THURSDAY TRANSCRIPTS: Week 4 VS. STEELERS
Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
**What did you see from your guys on the fake [punt], that they were able to run that? *(Luke Jones) *"We didn't defend it well because it was such a poor call by me. It's not a very good defense for that particular play, and that's what happened. It's just a bad call by the coach."
*Is that a result of you being surprised that they would run a fake [punt] at that point of the game? (Jeff Zrebiec) *"It doesn't really matter why I called it – it was just a bad call. That's a tough position to put your players in, and I put our guys in a bad spot and I told them that. And that's why we didn't defend it well, because we were in a bad defense."
*Was it correct that the Jaguars tipped the first punt? *(Bo Smolka) *"They did, yes." *(Reporter: "What happened on that one?") "A combination of factors, probably three different things – four, if you count poor coaching into that. It was a combination of factors that led to a tipped punt, yes. It was protection, it was the operation, it was the coaching, it was the whole thing. It was not a good play, either. We started the game poorly in that regard. And we made another mistake on another punt situation and we contributed to our performance on offense and defense, by not really doing anything the whole day with special teams to help our team. That's what we're there for and we didn't live up to our expectations."
I don't think you have returned a kick yet, it's all been either out of bounds or touchbacks. Do you think it's tough for these guys to be patient, wanting to get something going to help the offense? (Jeff Zrebiec)"It's a really good question – being patient. I guess it's how you look at it. You can look at the fact that we haven't had any returns, and the other way you can look at it is we're No. 1 in the league in drive start. It just depends how you look at it. The numbers, the analytics in the National Football League, you've gotten to the point where you can figure it out week by week if you're making the right decisions. Our people are telling us that we're making the right decisions. So, based on those numbers, I can tell players with all confidence that we're doing the right thing."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement:"Alright, let's wrap that last ballgame up. (pause) Alright, now, let's move to Pittsburgh. *(laughter) *Hey, I'll tell you what, this is about responsibility. You know, I have a little responsibility here and I take that responsibility very, very seriously. And what happened that last ballgame, alright? A lot of colorful, maybe verbs? Right? So, now where do we go? We get better every day, our expectations stay very, very high, and we put [in] the hard work and we prepare. Everybody needs to step up and it starts with me – everybody. The last week … I mean, everybody needs to do better, period. So, that's how we're going to handle this thing. Now, we need our fans. This week, the Pittsburgh game – are you kidding me? What great excitement there's going to be, great opportunity, great challenges. There's going to be challenges every play. This Pittsburgh defense is very, very good. They have some men coming back that are healthy now. So, what a great opportunity for us. Let's open it up to questions."
We've talked about chemistry heading into last week, with the offensive line. Looking back at it, was that part of the issue? (Pete Gilbert) "We don't go there. We make no excuses for what happened [in the game]. We take responsibility now, period. I will just tell you this: It wasn't one guy, it wasn't two guys, it wasn't five – it was all of us. OK? So, all of us must do better. We can come up with a lot of reasons and excuses; we don't go there, period. We'll move on to Pittsburgh. We have a great, great opportunity here."
Will the loss of G/T Marshal Yanda change the way you have to approach things? (Ryan Mink) "Yes. Well, disregarding Marshal – who we talked about last week – Marshal is a man, and one of the very few [who is] irreplaceable in not only his playing ability – and he's an All-Pro – [but] his leadership, his toughness, this guy is really, really a pro. So, how do we do that? Everybody has to step up around the thing. So, that's how we handle that thing, as well."
*QB Joe Flacco said yesterday that 'this offense has no shot if they don't get the outside receivers more involved.' How can that occur? (Bo Smolka) *"Well, that's my responsibility. We'll see what happens."
**What stands out to you about RB Alex Collins? *(Jamison Hensley) *"He's done well, from the day that he got here. He has a little speed, has a little quickness. He's a good football player, he has instincts. So, all those things. He's a sharp kid, he puts the hard work in, he prepares well. So, with hard work and preparation, he can get this thing done pretty well."
Going back to right guard. Do you want to find one of those guys to be the guy? (Garrett Downing)"That's a good point. We've done it in these types of situations every which way [and] there are several different ways you can do it. We chose to do it this way. But, yes, ultimately that may very well occur. There's a reason, and it's been fully discussed in what's the best thing for this team right now. These plans may change after every week. Yes, good point."
QB Joe Flacco looked like he was pretty ticked-off about things, I mean in a positive way. Have you found him any different in the building this week?* (Jeff Zrebiec)*"I will tell you: Joe is very, very consistent, both on and off the field. [He's] a very consistent man. I haven't thought too much about it. I think everybody's probably just a little different, you know, this week after that. So, yes, without putting any thought into it, we're all a little bit different."
RB Alex Collins probably got the attention of the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as you, based on Sunday? (Rich Sayers)"Yes, absolutely, from Day One like we discussed. He's shone and he's put a lot of hard work in. And [running backs coach] Thomas [Hammock] has put a lot of hard work in with him, as well, his position coach. So, yes, he's done well. He's done well and we'll see what happens here."
**What have you seen from QB Joe Flacco's decision-making over the first three games? *(Luke Jones) *"It's good. Now, look, we can all do better. I don't want to go there with the real positive or real negative stuff. I'm just not going to go there. We went through a deal and we have to rebound this thing now. Now. I don't want to fluff over anything, I don't want to dance through the tulips or anything like that. That's not the case – we have some work to do. I will tell you, and I told the players this, if you're not on, you have a chance to get slapped around. That's what happened. I mean, you have to be on, and you better be on every play. So, I'm rambling too much about that night. I thought I wasn't going to do that, I thought we were moving on to Pittsburgh."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
John [Harbaugh] and some of the veteran players have talked about how impressed they have been and how comfortable CB Marlon Humphrey has seemed. What have you liked about what you have seen from him?* (Childs Walker)* "I think we have increased his reps every week, which obviously tells you we like what we are seeing out there. One thing you want to do is not necessarily go out in the Cincinnati game and throw the guy right into the fire and all that kind of stuff. [You] kind of bring him into it slowly, but he has kind of gradually worked himself into a little bit of a rotation and more playing time, certainly. We have been happy with what we have seen."
CB Marlon Humphrey had the penalty in the last game. Is it sort of a fine line you walk between encouraging him to play his natural aggressive style and at the same time have that in the corner of his mind? (Childs Walker)"I would like to tell you what I think of the penalty except I would probably get fined. (laughter) If you watch the film … Do you guys watch the film? Maybe you can tell me where there was contact, and where he didn't play the ball, and where he did not turn. There is no fine line. Play … Do what you do and be aggressive. I would rather see that than being 20 yards off and being scared to death. I have no problem with that penalty. I have a problem with the penalty. I have a problem, but I do not have a problem with Marlon Humphrey."
What do you think has impressed you most about CB Marlon Humphrey? (Ryan Mink)"Just his intensity. He is physical. He tries to be physical. [He is] fast. He is what we drafted. I just think that he is into it. He is a good football player. I think he has handled it as a rookie like a pro. Sometimes defensive backs especially – I don't know why particularly with that group – but sometimes as rookies, they can be a little … I don't know whether it be intimidated or whatever it may be. Maybe they can show a false sense of security sometimes acting like they think they know, but they don't. He is not like that. I think he has walked in this door and been like a pro as a rookie, and I have really been impressed with that."
What does the loss of DE Brent Urban mean for your defense? (Bo Smolka)"Well, it just means one of those young guys has to step up. I remember when everybody was rolling their eyes going, 'Why are you keeping all of these defensive linemen?' Well, now you see why we kept all of the defensive linemen. One of the young guys has to step up. We have to do a good job of putting those guys in positions that they can be successful, but at the same time, that is why we brought you here. Whether it be [Bronson] Kaufusi or [Chris] Wormley or whoever it might be – Carl Davis moving out to five-technique. Whatever it might be, those guys just have to step up. Now it is going to be their chance to shine."
Two of your defensive leaders, OLB Terrell Suggs and ILB C.J. Mosley, said that you will not see that Ravens defense the rest of the season – how they played. Is there something you could pinpoint? I know you were put in a bad situation a couple times, but is there an overriding theme as to why you had so much trouble stopping them? (Jeff Zrebiec)"Here is the thing, I think you guys are … I'm going to tell you the good thing and then I am going to tell you the bad thing. There were fewer mistakes made in that game on defense than there were in the Cleveland game, and less than the Cincinnati game if you can believe that. When I grade it, whether it be a mental mistake or whatever, there were fewer in that game than there were in the first two games. Everybody … I know that one guy wrote that we disappeared on Sunday. Well on third down, they were 3-of-12. Evidently, we didn't disappear on third down. Did they have two good backs? Two really good backs. They averaged 3.3 [yards] a carry by those backs. There are 60 yards of rushing on there that was on a fake punt. They averaged 3.3 yards. We asked Carl Davis – who had not practiced the five-technique all week – to go out there and play five-technique for Brent Urban, and Willie Henry to go in and play. Those two guys played their butt off. If you watch the film, they played their butt off. It was not that we didn't get them stopped. Here is what we did not do. The fact that we disappeared … We did not disappear on third down, we did not disappear in the running game, and it kind of offends me that that comment was made. What we did disappear in is the intensity. Here is what lack of intensity does – it was the difference in that game and the other two games – turnovers. When you play intense and you are really flying around 100 miles per hour, you create turnovers. We didn't create turnovers. We did not create those kinds of opportunities that we created in the other two games. Against Cleveland, we actually played plays worse, but we created some big plays and turnovers because we played intense. Same thing in Cincinnati. We gave up more big plays in Cleveland than we did last week. We had two passes down there in the high red zone both by rookie mistakes. You know what? They are rookies, they make a mistake. Hopefully, they won't ever make them again. Everybody has made them. The intensity thing is not only turnovers, what we did not do then is when there were adverse situations, which is sudden change. In the Cleveland game right before the half, when they got the ball right around midfield, all they needed was one first down to get some points. We went in there and knocked them out of it and played really intense. We did not have that same quite intensity for whatever reason. That is all of our faults. Us [coaches] for not getting them ready and them [the players] for not being ready. It is all of our faults. But those guys played hard, we just did not play with that little extra level of intensity that we had in the first two games, so therefore we didn't create those plays. Sometimes when the adverse situations happen, we didn't go in there and we could not snuff it out. On the five-[yard line] and on the three-[yard line], sometimes that is tough. You are taking some risks trying to keep them out and some things happen. That was the difference. We just can't allow that as coaches and they can't allow it as players. We have to keep the intensity every week or that can't happen to you. Sorry for the dissertation, but I finally got it off my chest."
Looking at Pittsburgh, is it the same they have been for the last couple of years or is their attack different? (Pete Gilbert)"They have so many different ways to attack you. We have seen two tight ends, we've seen three tight ends in the pass. When they run the ball, we have seen them come in and want to go empty. Pittsburgh, it is the same thing. They have a lot of weapons on offense, as you know, and they have a lot of different ways that they can attack you. We just have to be prepared. The biggest thing for us is the intensity. I would be shocked if we did not have it this week against these guys at home."
Going back to the intensity, is there a way that you can get that week-in and week-out? How do you get that from the guys? (Garrett Downing)"Well, sometimes not. I don't know if I have ever been with any team ever in 45 years that was intense 16 weeks in a row. But, sometimes you just have to do things well enough. Sometimes you have to win ugly, [and] we did not do that. Unfortunately, in that one, every time we did something that was a little bit off, they capitalized on it. I really thought Jacksonville was much more intense than we were, and like I said, that is our fault too as coaches. We have to a good job of getting them pumped up and getting them going."
Players have spoken to the Week 15 game last year at Pittsburgh being a motivating factor throughout the offseason and to this point now. It became a commercial with WR Antonio Brown's touchdown. For you personally, is that also a motivating factor going into this game? (Pete Gilbert)"No, it is just a motivating factor because we have to be 3-1. And it is a division game, and we are at home and it is the Pittsburgh Steelers. It has nothing to do with Week 15 last year. That year is over and done with. There are other years where we beat them. All those games mean absolutely nothing to me. It is a division game, we are at home and we need to be 3-1."
QB Ben Roethlisberger has been very critical of his own play early on this season. What have you seen on tape that either confirms that or makes you think it is not as big of a problem as he says it is? (Luke Jones)"I don't know. That could be 'Big Ben' talking. I really don't know. The hard thing for me is when you are a coach, you almost never look at a bad play on the other team's film. You just look at what they do well, and that is what you have to try to defend. You can't … You sit back and maybe there is a guy wide open and he missed him or whatever. From our standpoint, you can never say, 'Oh, we can play and leave that guy open.' I never look at it that way. The guy has always been a thorn in our side. He is a great competitor, he is tough. He is hard to bring down. There is no quarterback better in this league when he gets out of the pocket and scrambles than Ben Roethlisberger. We just have to do a good job. We've played him before well, we have to play him again well."