – run and pass. But still, [they're a] hard-playing bunch. Defensively, they're the same defense and better. They're a legitimate NFL-quality defense. They've been playing really well, and they get after you up front. It's a great front seven, good corners. So, it's a good football team."
This stretch you're going through, does it seem like you've been on the road and you haven't seen M&T Bank Stadium for a long time? It's been a long stretch with just one home game and it continues this week. (David Ginsburg)"I haven't thought about that. The schedule is what it is, and we've got to win wherever we play. And, we've got to go to Cleveland and find a way to win."* *
Do you look ahead at all and see that five out of the last eight games are at home? (David Ginsburg)"I noticed that, yes. But that will be when the time comes. When we get to those games, we'll be happy to be playing at home, but we've got to take care of this game right now. That's the one that is on our minds."* *
With the division shaping up the way it has so far – Cincinnati has created a little separation – just how critical is each one of these division games going forward? (Aaron Wilson)"They're all critical. Every one of these games is critical. I don't care if it's division, not division, they're all linchpin games as far as I'm concerned. Every time we play a game – in my mind – is make or break as we go into it. When the season is over, that will be determined, which games were and which games weren't. But we feel like we've got to go win this game, just like we felt we had to win the last game. We didn't get it done, so we've got to go win this one. We've got to get it done, and at the end we'll see where we stand. So, the race, it is what it is now. It's where it stands. But it's where it stands after 16 games that matters, and that's what we're looking forward to."