Post-Practice Interview Transcript (Fri. 11/21)

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"Good to be here. We had a good practice. Guys worked hard, sharp. [We're] getting ready to play the Eagles."

On whether he offered any advice to QB Joe Flacco based on his knowledge of the Eagles' defense:"From a scheme standpoint, obviously, we've been through this defense two weeks in a row now, which is an advantage. It's a very difficult defense. They do a great job of disguising. What you see is not what you get. They have certain patterns, but Jim Johnson is going to add some things that we haven't seen before and that I haven't seen before in that defense. But the structure of the defense, how it ties together, I think that's something that benefits Joe, benefits Cam [Cameron] and the offensive coaches to some extent. But, specifically, guys have to go out there and play, and we'll see how well he recognizes a complex defense. It'll be really a good challenge and a growth opportunity for Joe in this game."

On if T Jared Gaither would be better off not playing Sunday and trying to play the following week due to the type of injury he has:"I don't know a lot or a little or anything along those lines right now. It's just a matter of… We'll see if he's ready on Sunday. That's where we're at with it."

On whether the team can have a bad week of practice and a good game or vice versa:"That's a great question because you always ask yourself that. You say you'll play like you practice, and I think you do, over time. Is that to say it's 100 percent? You can have a bad week of practice and a good game. We've seen it happen. You can have a great week of practice and not play so well on Sunday, and you're kind of scratching your head and you've got to look at what happened. But for the most part, over time, you put together a body of work in practice which develops guys individually, develops units, develops your team. You become better overall week after week, and that's why you say you play well on Sunday. But we've had good practices multiple weeks in a row here now, so that's why we feel like we're developing as a football team."

On if he got tackled or blocked or how he got the bump on his cheek:"I got sandwiched pretty good. Yamon Figurs got me. The thing about these guys, you watch it on tape, and you start thinking, 'Oh, I could get out there,' and you kind of jump in there. Then, all of a sudden, you realize, 'Man, it's moving fast out there.' These guys are big. Yamon Figurs, I'm going to tell you what, he's a big man, and he moves very fast."

On how it happened:"I set up a coverage, and I got stuck on a certain route between the safety and the wide receiver and couldn't get out of the way, basically, for that split second."

On whether he's been impressed with the offensive line's ability to play steady despite injuries to different players:"I think John Matsko and Andy Moeller have done a great job, first of all, with those guys from Day One. The whole group has come miles, individually as players and as a group, from Day One. And I give them credit because they work exceptionally hard. These guys put in all kinds of overtime. They put in the most time of probably any position group on our football team, so that's really where it's at. The fact that guys have been able to step in, guys like Chris Chester or the two young tackles in the game last week, that's a credit to those guys. They came in, and they weren't overwhelmed against a really good defensive front. So that's a good starting point, and it gives them a little confidence going forward. The health issues are a problem. The fact that we're playing one of the best defensive fronts in football with one of the most complicated schemes in football, that's a problem for us going into this game, and we'll see how they respond."

On if he expects Jim Johnson will bring the full force of his defense, particularly against a rookie quarterback: "If you look historically at Jim Johnson, he's going to pressure a rookie quarterback, and he's going to disguise the secondary. He's going to disguise the blitzes. It's going to look like it's coming on one side, and it's going to be coming on the other side. Then it's going to be coming from the side it looks like it's coming from. So he's just been the master of that. He's a great coach. The thing Jim doesn't get credit for a lot of times [is] he's not just a great scheme coach. He's a great fundamental teacher, and their defensive coaching staff does a great job front to back and coaching the fundamentals. So you're not just going to get a scheme. You're going to get a fundamentally sound, well-coached defense."

On how much of a difference it will make being back home for this game:"It's hard to make a comparison from one game to the next, and we try to stay away from that. But our guys are excited to play at home, and they're excited to have the home fans here. I'm sure the fans will be excited to cheer on the Ravens."

On whether he has gotten a sense for the sports atmosphere around the city and around the team yet:"Probably not as much as I'd like to. You get it sometimes through the media, and you guys do a great job of covering teams, and you kind of get some of the question and answer stuff. Every now and then, we do the radio show, which [gives] people a chance to call in. So it's probably more insulated as a coach than we'd like for it to be. We're not in touch with the fans as close as we want to be. I guess the closest we get is Sunday, so that's why our guys are so excited. We talked about playing at home. I think it's a great point. Our guys get out a little more than the coaches do, but we're excited to be there with our fans and share the excitement to play a home football game."

On if the swelling on his face is the most he's ever talked about an injury with the media:(Laughter) "I'm going on Sunday. You can count on that."

On if he would be listed on the injury report:"I finished the practice – full participation. [It's] just pain. Play with pain. Coach with pain."

On what point in practice the collision happened:"It was the red zone [drill] down here at the end, about 15 plays in. Thanks for asking."

On whether he would wear a helmet next time:"It was helmet-to-helmet contact with a defenseless human being. (Laughter) Fine him."

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