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Press Conference Transcript - Training Camp Practice 8/19


Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement:"OK, good to see everybody here. [It is] our last day up here [in] Westminster [at] McDaniel College. I just want to say it's just been tremendous. First of all, we've gotten a lot of work done. Our guys have worked really hard, and it's a grind. Football training camp is hard work, and our guys, they're out there with great spirits today. They have a hard schedule. We ask a lot of them, and here they are signing autographs, every single one of them signing autographs. I think we have, what, 4,000-plus people here today for the last day? This far into training camp, it's pretty amazing. There's got to be 1,500 kids here, which is what we're all about. And just to see our players – I'm watching them now right over your shoulders – to see them interacting with these kids is a neat deal. Thanks to McDaniel College. Once again, they bend over backwards for us; they do a great job. All the people that work on the fields, the people that work in the facility here, have been great. Down at the Best Western, from the housekeepers that do such a great job of picking up after a football team… You know, you can only imagine, right? It's probably not pleasant duty, and they do a great job for us. And the gals in there, they've always got a smile on their face. There's an army of them working down there for us. We appreciate [that] the food has been great. [Classic Catering's] Eddie [Dopkin] and his crew, it's just been a good experience. Hopefully, we're the best football team we can be coming out of this training camp at this time, but we still have work to do. Next week we'll be right into training camp again, and it'll be one-a-days, more of an in-season type schedule, but we'll still be in camp as far as we're concerned. It'll just be at our facility."

On whether the players were spending every moment at the Best Western during camp, or if they ever had a chance to go home:"Well, we had some off days. So, when we had an off day – Sunday was off the night before – the veterans get to go home, or an off morning, the veterans get to go home. But the rookies don't get to go home."

On how long it will be before the general public will be able to use the Best Western:(laughing)"It should be soon, I guess."

On how he adjusts mentally knowing that there is more work to be done, but heading back to Owings Mills:"It won't be hard. It's an easy transition to go back to our place. Guys will be home, they'll have their families back in town – if they have a family – they'll be in their environment. Our facility is beautiful. Steve Bisciotti has given us, I would say, the best facility in the National Football League. We have everything we need to be successful and have a great camp. So, our guys will be excited. I think there is a plus: You go to camp, you go back to your place, and you're kind of revived again. You're kind of energized because it's such a good place to train."

On WR Mark Clayton and TE Ed Dickson sitting out practice: "Mark, we're just resting. He's got some soreness in his legs. Ed Dickson has got a little bit of something in his hip flexor, groin area – not serious. But that was my call. I just don't want him to do anything to that that's more serious."

On if there is a play or two that personifies the camp as a whole: "No. *(laughter) *Really, I just look at the camp in general. You try to look at the team you are today. In the last two days, the offense really stepped it up, so that's where we're at right now."

On if Saturday feels like a bigger game than usual: "No. It's a preseason game, and it's really important for that reason. We have a lot at stake in terms of how we develop as a football team. Now, when you get on the field and you look over there and you see the burgundy and gold, and you see that that's the team you're playing, the competitive juices start flowing, and I'm sure they will for them, too."

On the challenge of facing QB Donovan McNabb: "Having watched Donovan for all those years, I know what kind of a player he is – supremely talented, very smart, just a winner in every way. He's a premiere quarterback. We're going to see a few of those guys this year, so it's good for us to see that."

On if McNabb poses a challenge to the Ravens' secondary: "It's a good challenge for any secondary. I don't care who the secondary is. [When] you play a quarterback like that, you're going to be challenged."

On if he hopes to see improvement in pass protection: "We're going to go against some really good pass rushers in this game. They've got some first-rate pass rushers, so I'm looking forward to seeing how our guys hold up. We've worked very hard at it – we always do – but this week it's been an emphasis, so I'll be looking forward to seeing that."

On if this game carries extra importance in the evaluation of LB Dannell Ellerbe: "Those guys, as we've said, they've been rotating and playing and competing all the way through camp, so this is a continuation of that. I think the competition has been good, and they've all played well, so we'll just have to see how it shakes out."

On if he is looking forward to seeing how CB Fabian Washington holds up in a game: "Sure. Fabian's held up out here in all the live, full-speed drills. Again today, even when you don't go full contact, it's full speed for a corner and the things that he does, and Fabian has had no problems with that. But, a game is different, so we'll be looking forward to that."

On how close CB Lardarius Webb is to returning: "He's very close. He's right there. That's up to the doctors to make the decision about when he practices, but he's right there, and I know he wants to practice."

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