FRIDAY PODIUM AVAILABILITY: WEEK 14 AT CLEVELAND BROWNS
ED BLOCK COURAGE AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT
TE Mark Andrews
"So, for this year's Ed Block Courage Award … I was nominated last year. Specifically, one of the awesome things we did was talking to the kids at St. Vincent's [Villa], which was an incredible experience. This award represents high character [and] courage. It's one of the highest awards you can get in the NFL, and you're voted on by your peers. Ed Block was actually based out of Baltimore, so this hits home. He did a lot in our community. This year, we voted on somebody that embodies everything that this award means. [He's] someone that's worked hard through everything. He's had a bunch of injuries, but he's a fighter, continues to fight, and he's a heck of a teammate – Tavon Young."
CB Tavon Young
On what it means to be named the Ravens' 2021 Ed Block Courage Award recipient: "It means a lot. Everybody knows I've faced a lot during my career, my young career, so far. It means a lot to be voted on by my teammates, my peers, the training staff. They've always been behind me through everything, so it means a lot."
On if he feels like he'll be out on the field as long as he possibly can, despite battling injuries: "Yes, of course. Just going through a lot of things in my career, I'm always going to try to fight to be on the field, no matter what. If I can run and jog, I'm going to be out there. But this award [the Ed Block Courage Award], it means a lot. I fight through injuries, but when I'm fighting through those, I always think about how there are other people out here in the world fighting through things that take more courage than what I do. People [or] kids, battling diseases and everything, I look up to those kids and adults. I feel like I'm just born to fight."
On if the best part of winning the Ed Block Courage award is that it was voted on by his teammates: "Yes, for sure. When people vote [you] for something, that means that they really believe it. It's nothing that was just given to me by one person. I'm really appreciative, and I thank everybody."
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "Congratulations to Tavon Young for [winning] the Ed Block Courage award. [It's] much and very-well-deserved because of what he's been through. As you pointed out, last game, he fought through the sickness. So, that was just another example of what he's all about."
Did you get to know former Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas at all? (Jonas Shaffer) "I never did. I never did. I just feel really bad for his family. A young man and a great player. Trying to defend him, I can tell you that, from the other side, was a really hard thing to do. He was big, fast, strong [and] by all accounts, just a first-class human being and family man. So, I'm really sorry to hear that news. Rest in peace."
Kind of staying with CB Tavon Young, he's always important, but with the situation you guys are in now, he's known as being a slot guy. Can you talk about other things and ways he may be able to help you and can help you going forward? (Cliff Brown) "He has. He's played outside this year a number of snaps, so far. So, he'll be inside. He'll be outside. We'll match it up the way we do, mix it up with coverages and personnel groups. I'm sure he'll be ready to go, and he'll play well."
This may be a hard question, but how does he get so much out of his size, CB Tavon Young? (Cliff Brown) "There are guys in this league who are smaller players who play really well. You can think of those guys. He can run. He can move. He's a great athlete, but he's tough. He's just tough. He's a pit bull-type of personality, and I think that's the main driving force there."
I know we always ask you about the players that are not out there, but how did it feel to have everybody but two players out there today? (Jamison Hensley) "It was good. I appreciated it. It was different."
I know he's still on IR, but we saw OLB Pernell McPhee out here yesterday. Do you still feel like he can be a contributor for this team at some point this month? Is he coming along with that injury? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Yes, he's close. He's close. I think he'll be back real soon, right around when he's able to be."
We talked to CB Anthony Averett about this on Wednesday and then defensive coordinator Don Martindale about it yesterday … Do you think with the secondary there's going to be, by necessity, more mix and match for the rest of the year? I know there's already been a lot, but are guys going to have to be ready to play lots of different roles, all of them? (Childs Walker)"Yes, I mean, they all play … We're talking about the corners, mostly. Of course, Brandon Stephens can go to corner, too, and we bring other safeties in the game. But the corners have to play inside and outside, those who do. Some of them are strictly outside. Some can play both. Some are strictly inside. It's a lot of young guys now. They've been practicing well, and we'll see how they play. I'm very confident they're going to play well. I know they're going to play fast and hard. They get coached every day. They practice every day. They're prepared. Let's go play some ball."
Some breaking good news, your brother, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, was just named AP College Coach of the Year. (Jonas Shaffer)"Thank you. I was just informed of that by [director of public relations] Tommy [Valente]. That's awesome. I'm just really happy for him. Congratulations to Jim [Harbaugh] and the whole staff and the players. To be the Coach of the Year in college football is a pretty remarkable accomplishment. To do it the way they did it this year, after being written off by so many, is very … I don't know, it's a good feeling. I'm proud of him. I'm happy for him. I'm happy for all of them. He's always been a great coach. And all those that want to pile on, especially some of the local media there … There you have it, back in your face. (laughter) He'd never say it, but I'll say it."
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski ruled out TE Harrison Bryant. We don't know exactly what the situation is with TE David Njoku. If they don't have that kind of depth at tight end, do your expectations for that offense change substantially? (Jonas Shaffer)"They're going to run their offense still. What they'll do [is] they'll do it with different groups on the field. They have certain plays they run more in certain packages, but they can put different players on the field and do some of the same roles. They have guys who are listed as fullbacks who play tight end roles. They have a young tight end, [Miller] Forristall. He'll come up, and he's ready to play for them. Which way they lean … They can bring extra linemen on the field when they want to to play the tight end blocking role. So, they'll find ways to do it. They are very good coaches, and they have a lot of good players. So, I'm sure we're going to see a real good team out there, whatever it is. Whatever groups, we just have to be ready for whatever it might be."
This is a small thing, but their punter, P Jamie Gillan is the holder for kicks and extra points. Does that play into your strategy since he's out? (Kirk McEwen)"They brought in [Dustin] Colquitt. He's a lefty punter, so that kind of keeps it similar in some ways for them, and as a holder, he's been a solid holder in the National Football League when he's held. I don't think it will change things too much as far as the scheme part of it. Punters punt where they punt, basically, so, we'll look at that. We'll understand what his pattern is, what his operation is and those kinds of things. It's not going to change anything dramatically, scheme-wise."
Did LS Nick Moore give you any looks against a left-handed punter this week? (Jeff Zrebiec)(laughter) "No. We have our left-handed JUGS [machine] out here. … They didn't used to make the JUGS [machine] lefty, did you know that?" (Reporter: "No.") "Isn't that amazing? Yes, all those years, they were all strictly right-handed JUGS [machines], and now they've expanded. There are left-handed JUGS machines." (Reporter: "So, how do they spin? The other way?") "They spin the other way. It's just like Southern [Hemisphere] and Northern [Hemisphere]. You know how that works? You're familiar with that?" (laughter) (Reporter: "Yes.")"Same idea."(laughter)