Head Coach John Harbaugh
Was that extra work today? It seemed like you guys went a little longer than usually. (Jerry Coleman) "No, same as we always do. We're actually in here earlier than we usually are. Usually, we are outside for the press conference. I'm not sure why you guys decided to set up inside today. Little cold for you?" *(laughter)
**You're ready for a cold game on Sunday, is that what you're saying? *(Jerry Coleman) *"We are ready, actually, for a somewhat cold game of weather. Yes, we are preparing for that."
**Pernell McPhee was pretty critical of his own play earlier this week, talking about lacks the get-off. What have you seen from his progress, and how much do you think he's been hammered by the offseason stuff with the injuries and stuff? *(Jeff Zrebiec) *"One thing about Pernell, he has a lot of pride. He has a very high standard for himself. It means a lot to him, so when he says that, he means it. He's been battling with a lot of nagging injuries that he's working through right now. He didn't practice this week, as you know. He's working on that stuff."
Coming off the bye, the preparation for this week, how do you think the team did through practices this week? (Bill West) "We did really well. I thought we practiced well – practiced hard. Our guys always work really hard. It was very focused. We did a good job of maybe organizing … We looked at what we need to work on, and we seemed to have done that, so we'll just see how we play."
**At the end of a bye week, is there a kind of eagerness to get back out there after so much time to talk about the previous game, especially when it was a tough game the last time? *(Garrett Downing) *"You have a great way of asking questions. I'm really impressed with the way you ask questions, but I think that's an obvious yes. Yes."
*Coach [Dean] Pees said he thought the bye week was the best thing that could happen for the defense so they could really go over and see. He said just scheme and little things that they have to work on to stop the run … He said this is probably more than the work it was just the learning to see the film. (Jim Forner) *"Right, exactly. That's something that you want to make the most of your bye week that way. Not just for rest and recovery, but also to improve. This is a long season. You can break it up into quarters; you can break it up into halves; you can break it up into 16ths. It seems like every week is a new story. Certainly, at the middle point of the year, we want to look at everything and just determine what we think we do well, what we don't do well, what direction we want to move our X's and O's and try to put our players in the best position we can to play as fast and confident as they can play. That's really important as a coach; that's really something you try to do for your guys."
**Haloti [Ngata] practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, but he didn't participate yesterday. How is he progressing as far as getting ready for Sunday? *(Luke Jones) *"We'll see. We'll see. He's working on it."
Coach, you've been very good after byes. Under you, 4-0, I believe it is, and then Joe [Flacco] after a loss, I think he has 22 touchdowns. Your thought coming in after a bye, why are you so good after a bye? (Bill West) "We probably played well the week after a bye. [I] don't have any thoughts on that other than everyone is different. Just because maybe we have done well in an area, that doesn't guarantee anything, obviously. Just because we haven't done well in an area, doesn't mean that we aren't going to play well. You're always chasing something. Again, every game stands on its own. This one is going to be a tough battle. We know what to expect. We've been there many times. We understand their team. Obviously, they are playing really well, so it's going to be a tough battle."
Without asking you about every player on this injury report, how time consuming was it for you to have to deal with it this week, because this is the most we've ever seen? (Jerry Coleman) "It really didn't take me much longer at all. The guys – Chad Steele [director of media relations] does a great job of organizing that along with Mark Smith [head certified athletic trainer], and basically, they show it to me, and I approve it. It took me just as long to say, 'That looks good.' Then, I was done with it. It was really easy."
Do the Browns' 19 players surprise you? (Jerry Coleman) "No. It doesn't surprise me. I mean, the league is sending a message. The league is letting us know what they expect on the injury report. I'll go back to the thing – the significance thing. Kevin [Byrne, senior vice president of public and community relations] is over there shaking his head. You got nervous; you raised up. But the way the thing is written, it says, 'A player … If a player has practiced fully or played fully, and he has an injury and he's a significant player and it affects his play, he should be on there.' Well, I think player safety is important for all the players. I'm going to say that every injury is significant, if that's how they want to word it. I'm not going to go with the league saying that one player is more significant than another player. That's absurd to me. So, they can get mad at me if they want for saying that, but they need to write that a little more clearly, in our opinion. We will just put every guy on there that has a hangnail, and we'll go from there. And here's the other thing about that, and I'm on a roll, and Kevin's stiffening up again: Aren't there HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] rights here? If I'm a player and I've been playing and I don't want that on the injury report, and I'm told I have to be put on the injury report … We have some players that resent that. So yes, I have a problem with that, in all honesty."
Kevin Byrne: "Coach, we had two players that came and said, 'Why did you put me on the injury list? I don't want to be on the injury list.'"
Harbaugh: "Right, that's exactly right."
Byrne: "Haven't missed any practices, haven't missed a game."
Harbaugh: "If a guy goes out there and doesn't miss a practice, doesn't miss a game, and doesn't want to be on the injury report, and we have to be on the injury report, I want the league's answer on that. I'm looking forward to hearing that. So, I'll probably be getting fined for that now."
**How much credence do you put on the opposition's injury report? *(Rich Dubroff) *"None. There's no credence on the injury report now. It doesn't mean anything. It has no value. The injury report is without value."
Jim Forner: "Because Tom Brady used to be on it every week."
Harbaugh: "Thank you. Bill [Belichick] figured it out way before the rest of us did. His injury report is that long. It's been that way for years. We tried to do it the other way and be honest … 'Honest' is a bad word. Retract that. Scratch that. We tried to be straightforward with our injury report, and we got fined for it. We're moving on."