Ravens Monday Transcripts

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "I want to thank everybody for being here, and we appreciate you being here. We had a good practice coming off the tough game yesterday, and we're going to work on our next game. Obviously, you're here for more than just that. We had a chance – after seeing something this morning – after seeing the video this morning, we had a chance to get together with Steve [Bisciotti], Dick [Cass], Ozzie [Newsome] and myself, and we had a meeting. It was not a long meeting, and we came to the decision that we came to, to release Ray [Rice]. And that's what we did. So, you know that. I had a chance to talk to Ray along with Ozzie this afternoon after we did it. [We have] nothing but hope and goodwill for Ray and Janay, and we"ll do whatever we can going forward to help them as they go forward and try to make the best of it."

John, what was it like to see that video? (Reporter) "It's something we saw for the first time today – all of us – and it changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different."

John, did Ray Rice mislead you? Were you mislead in anyway, because you stood up here and defended the guy, and now you see the video and make this decision? (Jerry Coleman) "I don't want to get into all that. I don't think of it that way.Everything I said, in terms of what I believe, I stand behind. I believe that still, and I'll always believe those things. And we'll always stand and support them as a couple, and that's not going to change."

Coach, how come the team wasn't able to see the video until today? (Jeff Darlington) "I have no answer for that."

John, as a football team, how do you feel as far as what you'll have in the backfield? (Aaron Wilson) "Well, we will have exactly what we've had so far. We have the guys that we have, and I'm excited about our offense. I'm excited about some of the things we did yesterday in terms of yards and points and our opportunities to score points. We need to score more points and first downs and things like that. I know we can play a lot better than we did, and I'm looking forward to seeing how we do."

John, you said it changed for you. How did it change after seeing the video? (Reporter) "I don't know if I want to get into all the details about it. I think it's pretty obvious and pretty apparent. Everybody [has] seen the video, and we'll leave it at that."

Coach, do you believe the NFL has seen the video before today? (Reporter) "I don't have any understanding or knowledge of any of that. I don't know."

Was there discussion between the Ravens and NFL today before you both came to the conclusion? (Reporter) "Not that I'm involved with. I'm involved right now with the football team and getting ready for Pittsburgh."

You came into the league when Ray Rice came into the NFL as a head coach. You had a strong relationship with him. This has to be personally kind of devastating to you. (Jerry Coleman) "It's always ... When someone that you care about does wrong and is faced with the consequences of doing wrong – and rightfully so – it is tough, it is hurtful. My pain is for both of them as a couple and going forward. My hope is that they can make it work. From everything that I understand in talking to Ray up until his suspension – talking to him a lot – it seemed like they really were working hard and really doing well in that direction. I hope they can weather this part of it, too. And I'll be praying for that. If I can help in any way, [if] my wife and I can help in any way, we will. That's where it's at."

Can you share any of RB Ray Rice's reaction to the news today? (Gerry Sandusky) "I really would rather not. That's more personal."

Coach, are you satisfied with the level of diligence that the organization took to see what occurred on that video? (Jeff Darlington) "Absolutely. Sure. I'm not following where you're going with that."

I'm just curious why the team wasn't able to see the video. (Jeff Darlington) "I don't know why that would be a hard thing to understand. It wasn't made available. It wasn't there for us."

From a legal standpoint? (Jeff Darlington) "As far as I know, yes. It wasn't something we already saw [or] ever had access to."

Did you discuss it with the team as a whole today? (Bo Smolka) "We did. The team responds the way everybody responds to these things. And again, you're talking about somebody you know. It's a little more challenging when you're talking about someone that's part of your family, so to speak. So our guys, they felt it. All the same emotions that everybody out there would feel, we all felt."

Why did the video change the team's reaction so drastically? What did you think happened in that elevator before you saw the video? (Reporter) "I don't want to get into all of that. Talking about feelings and all that stuff ... It's pretty easy for everybody to understand. Anybody that has a heart would understand how that goes."

How did Ray Rice relay the events of the evening to you guys? (Aaron Wilson) "I'm not going to get into all of that. Those are personal conversations, and that's really where that belongs. I want to respect that."

What do you think about the timing of this whole video and how that impacts the team in the midst of a short week with a game coming up? (Reporter) "The timing is the timing that it is. We have a football game to play Thursday night. We have no control over that. I don't have any feelings about that at all. It will not impact us in any way, football-wise. You can't allow that. This is professional football, and we'll be ready to play Thursday night."

This affects the organization on so many different levels, John. Which is the most difficult? (Reporter) "I wish I had an answer for that. That's a pretty deep question. I haven't given it that much thought to think of it in that many levels right now."

What would be one, if you can think of one? (Reporter) "I don't have those options in front of me. I don't have that list right now."

Do you expect Ray Rice to play in the NFL again? (Aaron Wilson) "I don't have any expectation for anything right now. My expectation right now really is to move with our team going forward and [being] the best football team we can be."

Were the financial implications, cap-wise ... Was that discussed today? (Reporter) "Certainly. Everything is discussed. Like I said, it was not a long meeting, though."

Why wasn't it that long? (Reporter) "Anyone else?"

Is there any reason why G Marshal Yanda wasn't practicing today? (Aaron Wilson) "We held Marshal back. He's healthy. No injury there, but we just sat Marshal out today."

Who's your starting running back Thursday? (Reporter) "Bernard Pierce, Justin Forsett – they'll both play a lot. Lorenzo Taliaferro will be a big part of it, too. Good question. Thanks."

DE Chris Canty

On the news of Ray Rice's release from the Ravens: "Domestic violence is not just a women's issue – it takes all of us. It's a sad day. We have to send our prayers to Ray and Janay, and their family. What they're going through [during] this ordeal, I couldn't imagine. It was a deplorable act – no question. He made a terrible error in judgment. But I would just ask everyone to be cognizant of the fact that it's easier to point a finger of blame rather than extend a hand of help, and it's clear that they need help with what they're going through. They've been seeking that and they will continue to do so, I'm sure."

On what he thought when he saw the video today: "I was in shock. My first thoughts were ... I don't think it's appropriate to be showing it on television. You have to think of the victim, Janay, in this situation. To force her to re-live that physical and emotional abuse is wrong. It's absolutely wrong. Some media outlets have chosen to air it regardless of her feelings. I'm not sure whether they reached out for her consent or not, but it's wrong. It's wrong."

On whether he agrees with the decision to release Rice: "Well, I think that [the organization] is looking at the best interest of our football team, and that decision was made. Whether I agree with it or not, we as professionals have a job to do. We have to move forward. We have a game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and we're in a tough spot right now as a football team. We started out 0-1 in the division at home, so we really have to do all we can to come together and give ourselves the best chance to be successful on Thursday."

On how the Rice situation will affect the team this week: "We have to put this aside and focus on our job, which is to play the very best football that we can and give ourselves the best opportunity to be successful. This is something that's tough to deal with. Ray [Rice] is a friend, so it makes it really tough. But we have to focus on the task at hand, which is the Pittsburgh Steelers."

RB Justin Forsett

On watching the Ray Rice video: "It's definitely tough. You hate to see [Ray Rice] in that predicament. It's definitely tough seeing that, watching that video, but hopefully ... I know for a fact that – just being with him since the incident, working with him, [I knew] him for a lot of years now – that he's definitely going to mature, and I'm not going to abandon him now. I'm going to be a friend and help him in his growth and development. But [it was] definitely a shame watching that."

On whether he thinks Rice will get a second chance in the NFL: "I hope so. You never know. I know he's going to attack it head on and do whatever he can to help out the cause with domestic violence and things like that. I'm going to be praying for him and his family."

On the hardest part of watching the video: "The act in itself. You watch that, and I know both of them. [It's] just a tough situation. You never want to see that, especially somebody you know, you're close with and you work with and you play with. And I've known him for a while now. It's just an ugly incident."

On the feeling amongst him and his teammates: "Like I said, I know him. He's like a brother to me, and I'm going to stick with him. I want to help them grow, like I said, as a person. I've been there for him. [I] tried to text him, reach out to him today. And with the rest of the team, we have to move forward. We have to go out and try to win games."

On how much more difficult this short week is now: "Not at all. It doesn't make anything difficult. We have to go out and perform. We had a game just yesterday, and we have a quick turnaround. We have to get back to the film and watch what we need to fix and grow from there. But the Pittsburgh Steelers [are] the obstacle. We have to go out there and perform and play against them."

On whether he feels betrayed by Rice: "No. I don't feel betrayed. I definitely don't like the situation and the act, but like I said, it's an ugly incident in itself. And moving forward, I know that he's growing and I'm willing to help out any way I can."

On whether he feels ready for more opportunities to play: "I'm ready for anything. I'm ready to seize the moment. My job is to go out and perform when my number is called. I'm excited about [the] opportunity. I thank God for it, and hopefully [there will] be some great things to come on Thursday night."

On whether he thinks getting opportunities to play will be long term: "You never know in this league. You have to take it one game at a time. I know it's cliché, but in this business, it's a crazy business, and my job is ... I can't control when my number is called or when I go out there on the field, but I can control my attitude and my head for when I get there."

P Sam Koch

On the Ray Rice video: "It was hard for all of us to see, but it's something that we just have to self-reflect on and look at ourselves and go from there. I'm not going to really comment a whole lot on that."

On whether there is anything to be learned from this incident: "I think everybody can learn a lot from other people's mistakes and your own mistakes. So, whatever comes in your own life, don't take it with the grain of salt. Treat your family with respect and everything else."

On whether it is tough to see Rice go: "It's kind of the same way with any other player – with an Ed Reed or Ray Lewis. When those guys left, it's tough from a friend aspect, but it's [about the] next man up."

On how this incident impacts the team's short practice week: "We're looking forward to Pittsburgh and going out there and winning the game Thursday night. That's all we have on our mind right now."

WR Torrey Smith

On how disappointing it is to no longer have Ray Rice as a part of the team: "It's definitely disappointing, but we're in a limelight position: To whom much is given, much is required. A lot of things are given to us, and we have to be able to understand it."

On if what he saw on video didn't match what Ray Rice had initially told the team: "I'm not going to go into what he told us or anything or if it matches or if it doesn't. That doesn't matter. What matters is what you see, and people tend to judge you by what [they're] seeing. It wasn't a pleasant sight at all. We tend to forget ... We all focus on Ray, but there's still a victim in that in Janay. She's like a sister to my wife. We're trying to support her just as much as we support Ray."

On if he had a chance to reach out to Rice at all: "I reached out to him, but that's not really an issue to talk about."

On if he was pretty stunned when he heard the news: "Everyone was stunned. It's not a good-looking video at all."

On pushing this aside with a game just a couple days away: "We're going to play ball. We knew we were going to be without him anyway for the first two games, so our focus is on the Steelers and nothing else. More so than anything is getting this stuff out of the way early, because at the end of the day, we're focusing on our game plan and going out there to play ball. That's just a product of it. We lost one of our best players here, and he was a great Raven, and it feels weird to even say that. That's the punishment, and he has to deal with it. It's way worse for him than it is for us. We just have to get ready for the next one."

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