Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement:"Good to see everybody. Thanks for coming out. We have no announcements, really. Roster-wise, I really don't have any information for you on who is going to play and who's not going to play, or on injuries. What do you have?"* *
**Do you have a reaction to Ed Reed's fine, and does the punishment fit the crime in that aspect? *(Jason Butt) *"That's a very good question. I think, obviously, the system is not perfect. Although, the motivation is correct and the idea is right. It's still a work in progress. Like I said before, our guys are doing everything they can. I'm really proud of our guys [with] the way that they've responded to try to play within the rules and respect player safety. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but they are doing their best."
What do you see Sunday in terms of playing time – play it by ear approach, or do you already have some thoughts on how you will go about handling that? (Aaron Wilson) "We have thoughts on it. We have a plan going in, and it can change, though. It can be altered by circumstances, certainly. We have a number of guys who are banged up a little bit, and some of those guys will play and some of those guys won't. We will go in there to win the game. We will have 46 guys active, and it will be the 46 best guys that are available to us – like always – and we will go play."
You wouldn't anticipate this becoming somehow like preseason … (Aaron Wilson) "No, you can't do that. It's not possible to do that. You don't have the numbers to do that, and this is a regular season game. This is too important for that."
What kind of progress is Jimmy Smith making? Obviously, the surgery, how is he doing back, and what do you kind of need to see from him? (Jeff Zrebiec) "The way the nature of that injury is, you are really supposed to push yourself through it. There's scar tissue that needs to be broken up, and there's strength that needs to be recovered. The only way to do it is to push yourself hard, and it's really painful. That's what he's trying to do right now. He made progress this week, and I anticipate him playing. That will be a play by ear. We'll see how he does during the game and how he plays and how he looks. He's a guy that's really important to us going forward. He's really motivated to play and play well. We need his services in the playoffs."
Justin Tucker was just up here to get an unsung hero award. What are your thoughts on the kind of season he has had? It's tough to be a kicker, but also tough to be a rookie kicker. (Aaron Wilson)"You're right. It's tough to be a kicker. Some rookies this year have had great years in the NFL. I am biased, [but] I think 'Tuck' [Justin Tucker] had the best year of all those guys, when you look at where he kicks and what he accomplished on kickoffs and everything. We're sure proud to have him. He deserves the credit, but also [assistant head coach/special teams coordinator] Jerry [Rosburg] and [kicking consultant] Randy Brown did a great job with him. It's just the beginning. He's got a lot of work to do. He has a big challenge ahead of him. He is a rookie, now going into the playoffs, but he is up to the task."
Going into the Cincinnati game, do you think in the second half that weather or anything could have any impact on who stays in or who comes out? (Bill West)"They'll be some decisions along those lines, but like I said, you don't have that many guys. The guys that are up are going to have to play, and we'll be playing those guys."
You guys got to get outside today for practice. I guess there is some bad weather coming in tomorrow. Do you think that you guys will leave earlier in the day tomorrow? (Aaron Wilson)"That's not in the plans right now. We do have a bus leaving from here for the guys that don't like to drive down to the airport – that will be available for some of our guys that don't drive. We found some of those guys out on Wednesday. We figured out who the guys are that can't drive in the weather. (laughter) (Reporter: "Some guys from down south?") *Some southern guys, but we had a coach from Jersey who had a problem, as a matter of fact. I didn't understand that. *(laughter) But, we'll get there. We'll definitely get to Cincinnati. We'll be on time for the game.
CBSSports.com's Jason Butt: "On behalf of the local media here in Baltimore, we would like to present the team MVP to Ray Rice. This is the third time in the last four years that he has won this honor."
RB Ray Rice
"I have great things to say. No. 1, it's an honor and definitely … I know your guys' job well, so for you all to vote me MVP, it's a special honor. You have a job, and obviously, my job is to go out there and perform, but for you to recognize me as the MVP of the team … Football being such a team sport, it really is a special honor. Obviously, I look forward to going out there every Sunday, maybe it's Monday or Thursday, and give it my best. No. 1, I appreciate you guys, and even through the ups and downs and highs and lows, for you guys to see through that and vote me MVP, it's a humbling feeling. Obviously, I give all the credit to my teammates – offensive line, Vonta [Leach], Joe [Flacco], for everybody being able to push through this season. [The season is] still going for us. I'm going to make the season a special one, but I'll take this one. With all the other accolades, I can put them up right now and focus on this week. After the season is over, it's really great time to reflect. With all that happened this offseason – my contract and everything else – I finally was able to come back here and play some real good football. It's an honor. Thank you. I appreciate it."
Butt: "For the local media's 'Good Guy' award, we have voted for Art Jones. He has been very cooperative with us all year, and it's very appreciated. If you have any words to say …"
DE Arthur Jones
"Thanks a lot, guys. I appreciate it. I appreciate you guys doing a good job, such a great job on showing the brighter side of me off the field and on the field. I just appreciate all that you guys do for us. I know that sometimes guys can give you hard times – not do an interview. I just see myself as being a reflection of my parents and [to] treat everyone with respect. I appreciate this award from you guys."