FRIDAY PODIUM TRANSCRIPT: Week 4 vs. STEELERS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Wow – what a moment. We just celebrated the retirement of Jacoby Jones as a Raven. I'll tell you, we're moved by it. Great memories watching those highlights come up, then hearing Jacoby [Jones] describe them and the questions that you guys had. It was pretty special. So, this is an amazing place, an amazing organization. [We] have players that have come through here like that, that are part of our family, part of our Baltimore fabric right now. The fact that the community can come together as one, around something like this – something like their team, something like a player on their team who has just brought us so many great memories – [is special]. The 'Mile High Miracle,' the Minnesota return, the kickoff return in the Super Bowl, all the touchdowns in the Super Bowl … Was it a fourth-down play, when he broke the tackles? Just all the amazing things he did, but even more than that, just being around him every day, and how he is with people in the community of Baltimore. He told a story where he says he's walking down the street in downtown Baltimore, and people are stopping the car, honking horns, stopping the car and jumping out and giving him a hug. That's Baltimore. To me, that's what it's all about."
Jacoby Jones might stay around until Sunday. You might be able to use him for some motivation? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, he talked to the team afterwards and broke the team [huddle] on 'family!' But, someone suggested he stick around and return a few kicks. What did he say about that?"
A lot was said about the travel – not just going to London, but coming back. Are you pleased with the energy level this week with guys getting back on the Eastern Time Zone? (Luke Jones) "That's a good question. We didn't know what to expect too much. But, guys are great. We had a really great week of practice, the energy. We went out on Wednesday, and it's our first practice of the week after getting back, and it was super hot. It was a hot day, and we were in full pads, and our guys had a really good practice. That was the thing that told me we were back. And also, I felt better. So, I ask guys, 'How do you feel?' They felt like they have gotten their sleep, and they were good."
Is that something that you would have normally done in full pads, or did you want to just get back into it after the long trip and sort of test everybody? (Jeff Zrebiec) "We've been in full pads every Wednesday so far this year. We're allowed 11 for the year. Or is it 11 before Thanksgiving, and then 14 for the year? So, with a young team, we'll probably use all of those. It was just a really good practice."
We didn't see OLB Terrell Suggs out there. Did he come out later, or is that something that might be later on the injury report? (Jamison Hensley)"No, I gave Suggs a veteran day today. He was happy. It's 11 total practices in pads – just for the record. I'm working my daughter's math, remember? (laughter) The numbers are carrying in my mind right now."
*We've seen DT Brandon Williams out there observing. We know he hasn't practiced yet. How is he progressing? (Luke Jones) *"He's progressing well. He's not going to be able to play this week. He has a lower leg issue that he's dealing with. When you see him practicing, you'll know that he's either close to getting back or back. That's where it's at right now. Like I said, it's not going to be half the season or anything like that. It's a matter of weeks from when he got hurt. I'll have my fingers crossed in the upcoming week or two and hope that he'll be back."
**With London, and everything in the NFL, the things going on here, does this Pittsburgh game help sharpen that focus for everybody? *(John Harrison) *"Yes, I think that's a great question. I've been asked that question a couple of times. The fact that we're playing a division team always gets everybody's attention, especially if it's Pittsburgh. After the game we played in London, it wouldn't have mattered who it was. It could've been a local high school team and we would've been ready to play. We have a lot to prove after that game – no question. You always have a lot to prove. Every game matters, and we know that no matter what the score is, it's just one loss. We understand all that, but that doesn't mean it doesn't bother you. You don't like going out there and getting your butt kicked at any time, and our guys, we all feel that."
You guys have dealt with a lot on the offensive line, but it seems like C Ryan Jensen has been playing pretty well, other than the penalties against Cincinnati. What have you seen out of him stabilizing that center position? (Luke Jones)"You nailed it. He played well in the Cincinnati game, but the penalties were a problem. We talked about that, and he cleaned it up immediately and has played well ever since. He's been a real bright spot. I think, really, if you look at the offensive line, there have been problems here and there that are always going to be growing issues with the young line. But, these guys are really coming on and they're going to be really good. I tell you, the guards played well, the tackles can play better than they did – they know that. But, those are probably our two best players in there, and they're going to play well."