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Post-Practice Transcripts: August 18th



Head Coach John Harbaugh

On OLB Terrell Suggs' return:"It felt good to have [No.] 55 out there today. It looks like he's in really good shape, too. It's not football practice, what he's been doing. [But] you could tell [he's in shape] – by the change of direction and the burst – [because] he was competing and fighting. He'll probably be a little bit sore tomorrow. But he was in good shape."

On the plans for Suggs against St. Louis:"We plan on having him play. We'll just figure out how many reps and all that as we go along this week, but we'll be smart about it."

On whether or not Suggs will be ready for the season opener:"Barring some nick or tweak, he'll definitely be ready. He should be ready for this game on Saturday."

On whether he knows who will be the starting quarterback this week:"We do, but we're not ready to announce it yet. I wouldn't make any assumptions. We'll talk about it this week."

On having several players back on the practice field after recovering from injuries:"The numbers help. It was good to see a full group, almost, out there, and guys who have been working through those injuries and have been getting treatment while we've been playing. We've been on the road, and guys have been getting treatment with Bill [Tessendorf]. I think Bill has done a tremendous job of working around the clock to get these guys back and get them going again."

On the benefit of having those players back:"There are more guys. More guys to roll in and rotate through, so certain guys don't have to take as many reps. Most of the guys have a little fatigue still from the game. Most of those guys just got done playing less than 48 hours ago, so that's there as well."

On NT Kelly Gregg's health:"Kelly, right now, as good as we have it, will be back for the Cincinnati game for sure. We wouldn't make any statement before that."

On how much Suggs practiced:"He was in everything. He did the whole practice, did every drill. He looked good."

On CB Derrick Martin's absence from practice:"Yes, he's still working on his shoulder. We'll get him back. We'll have to see this week how fast it is."

On Martin's play this preseason:"Derrick Martin's had a really good camp all the way around. He's been making plays every day. He looks like he's improved tremendously from last year, so he is in the hunt."

On the quarterback play from Saturday's game:"The interesting thing was that they made some plays on their own a little bit. Troy [Smith] and Kyle [Boller] both moved around and made some plays in the pocket. Kyle completed a lot of passes, and [made] the checkdowns. People get excited about the checkdowns, as if that's some kind of a negative thing. That guy's in the route for a reason. If they step back and cover all those routes, you want to throw it to the checkdown and give the back a chance to get some yards. Even on third-and-long, our back can catch the ball and get the first down, so those are positive completions."

On the offensive line's play, specifically Ts Chad Slaughter and Mike Kracalik :"I think late in the game, the two tackles got a little fatigued with those good pass rushers coming at them. But all in all, those two guys are in the mix, with as many reps as those guys have been taking all through camp; they did a good job. Those guys have been taking a lot of reps all through camp for a reason. We've got to develop them. There's probably a little wear and tear from camp right now, but we need it."

On how to avoid injuries during the preseason:"I think you want the guys just to play football, because when you take the other mindset, I think most coaches would tell you in their experience, that's when guys get hurt. When you try to protect yourself or try to stay out of trouble, that's when you get the injuries. So you tell guys to play, and you hope you stay healthy that way."

On how the games are called in order to evaluate the quarterbacks:"That's a dilemma that we've had and a conversation that we've had. We threw a lot in the first game, but you've got to work the run game, too. There's a balance there to what we're doing."

LB Terrell Suggs

On how it felt to get back on the field:"It felt good. Whenever you get to play some football, it's always good. I was just happy to be back out here clowning around and having some fun with my team."

On why he did not report to training camp:"It was just the business side of it. I really didn't want to do it because I love football. I love being out here running around. I was just out here [for mini-camps], and it was like we just picked up right where we left off with the guys. [Staying home] was kind of like a July 21 decision, and it was, 'Nah, I ain't going to go yet.' It really wasn't a big deal. I look at it as it gave me an extended period of time to really prepare myself for the season. It's really unfortunate that I didn't get in here on time and go to war with my boys, but that time is gone now, and I'm ready to play some football."

On if his teammates gave him grief for missing camp:"Yeah, that's why I've got to take them out on Thursday. They took all the bullets for me and did the two-a-days; I really appreciate them. They gave me some grief, but they always give me some grief. I'm kind of like that little brother. But it's fun. Like I said, I'm here now and I'm ready to get out there and just win some games."

On how it felt when everyone else was in camp:"It kind of sucked, because everybody's gone. You hang out with your peers. You know I live in Arizona, so we were all hanging out, then everybody was just gone. I was one of the few only ones that wasn't in camp, so it felt weird. I was like, 'I think two games will be enough; let's just go in and get it.'"

On treating his teammates to dinner on Thursday:"I think they're going to aim for the fences on this one (laughter). It's going to be fun. It's good. We get to catch up on everything that we missed and our plans for the future. I've got [to treat] the front seven, but I've [also] got [to treat] the depth. So it's not just the starters, it's the reserves. It's pretty up there. I've got to get two party busses (laughter). That just comes with the game, I guess. That's probably why that [franchise] number is so big."

On his contract:"It has it's perks, but that's more of the long end of the business side of it. It is what it is."

On whether or not he is in football shape:"I don't know, I'll have to see how close it is when I get the pads on. I think I'm in pretty good shape. My weight is down, so I just have to see. We didn't really hit anybody today. You can't really tell until you get out there for the first time, but I felt good. I didn't really get winded today, so it felt really good. I guess we have to see come more this week."

On what he wants to accomplish on Saturday:"Just play. Preseason is pretty much just to see where you are and see how prepared you are for the season. The point, obviously, even though it's a preseason game, is to win. But I want to get out there and run around a little bit and play a little Raven defense."

On Olympic Michael Phelps:"That's amazing. It was like watching history right before your eyes for him to be breaking records and keep going in there and knocking it out and winning by miles and then winning by inches. It was an emotional roller coaster. It was an exciting thing to see. He was waving all those things off and was like, 'I'd rather watch the Ravens play than enjoy my medals.' I was like, 'Are you crazy?' He's just an amazing athlete. This year alone he's put himself up there with the Michael Jordans and the Tiger Woods, and it's amazing what he's doing. To know that he's a Ravens' fan is even better. So, he gets to come home and we get to play in front of him. That will be awesome in and of itself. I think it's really cool what he's doing."

On experiencing the business side of the game for the first time:"It was the business side. It is what it is. Unfortunately, this is the part of the business side that's not really that fun. It happened, but now the business side is done. Now it's time to really play football. The fans don't really know and understand the business side. They don't watch the game for that. They don't watch the game for, 'Oh, this guy's making this amount of money.' They want to see you play. That's what really matters, and I think the business side sucks for the fans and it sucks for everybody involved, because it's a tug-of-war and everybody's pulling in different directions. It sucks, but it's over. That's the business side that isn't fun. But now it's over and we all get to enjoy it. I still achieved what I wanted. I'm still in purple and black, not anywhere else, and I still get to line up and play for the City of Baltimore."

On his mindset from here on out:"I'm a football player. But unfortunately this game is a business. I am a football player and in years past, you never heard me mention [anything else], as far as the business side of it. That's not what I do, but when the time came, we had to approach it. We had to address it. And like I said, it's over and I'm here. I'm too much worried about it anymore. It's not fair to my teammates and it's not fair to the fans in the City of Baltimore to have me worried about that all year. So, I'm just going to play. Let's go play like we've always been doing."

On how optimistic he is that something can get done after the season:"I'm highly optimistic. I think they'll eventually get something done. I can't worry about it now. I haven't lost faith in them. I still think they want me here. That's all I have to go on. When I came back, everybody was happy to see me. They welcomed me back with open arms. I was excited, I was glad to be back. But like I said, it's football time now. The business side is over."

On if he wanted to remain in Baltimore:"There was no question. I just couldn't see myself in any other uniform. You look in the mirror, you see purple you see five-five, you see black with the yellow outline. I think every other color clashes with me. I just don't look right in it (laughter). I've got faith in them, and hopefully we can get something done. But like I said, it's done and over with. I don't even want to talk about it again after today. This is fair because I haven't talked to anybody, so I owed you all this. But I don't want questions about contract things after today. It's been a long, long offseason, and it's over. It's football season. This is what everybody wants to see."

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