Opening statement:"Good to see everybody – appreciate you guys being here. We had a good practice, a lot of enthusiasm and getting ready for Monday night."
Do you have any inside information on weather and what you should prepare for up there? (Jamison Hensley)"No. [Vice president of public relations] Chad [Steele] just gave me a report, so I guess it's going to be cold. Shocker. (laughter) It doesn't matter. We'll be ready to go."
Any reason you practiced indoors as opposed to outdoors today? (Jerry Coleman)"Wind, mostly wind. It was windy out there."
Do you think wind could be a factor on Monday? (Jerry Coleman)"Not that I've been told. Plus, this is turf, and we're playing on turf. That's another part of it."
Will you go in with the T-shirt look this Monday? (Jerry Coleman)"Very good question. Absolutely not! (laughter) There will be a T-shirt on under all of the other layers."
Are you happy to get G/T Alex Lewis back on the practice field, especially with how that injury looked at the time? They said it would take six weeks. (Luke Jones)"I think that's a great point. He's done a great job, as far as really working. I see him in [the training room] practically 24/7 working on it. To see him back out there today is a real plus – credit to him."
John, your offensive line is really meshing how it is. Does Lewis have experience playing right guard? I know it's not an issue for this week, but down the road, it could be. Is that something you plan on giving him an opportunity to play? (Jeff Zrebiec)"We're going to always try to utilize our guys the best we can. The more players you have …. Having him healthy and having a healthy offensive line is unique for us this year. It hasn't been something that we've experienced as much as we'd like throughout the course of the season. Him being added to the mix is going to be a plus. We'll just have to figure out how to do it, and we'll just have to see how it goes as we go forward. He can play right guard, there's no doubt. I'll also say this: Vlad [Ducasse] is playing really well, so it's a good problem to have."
You mentioned health with the offensive line. Are there other factors that are contributing to how the offensive line has been playing the last few games? (Edward Lee)"Besides health? Sure, I think they're getting better. There are a lot of reps and a lot of work that goes into it. We come out here and we practice for a reason – it's to improve. We've been improving steadily throughout the course of the season. You have those glitches and things that you have to deal with, but that's the way it works. There's always something you have to deal with. It's an injury, it's an opponent, it's a weather condition or whatever it might be. Those are the things that you just work through all the time and you try to continually improve. If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. That's something we believe here. You just have to keep working. It's good when it shows up in terms of success on gameday, but there's another game, and we have to try to improve to compete in that next game."
Are you a fan of snow games? I know personally, you don't like being cold, but football games being played in the snow? Do you kind of like it? (Ryan Mink)"Yes, I think is pretty cool. It's always cool. I like the summer when it's really hot, too. There are challenges to all of it. To me, it's one of the beautiful things about football. It starts out and it's 100-degree weather sometimes and crazy humidity – two-a-days and all of that – then, you end the season in the dead of winter. It speaks a lot about the sport itself and some of the drama that's involved in it."
Off game a little bit, the play-by-play guy, Sean McDonough and you are pretty close friends. Is it nice to see how both of you have risen? I think this will be the first game of yours he has called. (Jamison Hensley)"He's been a friend for a really long time, ever since he was doing basketball games, and my brother-in-law, Tom Crean, was the basketball coach at Marquette – excuse me, before that he was the assistant at Michigan State, and I think that's where we first met. Sean was doing a game with Bill Raftery: 'Kiss it off the glass,' right? (laughter) It was just great to get to know those guys. At that time, I think I was in my 20s. I think me and Bill Raftery, even Sean … Sean was doing World Series back then in the early 90s. He's been phenomenal with what he does. I always enjoy listening to him, because he's really funny. If you listen to him, he's kind of irreverent. He'll drop some bombs in there pretty good; you just have to listen closely. It's going to be funny. It will be subtle, but it will be very funny. Yeah, we're looking forward to that."
His brother was a scout here long ago. (Joe Platania)"Yes, yes he was. I know his brother well. He's in Arizona right now, right? Terry McDonough, doing a great job over there. "
Did you ever get to know his dad? (Jerry Coleman)"I did. My brother had a celebrity golf tournament in Ann Arbor, probably mid-90s, early 90s. His dad came in, and we had dinner at the Gandy Dancer restaurant in Ann Arbor – just got to hear him tell stories. Oh my gosh, Bill Parcells stories all the way back – just great stories. I was coaching at Indiana then."
Speaking of good problems to have, are you pretty pleased with how the linebacker rotation is working out with OLB Elvis Dumervil back? It's something you lacked last year when you didn't have as many options to rush the quarterback. (Jeff Zrebiec)"Yes, of course, that's been a plus for us. We have pass rushers. Having pass rushers that you can roll into the game and keep them healthy, and having pass rushers that still have juice in the fourth quarter is very important and very valuable."
John, how special is it to play on Monday Night in primetime? (Shawn Stepner)"I think all of those primetime games are great, and the players love them. The coaches, it's a little challenging, because we like our schedules. We like our routines. Monday Night is the most special. That's something that we all grew up watching. For most of us around here – 70s, 80s, nobody is 60s (points to reporter) – we were both kids in the 60s (laughter) – you have Howard Cosell and Dandy Don Meredith and all of that, right up through John Madden. It's an awesome tradition."
The Ravens have played 21 Monday Night games. Only six have been at home. Do you want to lobby to get another one at home? (Joe Platania)"I think [for] our fans, it would be great, someday to have a Monday Night home game. We'd love to have that someday, but right now we're going to Foxborough. That's our focus."