Ravens Friday Transcripts: Week 1 at Las Vegas

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "[It's] good seeing everybody. I appreciate you guys being here. It's a beautiful day. We're excited to practice, get ready for the Raiders [and] continue that process. We're moving forward. So, a couple news things, obviously; we have two guys going on IR [injured reserve] for the season. It'll be Gus Edwards and Marcus Peters. You know about the injuries from yesterday. Many of you reported on them already. Those were disappointments. [They were] non-contact, ligament tears in practice – just one of those things that happens. Nick [Boyle] is going to go on short-term IR for three weeks, just to get his knee right and get his body right. We expect him to be back Week Four or Week Five, somewhere in there, whenever he gets back. So, what questions do you have?"

Obviously, we weren't out here at practice. You said they were non-contact. Was it just them running? Did they just plant? Were you able to see how it happened? (Jamison Hensley) "Yes, you could see clearly on tape what happened. They were just … Gus [Edwards] made a cut, a left-to-right cut, and landed wrong on his ankle, and the weight ended up going on his knee – kind of a fluke deal. Marcus [Peters] was just kind of turning and pivoting on a basic turn that he makes dozens of times, every single practice. So, that's what happened."

As you move forward, is there an emotional toll? How do you handle that when guys are losing teammates at this degree? (Mark Viviano) "You know, that's another big picture question that I'm not really prepared to answer. I know that … I think you mourn. We mourn for a day, and we fight today – that's what we do. So, we were disappointed for those guys. Our hearts go out to those guys, because it's just tough for the guys. That's who you hurt for. We have a really good team with a lot of great players. We've brought some really good players in, you can see that, and we can move forward. The train is moving fast. We're excited to go play Monday night. The game is going to go off at 5 o'clock pacific time, and we're going to be there right on time – we won't be late. Our whole team will be there ready to go. We've been preparing for this for a long time as a team. The thing we're disappointed is [that] there are going to be a couple guys that won't be on the train – that's what hurts, for those guys. Talking to Marcus [Peters], I was probably more down about it than he was. He picked me up yesterday on the phone. Those guys will go to work. They'll get back. They'll get right. They'll be stronger than ever next year. The same thing with J.K. [Dobbins], the exact same feelings with J.K. But the team itself, we feel for those guys, and our hearts go out for those guys. We're back in the fight, and that's what we're doing today."

As a head coach for 14 years, you've seen a lot of adversity. Do you get the sense that the players look to you for how you handle things and take your energy and go from there? (Kirk McEwen) "That's part of it, for sure. It always is, but I don't care what kind of leadership-type of role you're in, I tell our guys, 'Everybody is a leader.' We have leaders everywhere. [We have leaders] in the locker room. We have leaders in rooms. We have leaders in relationships. We have leaders with their families. We have a bunch of men and women in the organization, but I'm just talking about the football team, who lead every single day in their way. We lead one another in our relationships. So, it's us. It's us together. We've got us; I like us. I like everything about us, and I'm excited about us going forward into this season. I can't wait to get the season started."

There's so much talk about the value of training camp. Now, you're going to have to have running backs who weren't here for training camp. How long does it take players like that to fit in and get up to speed? (Bo Smolka) "There are a lot of different aspects to that. Like [Latavius] Murray, he came in – he's been in training camp. He's in shape. I just saw him; he's in great shape. He's ready to go. Le'Veon [Bell], he's been in great shape, but he has to get in football shape a little bit. [He] has to get his sea legs a little bit, football-wise, but he looked good yesterday at practice. [Devonta] Freeman was in camp, so he's in shape. Football shape does mean something. Now, we have to get them up to speed with the playbook. So, what can they take into the game Monday night? That's what we have to figure out in the next two practices over the next couple of days, is what different guys can handle in the game and just make a specific playbook for what they're ready for and merge it into our plan for the game and playing the game."

The defense, particularly the secondary, seemed to have a pretty good preseason with a lot of takeaways. How confident are you in the depth stepping up, given the situation? (Phil Dupont) "I'm confident in Anthony Averett, for sure. Anthony has had a great camp. You saw him all throughout – he's ready to go. Chris Westry is ready to go. He's done well. Brandon Stephens is ready to go. He's done well. Ar'Darius Washington had a really good camp. So, we have guys, and those guys will take one step up from where they were, take on a little more responsibility and go."

We talked to you about RB Le'Veon Bell and RB Devonta Freeman yesterday, but obviously, the RB Latavius Murray news happened yesterday evening. In terms of his style, what do you feel like RB Latavius Murray can bring to the mix? (Childs Walker) "I think his style is a great fit. You guys have all watched him play. You're football fans, and you cover the game – his style fits what we do. You've seen our offense; I think you can picture him pretty easily in that offense."

With RB J.K. Dobbins, [his injury] was at Washington and ILB L.J. Fort, [his injury] was at Carolina. The last three injuries happened on the [practice] field [in Owings Mills]. Have you thought … Some people wondered, was the playing surface with these last three injuries a factor at all in the end? (Jamison Hensley) "The grass?" (Reporter: "Yes.") "I don't think so. I don't believe so."

With TE Nick Boyle, was it just that he wasn't quite ready to go yet? There was no setback or anything like that? (Luke Jones) "I don't get into the details of all that. You could talk to … Well, you can't, really, because we won't let you. (laughter) … But if you could, you could. But you can't, so you won't. And that's where it stands." (laughter)

Obviously, the three IR guys and RB Latavius Murray is in, who are the other two guys you're adding [to the 53-man]? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I'm losing you in the math right now." (Reporter: "You're putting three guys on IR, Gus [Edwards]…") "I'm not prepared for all the different roster moves right now. I don't have that list right in front of me, but we'll have a full team when we get out there."

S Chuck Clark

On the team's mood: "Yesterday, it was kind of heavy air, thick air, but today, we're back at it. Everybody is in good spirits, and we're ready to get going."

On the defense losing CB Marcus Peters to a season-ending injury: "Our thoughts go out to him [Marcus Peters] and the whole situation, but it's basically the 'next man up' type of mentality, and I think he would want that, as well. It's the game of football. Whether it's an injury, trade or guy getting cut, it's always the next man up, and I think that's [for] a lot of guys across the league. [When] you look at every man that's a starter, they had to eventually be the 'next man up' type of situation."

On how confident they are in CB Anthony Averett stepping up in the absence of CB Marcus Peters: "We're all confident in him. The sky is the limit for him. We know what type of corner he is, what type of skillset he has. We've seen him in the past go out and cover top receivers in this league, and it's been done quietly, and now it's his time to do it all the time, consistently."

On if he's spoken with CB Marcus Peters: "I haven't talked to him today, but it's kind of one of those situations where you don't know how to approach that person [or what] to say. There's not too much that you can say, and I'm sure there's not too much he wants to hear. But just trying to talk to him yesterday and just [let him] know that we love him, we can't wait until he gets back, and we just hope that he gets healthy and is able to get back with us."

On if he's ever experienced two season-ending injuries happen in succession at one practice: "For me personally, that was my first time seeing something like that, but just [from] talking to a few other guys that have been around here, they've kind of seen a similar situation before. But that was the first for me."

On if head coach John Harbaugh addressed the team yesterday, and what his role is when situations like yesterday unfold: "I think it's just bringing it up at the end, as a team, and our thoughts and our prayers are going out to those guys, but I wouldn't say yesterday. In any type of argument or situation that you've got going on in life, and this is outside of football, you've got to let things kind of settle and process what just happened. I feel like, today, he was able to address us a lot better, attack the situation and move forward as a team."

On if he has time to think if the team has been hit by bad luck or other factors, regarding the number of injuries the team has faced: "In the moment, you do, but I think it all just comes back to the 'next man' mentality. And it's just one of those things where you've just got to keep pushing, have got to keep going, as an individual and as a team, because you can't let it be dragged."

On if last year's COVID outbreak prepared the team for the adversity they're currently facing with injuries: "I would definitely say so. That's the game of football – just, like I said, 'next man' mentality – that's the game of ball, and anything can happen any day, any week."

T Ronnie Stanley

On if he's shared advice with RB Gus Edwards and CB Marcus Peters, given that he suffered a season-ending injury last season: "Right. I think the biggest thing for us is to be there for our brothers and let them know that we're here for them and that they're still in our thoughts and prayers. It can be kind of feeling a little isolated, after you get injured, just being away from everyone. So, [we're] just keeping those guys in our prayers and most of all telling them just keep faith and take it a day at a time. You can only control what you can control, and just be thankful for the things that you do have and look at all the positives."

On what it was like at the end of practice yesterday after the injuries: "Yes, it was very depressing. The energy was definitely down, and deservingly so; we lost two of our brothers. To see them in pain, no one wanted to see that happen, but we've come back today, and I think we have a new-found energy, that we're going to go on the field and be even better for the guys that we lost."

On how crazy it is to process losing three running backs in just a couple weeks: "Yes, it was definitely crazy to process. I think everyone took the whole day after practice yesterday and kind of reflected on it and kind of sat in. Yes, it was hard to really think about that.

"But I think everyone came back today; we had a talk with the group leaders today, and we came back with the mindset [that] we're going to push forward, and we're going to be even better, in memory of those guys, playing for those guys."

On how quickly he believes the players recently brought in can get on track and contribute: "I think those guys will get on track really quick. The guys we brought in are smart guys, and they're eager to learn, and those guys want to play, and they want to win. So, I'm happy with that."

On how special it is to play in his first game back from last year's injury in his hometown of Las Vegas: "Yes, I think it's huge, because I never thought I'd be playing a football game in Vegas – besides high school. I think it's really cool to be able to play back there and be in the first game with the fans. So, it's special."

On how he responds to people who want to write the Ravens off: "Yes, I feel like that plays to our advantage more than anything, because I've always felt, even personally, I want people to underestimate me in thinking that they're not going to get something that they're going to get. So, guys can think whatever they want. The Ravens are going to be the Ravens. We're going to step up."

On what goes through his mind when the team goes through a tough stretch of injuries: "The first thing that goes through my head is I'm thinking about the guys, and I'm really thinking about the individual that's going through that injury. [I'm] trying to be just a good brother to him and just trying to get his morale up and just make him feel that you're not just going to be abandoned as a person. We're still going to be here for you as a brother, and I think that was the biggest thing for me coming out of that."

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