Head Coach John Harbaugh Monday Press Conference
Opening statement: "Alright, [it's] good to see everybody. I appreciate you guys coming out. It's a beautiful day. We've been assessing the game, watching the tape, looking at all the things we have to work on and build upon. Also, [we're] starting to get ready for the Broncos in Denver – [an] undefeated team. It's a crazy stadium; we've been there numerous times. So, it's a big challenge. What questions do you have?"
When you look back at the game and watch that last kick again, are they any kind of thoughts when you're watching? Is there any different perspective as you watch it on film? (Jamison Hensley) "There is, because you watch it from the big picture. [With] the coaching tape, you watch the protection, how they tried to stem us, which is normal, [and] tried to get someone to flinch and jump offsides – nobody did. All of our guys held their ground and their stances – that was a big part of it. The protection was excellent. They rushed hard inside. Our guys did a great job with protection. Like we said – the snap, the hold, the kick – all had to be perfect. Justin [Tucker] did his long, long, extra-long field goal footwork, as he talked about a little bit last night. It's a little bit like … It's a little bit like the golf movie, Happy Gilmore. (laughter) It's a little bit of a Happy Gilmore technique, right? So, he crushed it."
Have you been able to identify the coach or staffer who took a little bit of a tumble in that celebration? (Jonas Shaffer) "We have. We have. I'm going to name him, [outside linebackers coach] Drew Wilkins. The only reason I'm going to name him is because Drew is like … He's philosophically opposed to exercise. (laughter) He's made that clear over the years, kind of emphatically. He's a staunch believer of not exercising – you can see where that gets you." (laughter) (Reporter: "I'm surprised he's on your staff. I know you're a huge proponent of exercise.")"Exactly. We're diametrically opposed on that, and I feel vindicated right now."(laughter)
Did outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins pop his hamstring? He grabbed his hamstring, too. (Jeff Zrebiec) "He popped his hamstring." (Reporter: "Really?") "Yes. Yes." (Reporter: "So, he'll be on the injury report?") "Yes, right." (laughter) (Reporter: "Can you go into detail about the injury?") "We're not back from the MRI yet. We'll wait for the MRI on that."
When you look back on the film, do you think, now that you've had a chance to absorb it, that maybe you guys should have been up by more at halftime and it shouldn't have come down to K Justin Tucker's kick? Because I looked , by my count, there were maybe four or five TDs that weren't TDs, because they were either dropped, or there was a penalty, or something else went wrong during a situation that prevented you guys from getting in the end zone. (Jerry Coleman) "We certainly had a lot of missed opportunities. Those are the things that you look at; we talked about it last night. The fundamentals are our responsibility, and there are a lot of fundamental things that we have to do a lot better. It's early in the season. I think when you look around the league, you'll see that everywhere, and we're no exception. We are in a place where fundamentally, we have a lot of work to do on how we play. Our guys know that; they were talking about that in the locker room. They were talking about that on the plane. Our coaches know it. We just had a staff meeting, and we're making our plans to work on that stuff and continue to improve. But we have to play a lot better fundamentally."
WR Devin Duvernay had the fumble that got called back because the guy ran out of bounds, then he comes back and has a great return, then he has a touchdown. What does that say about his growth as a player, what he's able to do to immediately bounce back like that? (Todd Karpovich) "Confidence, the resilience and the ability to overcome that, that's exactly what he should be doing – it says a lot. What I'd like to see now is no more balls on the ground. So, let's take that step, also. It was great. Nobody is down on him. Nobody gets down on each other. Our special teams coaches, [special teams coordinator] Chris [Horton] did a great job with him in that interval there to bring him back, and he bounced back really well."
Obviously, K Justin Tucker deserves all the credit, but everybody forgot about the fourth-and-19 and QB Lamar Jackson. What does that tell you about his leadership to continue and make that pass? (David Andrade) "Absolutely. Those two plays should go hand-in-hand; you really can't talk about one without the other. The pass protection was excellent. I thought Sammy [Watkins] ran a great route against that coverage. The play-call was really good. They were running a split-safety, zone coverage. Sammy got between the underneath coverage and the deep coverage, in, really, a perfect spot. It probably could have been a little higher, he'll tell you. Maybe four yards higher, even, would have been even more perfect. Lamar [Jackson] kept his poise, made a great throw, and then Sammy got up field. All those things, yes."
You mentioned working on fundamentals, but specifically with tackling, it's not something you can do with reckless abandon, like Oklahoma drills in this day and age. How do you go about improving that tackling? (Luke Jones) "We talked about that this morning. All the drills are fine. You can roll those donuts out there all you want, but that's not going to make anybody a great tackler. We can all go tackle a donut. Many of us do. Some of you guys more than others, right? (laughter) But you have to practice tackling in team periods. You have to put the pads on as much as possible. We haven't had a chance to do that during the regular season, yet, unfortunately, because of our situations and the timing of how the games have fallen. You have to front people up when you're in shells. You have to bring your feet … You tackle with your feet and your arms and hands. So, you get your feet to where they're supposed to be, and you wrap and you run through tackles. You get yourself there with your eyes on the right angles. Those are all the things we have to do better, and our guys know that. It's easier said than done in full speed. Those [running] backs are good, and they make people miss. But all the [running] backs in the league are like that. So, we just have to get a lot better at it. We're all very determined to get it done."
WR Marquise Brown played really well in the first two games, and yesterday, he didn't have the game that he'd like. When a guy of his caliber is having an off day like that, how do you balance coaching him up and still holding him accountable? (Cordell Woodland) "Our coaches do a great job of coaching the fundamentals of why plays aren't made. The balance is in terms of the perspective of it: 'Is this going to define you, or are you going to write the story differently? So, people can write the story on Twitter or wherever they want, and they will, and that's just how it works – that's the world we live in – but you're going to write the real story. It's your story to write.' So, what he does going forward will be up to him, and I have full confidence in him – full faith and confidence in him. Get out there and practice, and work on your fundamentals, and take it to Sunday."
If K Justin Tucker can hit from 66 yards in Detroit, and you're headed to Denver, with the thin air, what's his range in Denver? (Shawn Stepner) "I didn't see this one coming – I have to admit. (laughter) Hopefully, it doesn't have to be 66 [yards]. Those kicks, they're rare, because you don't try them under normal circumstances. It's got to be the right, perfect storm, and you don't want to be in those situations too often. So, I don't know. It's a good question."
For yesterday, what would have been K Justin Tucker's maximum range? (Jamison Hensley) "66 [yards]. I mean, you saw it." … (Reporter: "If it was a 68-yarder, would you have still [kicked it]?") "Honestly, no." (Reporter: "Really?") "Honestly, probably not. I don't know how you make a 68-yarder. But, then again, how do you answer that? You can't really answer it. I want somebody to do the physics on that for me – the angle of the ball coming in, the upright … If you think about it, since the ball is coming that way, almost every way it hits the upright, it's going to bounce back this way [towards the field]. So, what are the chances, what are the odds of it actually bouncing the other way? I'm sure there are some physics people out there."
When you looked at it on the replay, did it literally hit the crossbar flush? (Jonas Shaffer) "I couldn't see it on the coaches' [tape], because it wasn't close enough." (Senior VP of communications Chad Steele: "I thought it hit the back side [of the crossbar]. But who attempted a 68-yarder yesterday, and it got returned 109 yards?") (Reporter: "[Matt] Prater.") "Was that in Denver? (laughter) I haven't seen the tape yet."
You've been around a lot of kickers, and some are better under pressure than others? With K Justin Tucker, is it his personality? What does it take to make a kick like that and have the mental toughness to do that? (Jamison Hensley) "I don't want to build him up too much and get his head too big, but he does have kind of the perfect personality for the job. He likes the stage. He's not afraid of it; he relishes it. You guys know; it's his personality. It's who he is, and I think that combination, with talent and good coaching, goes a long way."
Are there any developments in T Ronnie Stanley's status? (Jeff Zrebiec) "It's still in process. He's meeting with doctors even as we speak, and we'll find out pretty soon. Some decisions have to be made, and I wouldn't want to comment further than that right now."
We've talked to you a lot about covering tight ends in the first couple of weeks – very talented guys. How pleased were you to limit TE T.J. Hockenson the way you did? (Luke Jones) "Great job. He was really our No. 1 priority, in terms of the passing game for them. Some other guys did make some plays at times, but to pretty much take him out of the game with some of the combination coverages we had and the guys who covered him – the safeties: Chuck [Clark] and DeShon [Elliott] and Jimmy [Smith] – all did a really good job on him."
The Ravens have faced three different teams, and each game finished with a close score. What does it tell you about this season being the most competitive you've experienced this early on? (David Andrade) "The NFL is like that. There are games … You just never know. My dad always says … Before the game, I'll say, 'What do you think?' He goes, 'Well, you know what? You might blow them out.' Then, he goes, 'But they might blow you out, or it could be a really close game.' (laughter) And it seems like it always holds true. You never know."
How is S DeShon Elliott doing with the quad injury? We know he tried to get back in there, but that didn't last. (Luke Jones) "That will be ongoing. We'll just have to see how it goes. It's a muscle-type of a thing, so you just have to see how those go."
Anything you can share on either WR Miles Boykin or WR Rashod Bateman, with this being the week that they can come back from Injured Reserve. (Jonas Shaffer) "They are both going to come back and practice, and we'll see where that takes us." (Reporter: "Is [Nick] Boyle part of that group?") "He will not be practicing this week."