Press Conference Transcript - Practice 11/5


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK, good to have you guys here and good weather for football – nice, crisp fall day. [The] guys enjoyed it, and we're looking forward to playing."

On S Tom Zbikowski's status for Sunday: "It's not looking good for 'Zibby.' Like you said, he hasn't practiced. I don't know if we'll list him as out [or] doubtful, but we're assuming he's not going to be there."

On Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall and RB Ricky Williams, who routinely break tackles: "I think you put all their ball carriers in that category. Davone Bess is a tough guy to bring down. Obviously, both running backs are proven stars in this league. That's going to be a big challenge for us. We're going to have to be a great tackling defense if we want to achieve the things we want to achieve on defense. Our guys understand that, and we're going to have to do that on Sunday to have a chance to win."

On why there hasn't been as much of the Wildcat formation this season across the league: "Well, that's probably true. The Wildcat hasn't had much success. I haven't seen people do it with too much success this year, so it's like anything else in this league. It kind of revolves around back and forth. We could see it on Sunday. We're planning on seeing it on Sunday, so if we see it, we're going to have to defend it."

On how much practice time is devoted during the week to covering the Wildcat: "It changes every time if we see a team with it. We don't really have a set schedule on it. It just depends how much they do and how much we think we have a chance to see it."

On who is the Ravens' scout team Wildcat QB: "It's been Curtis Steele lately. He's been doing a good job with that. He can throw a little bit. We like seeing those passes out of the Wildcat. That's what you get nervous about."

On how much pride he takes in his record at home as a head coach: "I don't even know what it is, to be honest with you. What is it?"


Reporter answers: "It's above the league [average]. It's top five in the league."

"We like that then. We're proud of that. We want to expand on that if we can."

On whether the short turnaround between the next two games is already on everyone's mind: "I don't think guys are giving that any thought. Sunday is our focus. When Monday comes around, then it will be the Falcons. Everybody knows we have a game on Thursday, but we're anxious to play. We haven't played in two weeks, so our guys are excited to play."**


On whether you try to rotate players in and out more from the Dolphins game knowing the physical demands of having another game four days later:"No, we're just trying to win this game. We'll take the next game when it comes up. Really, that's what you have to do."

On whether they've decided what they'll do in terms of the rotation on punt returns this week:"Yes."* (laughter)*

On whether he can reveal that:"No, thanks for asking." (laughter)

On whether there is anything new with RB Matt Lawrence:"Yeah, we're going to bring Matt Lawrence up next week for practice. So, he'll be up Monday – he'll start practicing with us on Monday – and we'll just have to see how it looks."

On whether the game day inactives decisions will be harder now that most of the team is healthy, which wasn't the case in previous weeks:"Yeah, it does [become more difficult]. The inactives are going to be tougher. You know, when you have injuries, the decisions kind of get made for you, and then you've got to shuffle and balance and try to figure out where your depth is. But we're pretty healthy, so it's going to be some tough decisions. And a lot of that goes into what our game plan is. A lot of it goes into how guys practice. I think there's some competition. As coaches, one thing that we want to always have is competition. Competition makes everybody better, so there's competition to get on that 45-man roster right now."

On his overall feeling going into the second half of the season:"I think you look at the second half of the season… First of all, I really like our football team. I like our players. I like the way they work; I think we've got a blue-collar mindset. I think our guys are competitive. They understand the opportunity that's in front of them. Opportunities like this don't come around very often in football or in life. You know, we've got an opportunity to do some special things, and I want to make sure our guys understand that and that they're focused on the task at hand. But that's not hard to get across to our guys. Our guys are very mature, so I think they're very excited about the second half of the season."

On whether the team had a good week of practice:"Very good week of practice, yeah. Very good week of practice."

On whether Miami's overhauled front seven on defense has gotten a lot younger and a lot quicker:"I haven't given it any thought as far as comparing it to what they've done or how they've done it. You just kind of look – from a game-plan standpoint – you just take them as you find them. And all the things you're saying are right – they are fast, they are physical, they're a very active defense [and] they play hard. It's impressive to watch, so we'll have our work cut out for us."

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