Press Conference Transcript - Practice 9/6

DAILY INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "We had a good practice. It was good to have the guys back. I think they had a chance to recharge their batteries a little bit over the weekend. It's a very meaningful thing when you make a football team – when you're one of the 53 [-man roster] and even one of the 61 [-man roster]. It's a very meaningful thing. I think our guys appreciate that. I know our coaches feel the same way about being a part of a team. In the NFL, that's quite an accomplishment. So, we're proud of the guys."

On how the coaches adjust to roster moves:"It's a big challenge because you've got to get guys up and running, but I think coaches are excited to coach really good players. I feel good about the fact that – as an organization – we've been very aggressive in trying to make our team better. And obviously, there is a lot of interest by guys that come here to be part of this team."

On if WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh will be ready to play against the Jets:"Yeah, T.J will definitely be ready to go by Week 1. He'll be in here tonight, physical tomorrow morning, and he'll start working on the playbook tomorrow. He's been in the system before, and that's a plus."

On WR Mark Clayton being traded to the Rams: "Mark Clayton… I had a chance to spend a lot of time talking to the Rams about Mark today. I've got a lot of connections over there as you know, and they're very excited to have him. Mark was just one of the most special guys we've had here – one of our top leaders. He had a strong, spiritual presence in our locker room, and [he's] just a tremendous person and a really good player. I think it's good for him to get an opportunity, a little bit of a fresh start there. He's very talented, and I'm sure he'll do really well."

On the key factor in the decision to acquire Houshmandzadeh and trade Clayton:"There's no way I'm even going to begin to answer that because it's not a fair question – it's a comparison. They both bring a lot to the table for anybody. For us right now, it's a fresh start with a new guy in T.J. He's a big, physical guy – we appreciate that – but they're both really good players."

On how the combination of receivers will work together:"I think it's great to put really good players on the field together. It should present a little bit of a picture about the type of offense and the type of a team we want to build. Those are our kind of guys, and it's good to put good players out there together."

On S Ed Reed landing on the Reserve PUP list after hoping to be ready for Week 1: "We were really hoping he could do it. He was trying like heck to get there, so there was no way we were going to rule that out when asked because he was still making every effort to get there, and he continues to do that. That's basically, I would say, a mutual decision. But really, it's got to be Ed's call in the end, and he made the decision in the end. I think he feels with the team interest first. That's the best thing, but he'll be ready to go soon enough. I know we can play well when he's not there, and look how much better we're going to be when he gets back."

On if Week 7 is a realistic goal for Reed to return: "Sure, sure, absolutely."

On if T Jared Gaither's recovery is progressing: "Seems to be. I really don't know. We'll just have to see where he's at and how he feels in the next couple days."

On the problems that Jets CB Darrelle Revis poses for an offense: "They kind of build their defense around him a little bit in the sense that they can lock him up on an island and just let him cover out there. (laughter) What do they call that place? Revis Island? He's a great player. I'm sure they're thrilled to have him back, and we pretty much figured he was going to be there."

On how much special teams ability played a factor in filling the final roster spots: "It's always a big part of it. The more you can do… You've got to put guys on the field to play every snap of the game, and you just try to build your team accordingly – get the best fit, guys that can do the most in certain situations – and that's what we did."

On how T Oniel Cousins looked today: "He looked fine. It was no-contact, so we'll just have to see how he got through it and make an evaluation for Wednesday. It'll be up to the doctors to decide if he can go contact or not."

On how good CB Lardarius Webb has looked and if mentally he is ready to play Week 1: "I'm sure mentally he can do it because he's been a part of everything we've done, and he's been out there in all the mental drills. It'll just be a matter of how the doctors and he feel like the knee can hold up, and how effective he can really be. So, we'll just have to see."

On if they are excited about adding CB Bryan McCann: "Yeah, we're excited about the new guys, and Bryan was a guy we really were impressed with in the preseason. [He] kind of came out of nowhere for them. Fundamentally, [he is] a very solid player with good speed, so it'll be a new start for him."

On whether he has seen the enthusiasm shown lately by rookie LB Sergio Kindle being hopeful to return to the team:"I haven't seen it, because I haven't seen him. But, I heard it over the phone. I know he's really excited to get going, and we'll just have to… Again, it's in the hands of the medical people, and we'll just have to see how that turns out. But, we'd love to have him back here on a daily basis."

On whether he can get that palpable sense of next Monday's game now that the roster is set or if that comes later in the week:"It's definitely game week, so you feel that. I think we have a long time until we kick that ball off. Obviously, it's the last game – one of the last two games [of the week] – so I think we need to keep our emotions in check until then. But we're excited."

On whether he feels like the receivers will be able to stretch the field with physical players such as Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Houshmandzadeh:"You know how you stretch the field? You run deep. They've got to cover you – especially when you have guys running down the field that can catch the ball. So, you run deep and you throw it to them. If they don't cover them, they'll catch the ball and they'll score. So, I guess what I'm saying is I think it's a little overblown. You put good players on the field and they're threats."

On whether he was surprised at all that a receiver like Houshmandzadeh was available a week before the season starts:"I was excited to have a chance to get him. So, everybody does what they need to do to build their team the way they see fit, but we're sure very thrilled to have him here."

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