FRIDAY PODIUM AVAILABILITY: WEEK 6 VS. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "It is a beautiful day out. [It's] a nice warm day. I'm not going to say I'm in favor of global warming by any stretch, because I'm not, but I am in favor of warm days. What does that mean? We like warm days. So, it's a beautiful day today.
"Let me start off with the injury thing. I'm probably not going to talk about who might play or who may play just for competitive reasons. I will say Sammy [Watkins] is going to be out this week. He has a hamstring [injury] – it's a couple week thing. He could be back next week. He could be back the week after. It just depends on how quickly the hamstring heals, but he'll be out for this game. Really, off the top of my head, I don't think I can announce anybody else. Derek Wolfe is still out. Ronnie Stanley is still out. The guys that might get back, or the other guys, we'll really see on Sunday. OK?"
He's not eligible to play, but how is TE Nick Boyle progressing? (Luke Jones) "He's progressing well. He's doing a good job. I think he's getting close. I would say that he's getting close. He looks good in his workouts. So, fingers … Eh, not fingers crossed. We're not talking about luck here, you know? We're looking forward to getting him back."
I know you said you won't talk about injuries, but with QB Lamar Jackson, with the illness, is everything OK there? (Jamison Hensley) "Everything is OK. I'm not going to talk about specifically what it was, but it wasn't a lingering thing."
The Chargers, I think I've counted right, for defensive pass interference, they've drawn six of them for that team. As a coach, is it well-defined still, defensive pass interference? Sometimes, it looks like the passes aren't catchable, and they're still being called. Do you think it's still a penalty, in your eyes, that's clearly defined? (Jamison Hensley) "I think it's very much a judgement call, and it always will be. It's in the eye of the beholder of who is making the call. It always has been, and it always will be, really. I think the league tries to do the best job they can of educating their officials of what they want. An uncatchable pass is kind of out the window. I haven't seen that used. I thought the one against Anthony [Averett] was uncatchable, even though I saw no grab. There was no grab. He wasn't disrupted at all on the route, but it still was too high to catch. But that didn't come into play. So, you just have to live with those calls. Our guys, we don't really pass interfere. Our guys do a great job of playing the ball. If they call it on you, you just have to overcome it."
Not talking at all about the penalty, but CB Tavon Young, his play up until that point, how pleased were you with that? He's missed so much football the last four years. Do you feel like he's getting close to that pre-injury form of a few years ago? (Luke Jones) "I do. He's getting stronger. He can play more plays every week. He's just about a year out from that [injury]; maybe a week, or two, past a year out. So, it's totally understandable. I think he's going to keep getting stronger. But he had his best game to date this year, and it was good to see."
I'm not asking whether he's going to play or not, but just the progress you've seen from WR Rashod Bateman being out here now. This is his third week back. How pleased are you with where he's at and how he's been able to play catch-up with all the time lost? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I'm very pleased. He obviously did a really nice job. Our trainers and strength coaches did a nice job on the rehab, and he's done well. I think you probably can expect him to play in this game with Sammy [Watkins] being out. We'll see how he does."
Do you expect a similar kind of ramp-up offensively for WR Miles Boykin? He was just special teams last week. (Jonas Shaffer) "Miles [Boykin] will ramp up, too. Absolutely."
When it comes to WR Marquise Brown, it seems like he's done a good job since the Lions game with the drops, really forgetting about that mentally. How impressed have you been with his maturity mentally? (Melissa Kim) "[I've been] very impressed. I don't know that he needed a big jump there. He's a pretty mature guy. He takes it seriously. I think he's learning how to be a pro like all young players do in terms of the grind of it. He's done a great job with it. He's worked really hard to be out there at practice, and it's really paying off in the way he's been playing."
CB Tavon Young
On if he feels like he is knocking off the rust and performing closer to his old self:"Yes, I feel like even before that game [Monday night], I wasn't rusty. I feel like I knocked that off earlier than that – me personally. But yes, I feel like it was my best performance of the season so far."
On facing QB Justin Herbert on Sunday:"He's a good quarterback. Especially to be as young as he is, he's a good quarterback, and we know we have to come with everything we have. So, we're ready for the challenge."
On if being called for a penalty late in the game served as a learning moment:"Oh, yes – for sure. Bad mistake by me by retaliating. That's not in my character. It was the heat of the moment. I texted Coach 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] about it, took full responsibility for it, talked with some of my teammates. It won't happen again."
On if it was worsened by TE Jack Doyle appearing to go for the neck area:"It is what it is. I shouldn't have reacted, regardless of what it was. But like I said, that's not in my character, and I don't want to jeopardize the team like that."
On how it felt after the Colts missed the late-game field goal:(laughter) "I'm not going to lie; when he was lining up to kick it, I was just sitting, like, 'Man, I hope he doesn't make this.' (laughter) Because I just know everybody is just going to be looking at me like … And I would understand that because I made a bad mistake. And when he missed, it was just like it's a new life, new life, another opportunity. So, I was happy."
On what it meant for his teammates to support him on social media:"I expect that, and they expect it from me, too. We protect each other, we stick-up for each other, and that's just what a family is – that's what it should be."
On what the defense needs to do to perform at a higher level:"It's just the simple things – tackling, just knowing your assignment, trusting your teammates. Just the simple things."
On how much he enjoys blitzing and doing different things for the defense:"It's fun. That wasn't a thing that I was used to doing in college or anything, but once I got here, I started playing nickel a lot, and blitzing, I figured I'd like it. It's fun."
On if the defensive backs talk about blitzing:"No, it's not … Whatever is in the gameplan, we make it happen."
On what the team is doing to combat their spell of missed tackles:"No, it's just addressing it – that's where it starts – and then just working on your angles at practice. Every play, running to the ball. Like I said, trusting your teammate that they will be there, too. That's all it is."
On what he's seen in practice from WR Rashod Bateman:"He's explosive. I know he's explosive off the ball, great route-runner, he's strong. He kind of seems more polished for a young guy. Like, when he first came in, he was making plays early. So, I'm expecting him to make plays."