Post-Practice Transcript - Sept. 18

On how TE L.J. Smith did all week: "I would say that L.J. improved dramatically, especially in the last two days. He was full participation today, as far as I could tell. I don't know exactly the number of reps he took. We'll have to do that for how we classify him, but he's got a chance to be ready to go. It was good to see."

On if it has been a good week of practice overall: "Yeah, I think we had a really good week. We pretty much always practice well. This week, it's a big trip for us. It's an exciting game to go play against a really good team. Our guys are excited to go play the Chargers, and the practices reflected it."

On there being a lot of talent out on the field on Sunday:"The Chargers are a premier team in the league, the AFC for sure. You put them in the same category of the other elite teams in this conference. That's because of talent, and they're well coached. Norv Turner has done a great job. You look at their coordinators – they do a great job. It's an opportunity to play one of the top teams in the conference."

On if he expects Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson to play and how to account for him if he does: "We expect him to play. You account for him by defending their scheme and tackling. The important thing when you go against a great group of skill players – Tomlinson obviously leading the pack with those guys – you've got to tackle. You've got to put your face on them, and you've got to tackle – wrap up and bring them down. That's always been the case with LaDainian. We played them a couple of years ago in Philly. He's just that kind of a player, and we expect him to play. If not, Michael Bennett can play. Of course [Darren] Sproles, everybody has been talking about him all week, but Michael Bennett can play. We've seen him before in the past, too. They've got a whole bevy of backs."

On if he wants the accountability that assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg took yesterday about the blocked punt from all of his coaches: "If you listen to the players, they said the same thing. We have those meetings and everybody here takes full responsibility for everything. Everybody that is involved in that punt protection would tell you they could do a better job. I could do a better job of making sure that our punt protection is ready for everything we can possibly get. We were surprised that particular look got us. So, that's on all of us. It's not going to be that look the next time. It's going to be the next look and the next look. Same thing goes for defense and offense. You're always chasing the next thing, and sometimes it gets you. Sometimes you felt like a guy understood it a certain way, and he kind of saw it a different way because he confused another situation with that situation. Then somebody makes a play on you. That's football. You would love it to be perfect. We want to chase perfection, and we feel like we're all responsible to do that."

On if the NFL has tightened down with medically clearing players with concussions: "The question about concussions… I don't know that the league has made it tougher. I think they know more now. Medically, we know more about concussions and how it all works – the affect it has short term and long term. They've really firmed up exactly where they have to be, as far as those tests, to play. So, 'Zibby' [Tom Zbikowski] is fighting through it. You can clear up at any time. I think he'll be ready to play on Sunday, but if he's not, we're not going to risk it. We're not going to take any chances. Although after a week, you'd think he'd be OK."

On how important it is for the scout team to play well during practice: "The better your 'look' team, the better you're going to play, because that's what makes your practice better. It kind of goes back to your question about practice – we can't have a great practice unless we have a great 'look,' so to speak. We don't really believe in 'look,' so to speak. We don't have a 'scout' team in our mind. We want them to play [San Diego's] fronts and coverage's. We want them to emulate the techniques as much as possible, but we want them to play Raven competitive style, not practice competitive style. That's what our guys try to do. We compete out there. It's not like we let guys catch balls or let the defense strip us. We're trying to compete, both sides. That's how guys earn an opportunity to show themselves throughout the year and show how much better they're getting. Maybe a guy catches our eye and the next thing you know, you give him a shot to play."

On if he considered WR Hank Baskett: "Hank Baskett was a consideration. We talked to Hank the night before it happened. The advantage that Indianapolis had… In my opinion, Hank would have come here. He pretty much made that clear. Hank and I have a great relationship. Ozzie [Newsome] and his agent have a great relationship. [Indianapolis] had an advantage of one more day. They're not playing until Monday night. Their advantage was their opportunity to get Hank up and playing this week was much better than ours was. He wouldn't have been here to practice until Thursday or Friday. That was a little tougher for us to make a decision, because when you bring somebody up, you've got to let somebody go. The most important thing for us this week was going to be the Chargers game. We had to keep that foremost. We tried to pull it off, but the fact that they play Monday night was the key."

On if his meeting with former Ravens head coach Brian Billick was fun: "There's this thing we have going with Coach Billick. He has a 'Coaches Corner' show – maybe you guys have seen it. He normally does it from a remote [site], but it got set up here for whatever reason and he was around. It's always fun talking with Coach Billick. I get a chance do that every now and then, even more so now with the show. He's a tremendous coach and a tremendous person. It was fun having him around. So, if his equipment breaks down again, we'll have him back again."

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