Press Conference Transcript - Practice 12/17


Head Coach John Harbaugh

On whether there are any injury updates on S Tom Zbikowski and TE Todd Heap:"I think it looks bad for 'Zibby' [Zbikowski]. Todd, probably less than 50/50. He'll probably be questionable or doubtful, unless… We'll find out this afternoon. [Vice president of medical services and head certified athletic trainer] Bill [Tessendorf] will put a tag on it this afternoon based on how he did today. Hamstrings… He's fighting like crazy. It might feel great and it might not, so we'll just see."

On whether FB Le'Ron McClain is sick:"Yeah, he's sick. Le'Ron and Willis [McGahee] both got sick, so they couldn't practice."

On whether he has an interest in the weather during the game:"I'm interested in the weather, yes. Put it this way: We don't have a dome, so whatever weather there is, you've got to be prepared to play in the conditions. I'm sure the Saints will be prepared to play. They can run the ball; they can play like that. They've played in cold weather before, so it'll be…"

(Reporter says: "Maybe not in three feet of snow.")


"We'll probably clear the field, I would assume. (laughter) *We'll get the field cleared off. It's not a bad thought, though. Maybe I'll keep that in mind. We'll just kind of lose those [snow] blowers." *(laughter)

On whether Zbikowski is frustrated by his injury:"Yeah. Here's a guy, Zibby, that started for what, six games, and just played so well. Then, boom, as soon as Ed [Reed] came back, he got hurt. Maybe it's fortuitous the way it worked out for us in that sense – they weren't both hurt at the same time. But, [it's] really tough on Zibby. [I'm] just so disappointed for him because he was doing so well."

On whether Zbikowski might land on the Injured Reserve list:"I don't think so. But when you've got a back [injury], we'll just have to see. He's got an MRI coming back on that. We'll just have to see. There's not much season left, either, so if it's a couple-, three-week thing, we'll just put him down. If he can get back next week or the week after, obviously, then you bring him back. I would say it's up in the air right now."

On whether he gives his brother advice when Jim is rumored as a candidate for NFL head coaching jobs: "He's on a string for me. He just does whatever I say. (laughter) No, I have no idea what he's going to do. We do talk about it all the time. He's having a baby – he's not, Sarah is having a baby in four or five days. They've got the bowl game, so he's just swimming right now. He's not even thinking about it right now. I think he wants to stay at Stanford. He'd love to stay there, but then again, you just have to see what happens. He's not the kind of guy that's going to make any kind of commitment until he's ready to make a commitment. I think his commitment right now is having a baby, and winning the Orange Bowl, so we'll see what happens."

On how he would feel about having his brother join him in the NFL coaching ranks: "I'd be thrilled. I'd be thrilled to have him in here. I'd rather have him in the NFC. That would be helpful. We could help each other a little bit. He doesn't need to show up in this division, that's for sure. I think he'll be a great coach. He's a great coach there, he'll be a great coach wherever he's at, and I'm very proud of him."

On how CB Josh Wilson has evolved after making a statement with the game-winning TD Monday: "I would agree with you. He played really well the whole game. He had a bunch of PBUs [passes broken up], was in the right place, played technique. I thought he and [Lardarius Webb] both played really good technique. Josh played excellent technique. [Webb] was probably over 90 percent on his technique. For Josh to play that way, and for [Webb] to continue to grow – Chris [Carr] has been playing well all the way – that's really a good sign for our defense. Hopefully, we can build on that against this great passing offense this week because this will be a big challenge that way for those guys."

On whether going against QB Drew Brees is like going against a QB the caliber of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady: "Absolutely. To me, he's right in that category. He's the straw that stirs the drink in the offense. He and Sean Payton have been together. They've been running the same offense. They window dress it a thousand different ways, but he's very comfortable in that offense. They've got receivers who are comfortable in that offense. It's not like going against those guys schematically, because it's a difference scheme and different style of play, but it's the same as far as the challenge."

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