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Post-Practice Transcript - Sept. 17

On the difficulty of containing RB/RS Darren Sproles:"He is very explosive. What it takes is everyone – it takes the whole team – because this is a guy that not only can he attack the whole field, but even at the point of attack he can make people miss and break tackles. So, it's going to be one of those games where you really have to focus on gang coverage."

On field position being at a premium against the Chargers: "[San Diego] is a very talented team. They have talent in their specialists, they have talent in their return game, they have talent in their core. And so, yeah, it's going to be an all-out team effort on our part to shut this team down in any way we possibly can and contain their return game. Their kickers are all very skilled, their snapper has been doing it for a long time, and their return game – as you have seen last week against Oakland – is a threat."

On whether he thinks they have fixed their mistakes from last week after watching film: "Yes, I think we did. The situation that came up in the punt situation was clearly my fault. I take full responsibility for it. It was a communication problem that I should have handled long before this, and the first thing we did Monday was address it. It's the very first thing we did out on the practice field with the whole team. We got back out there and we got it fixed."

On how it could be his fault if he's not out on the field: "Because I'm responsible to coach those guys and make sure that they understand exactly what's going to happen to them – and when it does happen, how to react. And it didn't happen, and it's my responsibility."

On whether the refs made the right call on some of the block-in-the-back penalties against Baltimore: "I think what happened was our corners were singling on the outside, and that's a tough job when you're in a gunner situation when you have no help inside. And I thought our corners did a fabulous job of blocking without help. Unfortunately, what happened at the top of the return, technique gets exposed. On both of those situations, it was a tight call, but it was probably the right call given where it had happened. You'll see that quite commonly on returns, on both sides. It kind of depends on where it happens and at what point in the return. And where those two happened, that's quite common to get those fouls. We're going to do a better job this week of making decisions at the top of the return."

On whether it's tough for a young kicker to gauge wind and weather effects on a kick: "Yeah, it really is. It's very important, not only in your home stadium to know your stadium better than any other kicker, but it also is something – that I've learned over the years – that you should keep track of other stadiums when you play in stadiums. Veteran kickers have a catalog, and they keep track of what the flags looked like that particular day, what the ball flight looked like in warm-ups, what happened during the course of the game, the field conditions. And this is where veteran kickers have that body of knowledge that young kickers don't have yet. Steve [Hauschka] learned a lot from that one kick. Unfortunately, I would have liked to have him learn that same lesson and just have it inside the left upright rather than outside."

On whether San Diego has any visual notation with regards to wind inside the stadium: "Well, Southern California, it pretty much doesn't get any better than that. There is always concern, but it's not like playing in Buffalo."

On what it's like to go back to San Diego, and if his ties there help the Ravens at all:"It works both ways. We know them a little bit, and obviously they've watched us and know me a little bit. I've got a lot of great memories there, but you've heard a bunch of guys say it in the past – it's still just another football game. We've got to go out and play well and try to win the game."

On what a healthy TE Todd Heap means to the offense:"Sunday spoke for itself. It could vary from week to week depending on whether we're running it more or throwing it, all those things. And that's the thing that we've said all along: In our system, a tight end is a blocker, a pass protector, and I think the thing that he did best in that game was the pass protection. On the touchdown to Mark Clayton, he gets a textbook block. Our tight ends aren't wide receivers. And then scoring zone, all those things… Todd's going to have a great year. If he stays healthy, there's no doubt he's going to have a great year."

On how much the Chargers have changed since he left:"Really, I went in there, [and] Norv [Turner] was there the year before I got there. So Norv, I learned this offense from Norv Turner when we were together with the Redskins. They'd be able to tell you that more than I can. But we're all trying to do the same thing. We're trying to move the football, score points and take care of the football. Terminology, there are a lot of similarities. We all can go back to Don Coryell and credit him for the whole thing. They probably know how much it's changed more than I do."

On if he has been able to give defensive coordinator Greg Mattison any insight into what San Diego's players can do:"I think the film, as I look at it, the film speaks for itself. That's the bottom line. Those guys are… Some of them are just older, more mature, and the film, that's the thing. You get so familiar with everybody in this league, but the film is the film, and that's what tells the story."

On San Diego's biggest defensive strength:"They've got tremendous speed on defense – that front seven in base and in their sub package. They play a sub package with five linebackers, one of the only teams in the league that are doing that because they've got great linebackers. Obviously, they've got two great corners. That's a fast, aggressive defense that plays extremely well at home, and we'll have our work cut out for us."

On if he plans to see RB LaDainian Tomlinson on Sunday:"Absolutely. I mean, you never know. I'm not a mind reader, and obviously I'm not there. But I know, everybody knows, the player he is."

On how different of a coach he is since being in San Diego:"We're all, as I said the other day, we're all just trying to grow. Obviously this experience here for me, like everybody else who comes through this organization, it's a great learning experience. We'd like to all think we're better and you know more about the league. That's what we're all about."

On if he has to anticipate the adjustments that San Diego is making this week to better cover the deep ball, because he can't see it on film:"Absolutely. That's what makes these game so much fun from an offensive perspective. You get to come out and see, get a feel for how they see you. Obviously, we threw the ball up the field last week. How is that going to affect them? Some teams it affects, some teams it doesn't. That's why you go out and start making game-time adjustments early in the game."

On Chargers head coach Norv Turner being criticized when he first got his job, and if he should now feel vindicated after winning about 60 percent of his games: "I think all of us in this business, criticism is part of the job. If you're not ready to get criticized, go ahead and do something else. I don't think anybody's looking to be vindicated for anything. Norv Turner is a great football coach, period. I know him on a day-to-day basis. He's a guy [who] works at it like a lion. He's going to get there early. He stays late. He knows what he's doing, and that's just… I don't think Norv's trying to prove anything to anybody. He's a heck of a football coach."

On if the excitement from the win over Kansas City has been overblown:"I was excited about it last year. Why would you want to play somewhere where they aren't excited about what you're doing? Defensively, special teams, that's what we're in this thing for. Let's get our fans excited, give them something to be excited about. We're trying to win football games, but there's an entertainment value to this thing. We're going to try to be… Our offense will always reflect what our personnel is. Last year, we did exactly what our personnel dictated us to do, and we were good at it. But we're a little different this year. There are some guys who aren't on our offense, so we're making that natural adjustment as guys are growing. I'm looking forward to seeing what this offense looks like this week because it's still too early for us to really know what our offense is all about. I know the people, I know what they can do, but I can't wait for Sunday to see our guys play."

On how it feels to hear Ravens players say that the offense isn't anywhere near where it could be yet:"It makes sense to us because I know what their goals are. I know what their individual goals are. I know what their offensive and team goals are. Last week was last week."

On if LB Terrell Suggs and S Tom Zbikowski have cleared up their headaches: "Obviously, that's the trainers' responsibility, but they have given us every bit of optimism. I look forward to them both playing."

On the status of S Ed Reed: "Reed is fine. He was out there yesterday. Somebody might have said that he wasn't supposed to go. The next thing, I looked out there and he was intercepting passes running all over. In fact, I said to Chuck [Pagano], 'He's not supposed to be out here, is he?' Ed said, 'Hey, I'm going go.' That's the kind of guys we have."

On when OLB Terrell Suggs got his bell rung: "It wasn't that. In fact, he's really 100 percent. He's just got a little soreness in his stomach – in his rib area. He's fine."

On if he expects RB LaDainian Tomlinson to play: "You expect all their guys – until you here different – you always go into the game expecting them to go and go 100 percent. It's the NFL. He's a great running back. The thing about it – they've got a couple other guys that are pretty good. [Darren] Sproles is an outstanding back himself. He can run it and catch the ball. I think their whole group are good backs."

On how important it will be to get pressure on QB Philip Rivers: "Very important. He's a great quarterback. You're getting at a different level now. He's one of those guys [that] if you let him stand back there, those corners, no matter how well they're playing, they aren't going to be successful. We have to get our pressure with our four-man front. We missed two sacks with a four-man rush the last game. Any chance you have to hit him and to be around him, we've got to do that."

On how tough the matchup is with WR Vincent Jackson this week: "We're going to have that each and every week. Chuck has done a great job with our guys working against bigger receivers. It's going to come down to technique. Poor corners – people think it's them. You've got to pressure the [receivers]. They can only do that so long. Our defensive line and our linebackers feel that same kind of responsibility."

On if there are some things that San Diego can do that no one has ever seen before: "Definitely. Each and every game, it doesn't matter if it's the fifth week or sixth week, anybody can always game-plan something for you that you have to be ready to adjust on the sidelines. A lot of times you'll find out within about 15 or 16 plays – you know what their game plan is. That's where our staff does a great job of adjusting. Our players have confidence, and they know that we will handle that when it does come. You've got to be able to live through it when it happens."

On how well LB Jameel McClain has played: "Very well. He's very physical. Vic [Fangio] has done a great job. As I mentioned earlier, he's taking the approach that he wanted to rotate a lot of 'backers into different positions. As you can see, and it's only short into the season, you need guys to be able to go. There would have been a time where Jameel McClain – if you would have put him as the 'Will' backer – he would have said, 'I don't know what to do.' He went in there, having only taken a few reps, and did a really good job when he was in there. It's the same thing with the 'Sam' 'backer position and the 'Mike.' So, Vic's done a super job of rotating those three guys and having them know all those positions."

On if he is optimistic that ILB Tavares Gooden will play: "Yeah, I am very optimistic about that."

On if he had any conversations with Cam Cameron about his time with San Diego:"Cam, obviously, respects his days there. He has great feelings for that organization, but we don't have time for that. Our deal is just looking at tape, getting ready and going to the next thing."

On if bringing in players to get inside information from an opposing team is overrated: "I don't know. I've only been here for a year and a half. I don't know how that works. I just know this: If you're going to bring somebody in and part of the reason is to get information out of him, he better be pretty good because you only get that information for a second and your players still have to play. I would probably say that's overrated."

On if it is hard to get a good look on Tomlinson and Sproles in practice from the scout team: "It's never the same, but I would say this: The Ravens [scout team], under Coach [John] Harbaugh, they better give a good look. We had that yesterday and every time we come out. He is demanding that the 'look' squad does a great job of giving us a look. It has last year and it has this year. In my time here, I'm very impressed. Our guys understand the obligation. That's one thing that is neat about here – the 'look' team guys understand that they're helping the defense. If they go out there and don't do their job, they're hurting the defense. That's talked about, and it's something that goes with the Raven organization. Everybody that's out here has a role."

On how his first game as an NFL defensive coordinator felt: "It felt great. You know, it felt great. Again, I said that before it feels really, really good when you look out there and you see the players you have you're calling them for. You know, I've been there the other way, where you're calling defenses and you're looking out there going, 'Oh my God, I don't think we have a chance of stopping anybody.' But you know it was exciting. And every day is exciting here because of who you're with. And that's what makes it a special place."

On whether he has had to make any adjustments as far as getting the play calls on the field: "Yeah, you probably won't have to put them in as fast. That was one of the things that we did last week because of the noise and because you weren't really sure what they were going to do, because of the new coordinator and everything like that. We took the approach to try to get the calls in as fast as we could, and there are no bad calls. You know, some calls are better than others, so rather… I hate as a coordinator ever to look out there and have a defensive player going, 'Come on, give me the call, give me the call.' Now you're not letting him play as good as he can, and anytime that happens, that's on me. And I've told them on the sideline one time, 'I'll get them in quicker, I'll get them in quicker.' There are no bad calls. Sometimes you wait and try to get the very best defense for the very best personnel group, and you know when you have good players and they know how to handle things, and they'd rather just [say], 'Get me the call and let me play.'"

On how you keep LB/DE Paul Kruger in a positive mindset during the week given that he was made inactive against Kansas City:"He's a professional. You know he's a professional. This is his job. The thing that keeps showing through the Ravens football organization is that there are three equal parts in this thing: special teams, offense and defense. And the whole key is to get the best players on the special teams, to get the best players on the defense and the best players on the offense. And there is [a] 45 [-man roster on gameday]. So, what happens is the guys that are in that 45 all have to be able to play those three spots. And he's working hard; Paul's working hard. He's going to be a really, really good football player here, and right now it's just a numbers game. I think the special teams' need of other players has kind of bumped him, but Paul's going to be a really good player here, and you'll see him really come on."

On the defensive players seeing a different look on the field and communicating that to the sidelines:"And we believe in that [communication] strongly. I talk to them all the time; they're out there. They see things out there sometimes that you don't see on the sidelines or don't see up in the box, and we have a great trust in our defense. If there are things that they feel very, very strongly about, that they feel when they're out there, they come to us and we talk about it. Now, we won't always do just what they want to do because of the big picture. But when we start out on the first day, we put in the defenses. When we put in all of the defenses that we're going to put in for this game, we always tell them, 'Hey, listen guys. If there is something you don't feel comfortable about up here, let us know,' because it's their defense, and if they don't feel comfortable about it, they're not going to play it as well as they can."

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