Press Conference Transcript - Training Camp Practice 8/18


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "OK, [we] had a good work day. [We] had the plus-30 day, so we were a little short on numbers. I thought the guys who were out here did a nice job. That's why practice was a little bit shorter, obviously. We had a few fewer reps, but they were very quality reps, and we had a good day."

On T Oniel Cousins: "He developed a headache, so that's where we're at. I don't know any more than that."

On rookie T Ramon Harewood's progress: "The thing I see – he's really, really tough. He really comes out and works every day. He works through all the little nicks and stuff that he's had. This is probably the toughest thing he's ever gone through football-wise, obviously, in his career. But, he absorbs a lot of information. He's come a long way, but there's a lot of information to absorb. He's done very well."

On what G/T Tony Moll has shown: "Tony's a veteran player, very experienced. I think he's knocking the rust off a little bit technique-wise, but he's looked pretty good. He knows what he's doing, so it's really good to have him back."

On DE Paul Kruger: "Kruger's technique is getting a lot better. He's playing lower. He's more explosive. I guess you'd say football-parlance, he's playing behind his pads a lot better, and he's been more physical as a result of that. So, he's really… I'd say in the last three of four days he's made huge strides."

On LB Tavares Gooden: "Tavares has got the neck thing from the game. It just keeps tightening back up on him, so we just need to sit him down and settle him down. He's tried to go the last two days. Every time he's tried to go, it spasms back up, so we just need to settle him down for a couple days and try to get him out there on Saturday."

On whether he wants to give LBs Jameel McClain, Dannell Ellerbe and Tavares Gooden each an opportunity to play with the first-team defense:"Yeah, that'd probably be part of it. We also want to get Jameel some work at 'Sam' [strongside linebacker], because he's a multiple guy, and in order to play the position you've got to get some work there. So, we'll move those guys around for the next two weeks and we'll know where we're at."

On whether consistency has been one of the bigger issues with rookie WR David Reed:"Well you want consistency. For whatever reason, we dropped a lot of balls out here today. I thought the quarterbacks were just a little more in rhythm with their throws [and] a little quicker versus the pressure, which is what we want, and maybe it caught the receivers a little bit off guard. And they're younger guys for the most part, so I think they'll come back tomorrow and catch the ball a little better."

On how important the second preseason game is in terms of the evaluation process: "It's important. I think you really start to get a feel for guys after two preseason games. The third preseason game is really more about getting the starters ready. So, this is a big evaluation game for those younger guys."

On what role he expects from DT Kelly Talavou and whether he is meeting his potential:"I think Kelly has had a great camp – I mean, really, probably his best camp, obviously, since he's been here. He's dominated at times, so [we're] pretty excited about how he's playing."

On whether they're seeing a progression from QB Troy Smith:"I think Troy has had a really good camp. He continues to improve, and Troy is a quality quarterback. We've said it over and over again, and he's done well."

On if the players are ready to go home from camp:(laughter)"Well, we talked about that last night, and you get to this point and it's time to… You're looking into the next phase of camp. Going into this practice, we wanted to make sure that we have five good practices before we leave here to make the most of it, and we did a good job today."

On what he thinks of the local media:"Well, it depends how we do. When we win, I love getting in front of you guys. When we lose, it's a little tougher. I actually enjoy it. I think it's good because it connects the football team – the coaches, players – with the fans. That's what it is. So, to me it's a great thing. Sometimes you get a little frustrated because it's tough. It's not easy to explain the complexity sometimes of what we're doing, but I think we have the best group in the NFL. You guys are the best media group in the NFL. I'm proud to be associated with you."

On being less tough than the New York media:*(laughter) *"Well, the Philly media is tough, too. I was around those guys for 10 years. I think the Baltimore media's fantastic, in all honesty. We talk about this a lot with Kevin [Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations]. I think they're fair; they work really hard at it. I don't think they try to trap you. They just try to be fair with what they report, so that's all you can really ask for."

On where a player's head and heart has to be to compete in the NFL:"You can't compete in this sport unless you're all in mentally. As you get older and as injuries start to mount, that gets tougher. To protect yourself and to compete at this level, you have to be there 100 percent."

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