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Press Conference Transcript - Practice 8/25


Head Coach John Harbaugh

On how he convinced QB Marc Bulger to sign with the Ravens: "I should've been a salesman, I guess. He was really interested in coming here, I think, from the get-go. He spent a lot of time talking to Cam [Cameron], a lot of time talking to Jim [Zorn]. I think he was excited about what he'd heard about the Ravens, so it wasn't any sales. I just think it was an opportunity for him, where he's at in his career, to come be a part of something that, like he said before, something that he's excited to be a part of. I think he liked the offense – the fact that it was an offense he's been in. He kind of went to the West Coast offense last year, which he hadn't been in his career ever, and so this was something he was more familiar with. He liked the vibe around our team, so that's what it was."

On if it took a long time to convince Bulger to join the team:"I think right away we knew he was really interested, and I thought we had a great shot to get him, but it took a few weeks. It took about three, four weeks, if I remember right, for him to come to a conclusion that he was going to do it, because he had a lot of things to consider – family things. Obviously, he's married and has a newborn, so it took a while for him to finally make a decision."

On what DE Cory Redding brings to the defensive line:"Cory's just a great leader. He's very mature, very… He's really a hungry player. He's a veteran guy that still has that hunger. He's got a great passion, really works hard, kind of out front with the younger guys, showing the guys how to be professional in everything they do. Plus, he can play, so it's been a real good plus for us."

On why rookie NT Terrence Cody didn't practice yesterday:"He got a little swelling in his knee. He got a burst of swelling. He's got a slight, I would say, issue with the cartilage on the outside of his knee – nothing that needs surgery at this time. He can definitely get through the season with it. But, it's like a lot of guys – they have these little things that they've got to deal with, and he'll have to deal with it."

On if he's surprised at how quickly rookie T Ramon Harewood is progressing:"Yeah, I would say so. He's a quick study for a guy who never played high school football and played small college football. For him to pick it up as quickly as he can… He gets better every single day. Now he's getting a little healthier – the knees are settling down a little bit because he took so many reps in training camp. That paid off for him, and now he's settling down a little bit with nicks and bruises, so he's looking good."

On if there is a chance that rookie OLB Sergio Kindle could play this season:"Well, I think we've said all along [that] we don't know. It's just a matter of how fast the neurologists look at all that stuff and clear him to play. We've been told there is a chance, but there's also a chance this thing could take a long time, so we just don't know. I wouldn't rule it out."

On if the information T Jared Gaither and S Ed Reed are receiving from their doctors contradict the team's physicians:"We encourage it. We really want guys to go get second opinions; we want to find out. We're not trying to… We want to find out. What's best for the player is also best for the organization. We want our guys to be healthy. Of course we want them to go on and have healthy lives afterwards and those kinds of things – that's primary importance. You don't want to put injured players on the field. They don't perform as well. I think there's a trust factor there, too. We want guys to know that we have their best interests at heart, and that's also corresponding with the best interest of the team. As far as Gaither's situation, there's not any… There's no contradictory information out there; it was reported by some that there was. Gaither's got… A month ago when everybody said… The best information I had was that there was a tear – I told you I didn't know the terms for it, and I didn't – thoracic disc. OK, there's a lining on the thoracic disc that is either irritated or torn. One doctor says it's irritated, the other doctor says it's got a slight tear in it. I was told by the trainers that that's what is causing the back spasms – he's clearly had back spasms. And, Jared described it as best he could. So, to say it's contradictory… We all do the best we can to describe it, but we're not doing medical examinations. So until it settles down, he just can't get out there, because he can't get in position and all that to do it. We were given that basic time frame for when he might be back, and we just have to see how it goes."

On if communication is difficult when dealing with different doctors:"Nothing's ever written in stone. It's diagnoses, so nothing can ever be written in stone. These are opinions that guys have. And so, I try to stand up here and endure… The players try to stand up here and do the best they can within reason, also the best they can without giving too much away. I think those things go together. That's where it's at – it's tough."

On if he has to make contingency plans going into the season with Gaither being out:"Oh sure, we already have. You just practice with the guys you have. Jared knows that. The offensive line that you have out there on any given day is the line you practice with, and you prepare the guys that you have. So, we'll go with the guys that we have, and when guys who aren't healthy now come back, that becomes a big plus for us. We want all of our guys healthy, but in this league… Look around the league – it's just not the case. As soon as our guys come back healthy, then we'll add them into the mix."

On if T Jared Gaither's injury can heal quickly: "Yeah, that's what we've been told. It's just… [We'll] have to see how it goes. I know one thing: He's working really hard. He gets treatment all day long. He's worked very hard on his lower body lifting. He's worked hard on his cardiovascular, so I think Jared's doing everything he can to get himself back."

On if he has spoken to owner Steve Bisciotti about the proposed 18-game regular season: "Yes." (laughter)

On if he cares to share his thoughts on the proposal with the media: "No, not at this time, but I think it's a good debate, and we all have our opinions on it."

On if ball security will be an issue going forward: "Well, it better not be if we want to win games. Cam [Cameron] stresses it. Our defense stresses it. In other words, our defense tries to take the ball away from our offense. There's nothing more important to us. You can't handcuff the guys either. You can't sit out there and lay on the ball either. We want guys to be aggressive, and we want them to protect the football, and that's what you strive for."

On a larger test this week against the run than last week: "Those guys [the Redskins] can run the ball. They ran it pretty well the week before. They've got really good backs and a really good offensive line and a great run scheme with coach [Mike] Shanahan and what he's bringing to Washington from Denver. So, we were very pleased with the way we played the run. We always want to play the run that way, force teams to be one-dimensional, and then get after the quarterback. That's the idea, so it starts with stopping the run."

On what he saw from T Tony Moll on Saturday: "I saw a guy that played good, solid football. He played mostly the whole game, played against all their guys, their good pass rushers, and held up very well."

On whether he thinks Moll can be a starter:"Sure. I mean, right now he's the starting right tackle. And it's always competitive, but if guys aren't out there practicing, then obviously they can't start. So Tony, I think, is very determined – as he put it – to have an impact on this team. And he's making a move right now."

On whether he is still confident that LB Brendon Ayanbadejo will get on the field early this season:"I would say less confident now, at this time. The fact that he hasn't been able to practice all through camp means he's probably pushed back to some extent, and we'll just have to decide, really, within the next week what status he's going to be going into the season."

On how much work Ayanbadejo has been able to get done to this point:"Well, he works out and trains and all that, but he got no work, obviously, in practice, which is really the main work that you need. He says he's feeling a lot better, and that's where he's at."

On whether a player's status going into the regular season is a tough decision to make, especially designating a player to the PUP if they could be ready by Week 2 or 3:"That's a great point, it's going to be a tough decision. We're just going to have to balance out their progress with the other players that we have available to play and try to do what's best for the team for the first six or seven weeks of the season."

On whether there is anything new with S Ed Reed:"Nothing new that I've heard of. I just know he's training."

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