Post-Practice Transcript - Sept. 10

On what his advice to waived K Graham Gano was:"My advice to Graham is stay ready, in a word. That's really what he needs to do in this situation. A lot of teams are exploring their own kicking situation as the season unfolds. Stay ready. I think he's an NFL kicker, and he'll just wait for the next opportunity."

On how the return game is coming along: "I think in the kickoff return phase… I think we're in that mode in preseason just to see the new schemes and so forth. And I think that it's come along quite well; I'm pleased with it. I'm anxious to try it out for real. In the punt return aspect of it, I think that… The thing that we've been working most on in the preseason is really our fundamentals. I don't think anybody is a lot different than that in the preseason. You get pretty much vanilla returns. I think the thing that we are counting on is that those fundamentals carry us through the season. And we really believe that those are the lasting things, because regardless of the schemes you draw up, if you've got guys that can block guys, you're going to have return opportunities. And then it's up to the returner."

On what K Steve Hauschka showed him to prove he was the primary kicker: "Steve made a lot of progress from a year ago, from the end of the year to the start of the preseason training camp this year. And I think the thing that he showed me most is he was a guy that was willing to put his nose in there and really work at it. He worked on the field, and he worked off the field and studying himself and studying others, and I think his fundamentals, his mechanics, changed a lot – and a lot for the better. He really became a fundamentally-sound kicker during that interim. And then during the preseason, I saw him consistently not only on the practice field but also in the preseason games during warm-ups and in game environments. I saw those fundamentals fold up, which teaches me what I think about Steve is that he's a guy that can take it from the practice field onto the game field."

On whether Hauschka is prepared for a full 16-game season:"You'll never know that until it really happens, but I think Steve's a strong young man. He's strong mentally, he's a bright guy, and he understands what he has to do. And the benefit he has is that he's been through a season already now on a roster. Even though he wasn't the primary field goal kicker, at least he's had the opportunity to go through it and feel it. And I think that will really be to his benefit."

On whether he still puts more pressure on Hauschka during practice: "I don't think there's any more pressure that's really needed. The competition that he faced going into the roster cutdown was real. It wasn't manufactured. And the thing that I think Steve understands – and all specialists, and for that matter all players understand – is that's the way this league is. As I said previously, the 32 best kickers will be kicking in this league. Now, when that exactly all shakes out, we'll certainly find out. Steve has proven to us that he belongs, to have our kicker job. We look forward to a lot of success from him as the season unravels."

On what the issue was with LS Matt Katula and a few missed snaps: "We have a lot of confidence in Matt. Matt has proven for the last – well my last year with him certainly – that he's a very accurate snapper. And things that happen during the course of the preseason, there's a lot of different reasons for them. And he came out yesterday and had a really good day. We have a lot of confidence. I don't foresee any problems with Matt's snapping."

On his impression of the Chiefs:"Defensively, and that's really all I've looked at, they played pretty well in the preseason. They've got a lot of young talented guys who are playing hard. Their coaching staff has done a good job for a long time, coming from Arizona. I like the effort they show. I like the way they played in the preseason."

On what the Chiefs' defense does well:"Pass rush. Obviously, they made a commitment to get to the quarterback, something I think they probably wanted to improve from last year. They've drafted that way. They've got a defensive line that are all highly-drafted guys. They know how to get after the quarterback. It's going to be a great challenge for our offensive line."

On if he feels comfortable with G/T Marshal Yanda playing a lot:"Absolutely. No really, he's really worked hard. I think he's exceeded expectations, and he'll play in the game to some degree. Basically, we've told everybody that's active, they're going to play. That's the important thing. He's worked hard. I think he deserves to play."

On if he expects WR Mark Clayton to start:"Yeah, he's healthy. He's ready to go. But, just like we're running back by committee, we're receiver by committee. We're going to need all four of those guys. There may be a fifth guy, sixth guy, show up in there. Again, if the guys are up, we anticipate them playing."

On if TE Todd Heap has developed to be more of an asset to this offense:"He's a huge asset to what we do, and it just depends on how you want to look at it. If you just view tight ends as pass-catchers, then I'm sure that you'd think he could get more balls. But tight ends for us are blockers first, they're pass protectors and receivers, two-a, two-b. That's just what we believe philosophically. He's a huge part of what we're doing. I think the defense will dictate how much anybody gets the ball. The defense can take away any one guy in the passing game. I think he's had great practices, he had a great camp, and we'll do everything we can to get him the ball. But at the same time, it's not always as possible as everyone thinks it is."

On how much growth he's seen from Ravens head coach John Harbaugh in his second year:"He talks about the relentless pursuit of improvement, and I think the great thing for all of us is that he doesn't just talk to our staff about that, he doesn't talk to our team about that, he does that. Philosophically, we all believe in the saying that, 'You get better or you get worse; you don't stay the same.' And he, I think, has always been a great football coach, and there's no doubt in my mind that he's already, in my mind, a great head coach. He's a great guy to work for, and he's going to get better and better and better like we all want to."

On if he has a specific example of that growth:"Shoot, no. That's just who he is. He's being who he is. For me, I have maybe a little different view since I've known him so long. He is the same guy I met when we were both graduate assistant coaches working summer college camps, coming out and trying to do the best job we can do every day. He's the same guy he's always been. I think that's obviously a trap that some guys can fall into – they become a head coach and try to be somebody they aren't, and he's staying true to who he is, what he believes, and he's not compromising. He doesn't compromise anything he believes in. The good news is he's got us all believing in what he believes in, which is what I think is the key thing."

On if who's playing quarterback for the Chiefs matters in his preparation:"You really can't do much about it. The bottom line is we always have to be ready for whoever the quarterback is. They have a little different styles. Matt Cassel is obviously an outstanding quarterback. He's proved himself. The other guys are also good quarterbacks. They all bring a little something different. Whoever comes out there and takes the snaps, that's the guy we've got to be ready for."

On if the decision to keep rookie free agent LB Dannell Ellerbe had anything to do with Mattison's coaching against him in college:"To be honest, I really didn't even know. I never knew anywhere I was coaching who the other defensive players were, so I never really got into who the defensive guys were. Obviously, he was an outstanding player, and he did a great job in camp and showed that he can be a Raven defensive player, and that's why he's here."

On if the players care that they haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in the past 35 games:"I think that's really important to us. We don't ever want anybody to run the football against us. It so happens that this running back [Larry Johnson] was the last one to do it in 2006, and that's been brought up, but it doesn't matter. We've always said our defense is based on No. 1 stopping the run. I think any good defense has to do that. It tells the character of your team, it tells the toughness of your team, and so we don't ever want anybody to feel like they can run the football on us."

On if last season's game at the New York Giants stung the team to get back into locking down the run:"I don't think that had… I don't think the fact that they did rush for yardage in that game made a difference. It was how they did it. I think that's what happens most times. One thing our Ravens will do, and our defensive players will do, they're going to play hard. They're going to play physical, and a lot of times when that happens, when people run the football, it's because somebody's technique was bad, somebody's gap control was wrong. In that game, believe it or not, it was because the guys were trying so hard. It happens that our guys play hard all the time, but then when you start telling them to play really, really hard and run to the ball as hard as you can, we had a couple of guys over-run the football, and that's what happened on the long run there."

On what stands out about Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe:"He's a physical, tall receiver that goes up and gets the football. He'll be a real test for us. He's a bigger receiver than we're used to seeing against every day in practice."

On if there is any advantage to CB Domonique Foxworth having faced him while with the Denver Broncos:"I think so. I think in his mind, he knows he's played against him before. I think anytime you're a professional and you've had the experience of playing against somebody, you know what went good or what didn't go real well. I know Domonique will have known how to play against him."

On if CB Frank Walker's role will be the nickelback:"No, Frank is a big part of our secondary. He's a backup corner, he's a backup nickel. And that's one thing we've tried to do with all of our positions is to have guys ready to play so that the next best player can go in and play whatever the position is. We do the same thing with the defensive line. We do the same thing with linebackers, so that you don't get caught if somebody does get injured, where you say, 'This guy's the better player, but he's never taken any reps.' And we've tried to do that throughout our entire defense."

On if CB/RS Lardarius Webb will play any on Sunday even though it's his first game:"Any one of our defensive players that dresses and is on that field is going to be expected to play and is going to be ready to play."

On if DT Haloti Ngata's foot issue will limit him on Sunday:"No."

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