SATURDAY PODIUM AVAILABILITY: WEEK 5 VS. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "[It's] good seeing everybody. I appreciate you being here. What questions do you have?"
OLB Jaylon Ferguson, we haven't seen him lately. How is he doing? (Jamison Hensley) "He still has had symptoms, so he hasn't been able to be cleared yet off the COVID-19 list."
Do you feel like T Alejandro Villanueva getting a couple days off really helped him as far as getting ready for this week? (Luke Jones) "I'm sure it did. He practiced today."
I know you're focused on Monday's game, but OL Patrick Mekari, when he first got here, I remember you saying that he was definitely an undrafted guy to watch. What about him did you like, if you remember, at the time? How pleased are you with what he's become and developed into? (Jeff Zrebiec) "Specifically, I just liked his tape. He was a guy that played strong. He played square. He didn't get turned. He controlled the edges of his blocks really well. He moved his feet [and] rarely made mistakes on tape. He just looked like a really underrated player when you watched the tape. Sometimes, guys slip through like that. [That's] definitely proven to be the case. He's been invaluable to us. He's playing really good football. I'm just really proud of him."
How do the wide receivers look? (laughter) (Jonas Shaffer) "They look good." (laughter)
We did see G/T Tyre Phillips back out on the practice field ... (Luke Jones) "He looked good." (laughter)
RB Latavius Murray
On if he's started to learn more of his teammate's names: "I'm good now. Yes, I'm good now. I knew that question was coming, but I'm good now. (laughter) Yes, it's been good, it's been fun. So, yes."
On if he's getting more comfortable with Baltimore's offensive system: "Yes, definitely. [I'm] almost four weeks in now. Just repetition, practice reps – that's what it's all about. Obviously, that's what was missing when I first got here. So, being able to come out here and just get the reps constantly, that's how you learn, that's how you continue to get better. So, yes, I think things are going the right direction."
On the running backs feeding off of each other: "I just think just given the situation, just being able to learn from each other, lean on Ty'Son [Williams], lean on Devonta [Freeman], Le'Veon [Bell] – just it being a unique situation from the beginning. You kind of need that, especially for a lot of new faces in that room. So, I think we've all done a great job of kind of staying together, supporting each other and trying to help each other get better and push each other and compete in practice."
On if his approach changed when facing a defense that is geared towards stopping the run: "No, I mean, sometimes, you're just wondering if you're doing your job well at all. They just make it hard. You get frustrated, you want to make sure you're making the right reads, you want to make sure you're doing the things right when you've got a defense that's committed to stopping the run like that. So, it's just frustrating at times. But the biggest thing is obviously getting the yards that are there, making more out of it if you can, just doing your job and knowing there's a bigger part. If they are up in the box trying to stop the run, then we should be able to hurt them. And throwing for 300 yards in the air, obviously, was to our benefit, too."
On his impressions of QB Lamar Jackson and what has stood out that maybe he didn't know before: "I think exactly what I just said; being able to practice with him day in and day out and see his throwing ability, his precision, his accuracy. Again, practicing with him day in and day out, just seeing that up close and personal is … [I have] a lot of respect for what he can do throwing the ball. I think he probably doesn't get a lot of credit for that. Obviously, we know what he can do on the ground, but he can hurt you throwing the ball."
On RB Le'Veon Bell's boxing workouts, which he's posted to social media: "Well, if you were in the building, then any chance Le'Veon [Bell] gets, he's doing some bouncing or some boxing. He can't sit still, really. It's always boxing – shadow boxing; is that what you call it? (Reporter: "Yes.") So, he's always doing that during breaks, in the locker room, warming up – it doesn't matter. So, I think that's something he definitely takes seriously, and I think it's helped him, he said, a lot with his footwork and everything like that."
On if he knows how many touches he'll get going into any given game, or if it's still up in the air for him on gameday: "It is. It's up in the air, for sure. And I think maybe that's just the way we've got to prepare, and [we've] got to understand that it can be like that, as we've got a group of guys that can do different things. Like you said, he [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] is still learning and getting to know us, and getting to know our abilities, and what we're really good at and what we do well. So, I think the biggest thing is just staying ready – for all of us – coming out here, just trying to make sure we're getting better. But [we're] not sure what's going to happen, so just staying ready."
On what makes the Colts' defense tough to run against:"I just think they play hard. They're trying to get up the field, penetrating [and] just effort – just a lot of effort. So, obviously when you have guys penetrating in the backfield, a lot of times, that can result in some runs that can hurt you. So, I think if we're able to get it blocked up and get it handled … They have some good players up front. So, I think if we can do that any week, I think we like our chances."