Opening statement:"I'm glad to have everybody here – appreciate you coming. I have a couple of notes here, so I'm going to go through that so I don't miss anything and then move on from there: First of all, the statement about the change at offensive coordinator this morning pretty much speaks for itself. Of course, I'll take questions, but that lays it out pretty well. It wasn't an easy decision. It's an opportunity to get better and do what's right for the football team, but at a human level, obviously, it's a very difficult thing to do. Our obligation is to the players, to the fans, and our goal is to produce the best football team that we can from one day to the next – whatever we have to do. That goes for searching for the right plays, searching for the right players – whether it's in the draft, whether it's in our game-planning, which is what we're doing now to get ready for the Giants. It's turning over every single stone that we possible can and being as aggressive as we can to find a way to win a football game. That's really what we're doing right now, so that really doesn't change. I've known Marty [Mornhinweg] for a long time. I'm very excited for the opportunity to see where we can go with Marty and all of the coaches. It's not just Marty. It's all of the coaches. It's definitely going to be a team effort, and we're going to work right now. We started early this morning on the Giants, and we're going to keep pushing through. We can get better. We can get better in every single phase. We can get better on offense for sure. We can get a lot better on special teams, and we can continue to improve on defense. There are plenty of areas that we have to improve to become the kind of team that we want to become. Injuries, I don't have any updates today on the injuries. You'll see that on Wednesday. Just a last point – I know the question is going to come up – but in terms of Steve [Bisciotti] and Ozzie [Newsome], I informed both of the guys of the decision last night, and we moved forward this morning."
How beneficial is it to have a guy like Marty Mornhinweg who not only has offensive coordinator experience, but plenty of it? (Joe Platania) "It is beneficial. We're in a good position to have a guy with that kind of experience here. It's experience in this system, basically, the West Coast terminology. He fits right in. I know there will be some things that he will tweak, but the basic system is not going to change. The way we adjust some routes maybe, or the way we organize our protections or some of our play-action passes, that's all of the stuff that Marty has to do the way he believes it should be done. But the basic system terminology [and] the way we operate remains the same."
**John, you mentioned that you informed owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager & executive vice president Ozzie Newsome. That's your decision, and you weren't prompted by either of them, just to clarify? *(Mark Viviano) *"No not at all. That's my call. I'm very blessed to be in an organization that respects the coach and respects coaching and football. Certainly, conversations take place every single day in everything we do. Ozzie, constantly – we're right across the hall from one another, and Steve, really, daily. I talk to Steve pretty much … I don't know if it's every day, but it's pretty regularly that we talk all the time about our football team and other things. He's involved in everything we do also. We have constant communication, but the decision is definitely on the coach."
How will things work with Marty Mornhinweg? Will he be on the sidelines with you? Will you be involved with the play-calling, even more now?* (Jerry Coleman)* "I think the same degree as before. There's constant communication going on on the sideline. That's what the headsets are for, so we're involved in it. I expect to continue to be involved. I'm involved in all three phases, but there are times when you're involved … You're doing something on defense and the offensive plays are getting called, or you're doing something on special teams and the defense is on the field. You try to bounce around as much as you can. Between series, there's communication that goes on. I'll try to have as much input as I can. But that makes sense, because you can't get in the way of a play-caller. Play-calling is a real skill. It's something, I think, there's a groove to it, there's a rhythm to it, and there's a feel thing to it. If you're in the play-caller's ear all of the time suggesting plays, it really breaks up his rhythm. But between series and direction of the game and things like that, you want to be involved as a head coach."
Going back to yesterday, do you feel now that you did abandon the run? (Jerry Coleman)"We didn't run the ball enough. When you go back and you look at it, I feel like we were running the ball well enough to run the ball a lot more than we did. It did come down to the fact that we didn't get first downs in the third quarter. That really hurt us. I think we had 12 or 13 plays in the last two-minute drive that took the pass total up to 46 or whatever it was. In the end, that's what we're talking about. In the end, that's what matters. It's production. We're not putting enough points on the board, and we're not putting enough yards on the board for the amount of times we were throwing the ball. I think we were 46 passes for 188 net yards passing. That's just not going to cut it, and we all know that. Marc [Trestman] knows that, too. I'll just say this about Marc: Marc was really good, really classy. He understands. He wants what's best for the Ravens. He's a good man. He has a good heart, and he wants to see us do well. He understands as well as anybody that it becomes a bottom line type of situation, and we just need to do the best we can to become as good as we can get. It has to be better than what we've done so far this year."
While this was your decision, going back to when you relieved Cam Cameron of his responsibilities, do you think you learned something from waiting that long to do that? (Stan Charles)"That's a good question. It's hard for me to go back and compare the two. On the surface, it compares, obviously, but in a lot of ways it's different. This is earlier in the year. We won a bunch of games early that year, then we lost a few in a row. It's less about the record. It's less about anything that you see as far as play-calling or anything that specific. It's more about direction. It's a big-picture type of a feel thing. Are we heading in the right direction? Do I see us getting there doing the things that we're doing right now? As a coach, you have to assess that and make that call. At this level of football, everybody understands that. Everybody wants to win. Everybody wants to do well. We have to put the best players and the best coaches in place to do that, and this is part of that. In that sense, it's the same as it was in 2012."
John, I know it's your call, but how much discussion did you have with QB Joe Flacco, because he is the leader of the team? (Jeff Zrebiec) "That's another good question. There was absolutely no discussion with Joe about it. I let Joe know … Actually, it was on the [television] ticker. It's amazing how fast you guys get this stuff. The ticker was going. I called Marshal [Yanda], and he saw it on the ticker. He was in the cafeteria, and it was on the ticker already. I finally got a hold of Joe and talked to him later, because he was with his kids all day. I didn't get him until late afternoon sometime. You try to call as many of the leaders as you can after we made the decision."
Do you feel good about QB Joe Flacco's chemistry with Marty Mornhinweg and how much he has worked with him the last couple of years? (Jeff Zrebiec)"I feel very good about it. Joe is excited to get going. Joe is a player. He is going to respect the coach, and he is going to do whatever is necessary to be successful, whoever the coach is. He likes Marty, and he is excited to get going with Marty. He has been in the room with Marty all along, and that is going to continue going forward."
Who will be the quarterbacks coach going forward? Will it still be Marty Mornhinweg? (Jerry Coleman)"I'm not going to name one. [Senior offensive assistant] Craig Ver Steeg will get in the room there. He has been here for a long time. He is a quarterback's coach and a former offensive coordinator. He has been with us now for nine years. He has been with the quarterbacks and our offensive game-planning all year. He will help Marty with the quarterbacks."
As far as the fake field goal attempt, did you think you gave away too much with K Justin Tucker lining up on the left? (Jerry Coleman) "That is a good question. That is part of the 'check with me.' When you look at that thing, Justin and Sam [Koch] are looking to see if they have the call or if they just line up for the rush. They all rushed. On that particular fake … I guess I can say it now, because we won't be running that one again for quite a few years – until the statute of limitations goes off. That is what, seven years? *(laughter) *If they see it, we get back, and we get back and kick the field goal. And if they don't see it, then we run the play. I think what happens with that play … It is a timing play. The snap goes directly to the kicker, the rush guy is coming off the edge, he sees it on the way, and he makes a beeline back for Justin. But Justin has him out-flanked. We feel like we are going to get Crockett [Gillmore] a little cleaner than we got him out there, and he is going to be behind a linebacker. The linebacker has to make a choice: He either goes or takes Justin, or he drops back and covers. Because Crockett got tied up a little bit, the angle of his route changed. He still really … If Justin had pushed it out there a little more … But what am I going to say? He is a kicker. [Am I going to say], 'You could have been more accurate with your pass?' We hope for him [Gillmore] to be wide open. That is what happened on the play. In that case, it didn't work. The thing that Jerry [Rosburg] and I always say – if it works, it is a good call, and if it doesn't work, it is a bad call. In that sense, it was a bad call. But if I had to do it again based on the look they were giving us, we would do it again."
Since you said there is a statute of limitations and you won't be running that play … The third-down play to me was a head scratcher in that series. I wonder, do you ever coordinate the plans there in a timeout where you run a play that you almost don't intend to gain any yards on third down? (Stan Charles)"No, even on the fake, we would have rather had more yards. That is not the goal. We had a trap up. They had not really run a zero pressure in that situation on that part of the field with that distance. We were hoping to pop the trap, knowing that we had the fake. We thought we would get a few yards with the trap, and they ran a zero pressure right into it. You would like to have a way to get out of the trap. Give them credit, they brought it really late. If we see it early enough, we check into a zero blitz. They timed it up well, and they got us on that one."
With the decision to change offensive coordinator, how much does trying to create a spark or just trying to get out some sluggish play is involved in that? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't know how you measure that, exactly, but that is certainly part of it. We need to ramp things up. We need to do some things differently. We need to look at defenses differently. Whatever those things are, we need to be different than we have been. All those things are probably a part of it."
Not to make any comparisons, and it is a completely different situation, but is there something that you look back at what [former Ravens quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Jim] Caldwell did to create that spark at the end of 2012, that could work in 2016? (Brett Hollander) "I think that is a fair comparison. It is, on the surface, as we were just saying a minute ago. It is obviously not exactly the same, and you never know what is going to happen. That is not why I did it. It wasn't because it worked one time, so we are going to try it again. That is not why you do it. We just need to get better. I did not feel that in my gut, that going the way we're going, to change, it was going to be able to get better. Not that everybody wasn't trying. Everybody was doing everything that they could do. I just think we need different chemistry in there right now to get to where we need to go. I think we all know what it needs to look like. I certainly have a picture in my mind of what I want our offense to look like. That is philosophical. To Jerry's [Coleman question], it is what plays get called in certain situations, but it is also the physicality of our offense and the attack mentality of our offense. It is how we go about our business. Those are things that just were not getting there. That is all of our responsibility. It is like I told the offensive coaches, 'Let's take this on us.' Marc Trestman is the guy that is going to suffer the most at this time, but it is all of our responsibility that this happened. It is all of our responsibility to get it right."
Why does it seem like it always falls on the coaches and not more responsibility of the players? (Bill West) "I think that is a good point, but the players do have responsibility. The players bear a consequence also. Players get released. Obviously, it is different for different guys and different contracts and things like that. That is the way the National Football League works. It is a week-to-week business. You have to perform from one week to the next. I said this before, but three years is a career, and 10 years is a lifetime. That is about the way it works. A week [in in the NFL] is like a month in real life; a lot of things happen. You have to really be on your A-game. These are three-and-a-half hours that are out there taking place [on Sunday]. Maybe from on top when you watch the game on TV, you don't sense how hard everybody is playing and how much goes into it. Nobody in this building watched the debate last night. Nobody on our [football] side watched the debate. We were watching the tape of the game after the game and figuring these things out. That is the way football is. You pour everything you have into that three-and-a-half hours, and you do it from one week to the next. There are consequences. Because if you are not successful, changes are made."
Coach, you talk about the aggressive mentality. There were a lot of checkdown throws yesterday. Do you expect that you will stress pushing the ball down the field more under Marty Mornhinweg? (Ryan Mink)"Yes. I hope so. Part of that is the fact that the defense is backed up and giving you those things a little bit, but part of that is that you have to stick those balls in there, too. Joe [Flacco] will be the first one to tell you – he will say, 'This on me; I'm the quarterback. I am the one that has to drive the whole thing.' He is going to have to put his foot in the ground and drive the ball to some guys, and some guys are going to have to make the catches. We had a chance to do that yesterday, too. We had a chance to win the game a couple times with some catches. As to your point, it is a good point. Guys have to come up and make those plays when it counts the most. That is not what I'm talking about with the change. I am talking about the direction and the mentality and the mindset and the operation and the efficiency with how we perform offensively. The playmaking part of it – guys have to make plays, absolutely."
Most people would say the Ravens have more offensive weapons than they have last year. Does that also create the challenge of figuring out how to best use all those weapons? Is that something you guys are still trying to figure out? (Cliff Brown) "That is a great question and a great point. I don't think so. We have to put together an offense that attacks a defense. You use your weapons in conjunction with who is playing across from them. Part of it is you go after the structure of a defense. The other part is you go after who is playing whom in the defense. If we have one of our guys against someone we feel they match up really well against, we have to be able to go to that guy. Have we done a great job of that? No. That is not what we have done a great job of so far. I think that is a thing we can do better. It is not so much figuring out how to use guys. It is using those guys and getting the ball to them in a way that really challenges the defense – whether it is the structure of the defense or the personnel that they are putting across from our guys."
You mention wanting to run more. RB Terrance West is averaging five yards a carry. It seems your running game has been more productive when you used it. Is that something you have grasped on to when you move forward? (Luke Jones) "Yes, we are starting to get there. I was in [offensive line coach] Juan's [Castillo] office today, and I'm talking about the blocking scheme, and he starts to lean one way in the other direction, because it is working a little bit better. He points out that we are doing better. We are improving. That is the tug-of-war you always have in there. We all have a lot of pride, and we want to find a way to keep improving it within that. Next week is a new week. It is getting better. I do like the way Terrance is running, and I like the way the other guys are running, too. I expect to see more of those guys, also. More carries for everybody would be good."
How much have the adjustments you had to make on the offensive line played into some of the challenges? (Todd Karpovich) "That is exactly right. Everybody has to do that. You look at offensive lines around the league, and they have to put guys in different spots. Guys get hurt, and there is not a tremendous amount of depth at that level. I feel like we could have guys in better spots than we had them in on Sunday. That is by necessity; that is what we had to do. Guys did their best, but it wasn't our best group out there. I appreciate the guys doing what they had to do. They don't bat an eye. They go in there, and they play however they have to play, and they do the best they can. We can get better that way."
You made a pretty strong statement last week when RB Justin Forsett was released, regarding the standards players are held to. Is it a similar standard and is it a similar message to your coaching staff about what is expected? (Mark Viviano)"I hope the message with Justin was positive. It is nothing against Justin, for sure. It is nothing to be said against anybody. This is the way this business is. It is not a normal type of business. These things happen more quickly in football. I just was talking to Justa Brooks [Clarence Brooks' wife], and she was saying something that Clarence [once told her]. Clarence said … He was talking to his son [Jason], because his son is a coach now, and he said, 'Hey, man, I got a lot of pink slips in my life. You don't worry about a pink slip in this business. It is part of the deal.' I think that is the life that coaches and players have. There is not going to be security in football. That is not what you are in it for. I think most guys already have the message. They understand that."
Just to clarify, did CB Shareece Wright wake up with back spasms yesterday. He wasn't on the injury report* and it seemed like a surprise. (Luke Jones)* "That is exactly what happened. He woke up, and his back was locked up. They tried to get it out, and they couldn't loosen it up. He couldn't go. It is a pretty positive outlook, I would hope, this week."
John, can you talk about WR Breshad Perriman? He had a chance to catch that ball at the end of the game, but through the first five games of his development, what have you seen from him? Do you guys think he's pressing too much? (Ed Lee)"I don't think he's pressing too much; I just think he needs experience. That's a play that a veteran wide receiver is going to make, a guy that's been in that situation before is going to make. He hasn't been in that situation before, but there are going to be other situations he hasn't been in either, and I hope he doesn't have to learn the lesson [again]. The same thing with C.J. [Mosley]. We put plays right up on the screen back here [in the team meeting room] of situational football, and we like to learn from other people's mistakes. We hate to learn from our own mistakes, and we hate to have to learn things the hard way. But, Breshad has to run under that ball – just run. Run under the ball, catch it on the run and run through it. And the other one, he has to get his foot down. He gets one foot down, and he has to get both feet down there. He's capable of doing that, so the next time out there, he expects to make the play, and we expect him to make it."
As a follow-up, he's part of the 2015 draft class. Do you feel like you're getting the productivity you're hoping for from them? (Ed Lee)"I haven't thought about that. I couldn't even tell you who's in that draft class right now off the top of my head. You'd have to help me. But I think Breshad has a lot of upside, and I really believe he's going to be a good player."
When an offense throws the ball 45 or 50 times a game consistently, when you throw that many times, week after week, does it tend to be a little bit more predictable on offense? (Jamison Hensley)"I don't know if it's predictable. There's more than run-pass. A pass is not a single play, and a run is not a single play, but it definitely gives a defense a chance to defend pass, and they do tee off and make it tough on your protection. So, sometimes play-action passes are a big part of that, too, but they weren't a big part of ours yesterday. That's not what we're looking for, ideally. If we're throwing the ball 45-50 times, we're probably playing catch-up."
John, this might be a Football 101 question, but the play with LB C.J. Mosley that goes out of the end zone, what is the purpose of that rule? It's never made any sense to me. (Stan Charles)"I would agree with you. That's one I think they should clean up. To me, it's way too much of a punishment for what happened. I don't know how you lose a fumble, turn the ball over … If you fumble it out of bounds anywhere else, the team that loses the ball gets the ball right there. If you fumble it through the end zone, you lose the ball and you lose 20 yards of field position. [That's] pretty hard one to figure out." (Reporter: "It doesn't make any sense.") "But, hey, I don't want anybody out there to misconstrue this as an excuse or anything like that. That's the rule. We don't want to fumble the ball any time – especially through the end zone."
Do you know of any coaches that like that rule? (Stan Charles)"I haven't polled anybody on it." *(laughter) *
Do you think this is one that could be brought up to the NFL Competition Committee? Maybe you know somebody on the Competition Committee [Ozzie Newsome].* (Jamison Hensley)"I'm staying out of the Competition Committee stuff. I took a few swings last time, and they ignored me, so I'm going to get out of that business." *(laughter)
I know you don't have any definitive updates, but are there any long-term concerns [with injuries]? You have some major players that went out yesterday. (Jeff Zrebiec)"We'll just have to see. There are MRIs being run and stuff like that. I don't think so, but you never know."