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Press Conference Transcript - Dec. 31

On the job RB/RS Jalen Parmele has done in filling in for CB/RS Lardarius Webb: "He ran hard, he had good ball security, and he was productive. He did a nice job for us."

On what he brings to the return game: "I think the thing that a running back brings to any return game is the lifelong experience of carrying the ball. So, you don't have to coach this guy like you would, perhaps, a defensive back that's back there returning. You don't have to coach him about ball security. You remind him of it. Those skills about running off of blocks and putting your foot in the ground, and all those things that are involved in returning the football, are also involved in running the football from the backfield. So, he's got all that skill set to bring to the return game, and that's really to his advantage. He's shown that."

On the play in last season's game against the Raiders when QB Joe Flacco caught a pass:"That was last year. It feels like 10 years ago."

On if he has anything up his sleeve for this game:"I think we all know, and I appreciate your humor, but I think we all know we have to win an old-fashioned football game. This team is physical. I'm sure you've seen their defense. I didn't get to see much else of their team, but this is a good defense. I don't see a trick in this defense. We're going to be fundamentally sound on what we're doing. I think you saw last week that we've got some fundamental errors that we've got to clean up to win in this game, period."

On how to decide when to run gimmick plays:"It's a feel thing, and the longer you're a coordinator in the league, the more people know you. It's interesting – some guys that have been other teams come in and I say, 'What did you practice that week?' Well, they practice all the gimmick plays that they've seen that we did in San Diego, that we did here. So you've got to look out there in the game and see where their eyes are and try to get a feel for what they're looking for. And every now and then, you pull the trigger on that. But you really can't do much of that stuff but every three or four years."

On if he's ever seen a CB that doesn't get thrown at as much as Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha: "I remember when [Charles] Woodson was there. [They're] similar. Deion Sanders. I remember when I was in Washington going against Deion when he was in Dallas. [They're] very similar. You ask that question, those are the two guys that I was with, with Darrell Green in Washington, and we saw it from the perspective of our team when I was with the Redskins. It happens, but right now, he's the guy that people are throwing away from the most."

On when you know not to throw at him: "Obviously, you can't just eliminate him because then they'd… What they used to do with Deion [Sanders] is single him up, and they tilted the coverage the other way. [But] there was nothing the other way either. I think you just… When you go that way, you've got to see separation. That's the key. The good news is, we've got guys that are good route runners that can get separation. You've got to make sure, when you're going that way, you've got to see separation before you throw it. And that makes it hard because sometimes you're a little bit later than you want to be."

On what he has made of backup QB Troy Smith publically stating that he wants a trade: "Now is probably not the time to discuss that. Some time down the road we can talk about that if that's all right."

On the impact RB Ray Rice has had on the offense this season:"Tremendous, even more so than stats would show. Those of you guys who have been around in the offseason know the way he works with the game, and his impact is more than just stats. This guy is dependable, this guy is consistent, this guy is tough, this guy is smart, and he prepares. Wilbert [Montgomery, Ravens RBs coach] has done an outstanding job in teaching him how to prepare."

On how important it is to give Rice the ball in open space: "You try to do that, but then they're not always going to give you space. So, you've seen the last few weeks we're giving him the ball inside the A, B and C gaps, because eventually, they're going to try to keep him constricted. But he can function without space as well."

On whether he knows the defensive personnel more now toward the end of the season:"I don't think there's been any drastic changes. I think it's what you do – in any course of the year no matter what – is you see who's playing well, you see who's healthy, you see what's going to work against a certain offense, and that's your job, is to plug those kind of things in to try to take advantage of what they give you. And I think that's all we've really done."

On whether he feels like the defense is playing better in any areas, and if so, where:"Well, I think a great example last weekend – and I've believed this all along – was our guys up front. We talked about it Saturday night – just go get him, just go get him, and if he tries to take off running, we'll try to run him down and we'll get a hit on him. And I think that's all those guys have really wanted to do. Sometimes we as coaches – and I'm probably the worst at doing this – I want you to rush the passer, rush the passer, but don't you let that quarterback run, and those guys kind of look at you and they say, 'OK, coach. You wanted me to rush the passer, but you didn't turn me loose.' And I just think this whole defense has stayed according to course. They've played hard, and they've tried to correct what we haven't done well, and that's all you ask of them."

On what he has done differently from the beginning of the year, personally: "I don't know if I've even had time to think about that, to be honest with you. And I'm not avoiding the question. This season has been – as I said the first day – it's all about trying to do the best job you can do so these players have success. And that's all it's ever been, and you just keep going from day to day. Something they find out in this league right here is, when Sunday is over, Monday is on you right now, and you go right to the next deal, and the next team. So, that's all we've tried to do."

On how he made it through the criticism earlier in the year: "One thing I learned a long time ago is, I can only control what I can control. And every day as a coach, you go out and try to do the best job you can do. And if that's good enough, if that's not good enough, that's how it is. That's what I've always been taught to do, and that's what I'm always going to try to do."

On whether he leaned on anyone else through some of the difficult times: "Well, you know, I probably leaned on the players. One thing I've always believed in [is] it's not about the coaches; it's about the guys that are going out there on that field. And if they believe, and they keep working, you've got a great opportunity to be successful as a team. And that's what we've tried to do with our guys."

On what he has seen from CB Domonique Foxworth as of late: "Well, I've seen Domonique continue to work. Like I said six weeks, seven weeks ago, Domonique goes out there every day, he tries to go as hard as he can. Chuck Pagano does a tremendous job of coaching those guys, and when that play is over, if it's positive, great. Go to the next one. If it's negative, great. Go to the next one. And there is a reason why it was positive, and there is a reason why it was negative, and just go from there. You know, I'm just proud of him. I'm proud of 'Fox.' He just stays on course like I've said, and he just keeps trying to do it the way we want him to do it."

On if he is preparing for Raiders QB Charlie Frye:"Yeah, we've got to prepare for all of them, but Charlie Frye is… I assume he's going to be the quarterback. You've got to prepare for whoever comes out there. I don't know that that changes us much. We've got to do what we do and do it better than we've done it before."

On S Tom Zbikowski's play:"'Zibby' is doing what he's supposed to do and trying to do it as well as he can on every snap. That's the beauty of it. You know one thing, and I've known him a long time – he is going to always go out there and give you his very, very best. He's a tough guy that's going to keep going and keep going, and that's what he showed this year. I'm proud of him. He's really, really kept playing and done the right things."

On if he has talked to Florida coach Urban Meyer recently:"I didn't talk to him since it happened, but I've talked to him quite a bit, and we're very close. I feel bad for him, but you know it's funny… My wife and I talked about this a long time ago when we were with Urban: The only thing you ever worried about with Urban was that his health was going to go because he works so hard. The man is a tireless worker, and he's one of those guys… He reminds me of Coach [John] Harbaugh in the fact that he's not going to let any coach or any player do more than he does. I just hope his health is fine. That's all I hope."

On who convinced him that rookie free agent LB Dannell Ellerbe was ready to start:"It's what we do with every player. When you look at the tape, and you see a guy going in there making plays when he's supposed to make plays, and then the same thing with the guy that he is competing with or at the same position is nicked up, then you say, 'OK, let's go with the healthy one. Let's go with him.' And Ellerbe's another good example of a guy that just keeps getting better as he goes in there, and that's what you expect out of every player here."

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