Special Teams Coordinator/Associate Head Coach Jerry Rosburg
With WR/RS Devin Hester Sr.'s two fumbles on Sunday, what's your level of concern with the fumble issue for him this year? (Edward Lee)"Ball security is always a big concern of mine and our whole football team in all areas. It's a concern. I'm really looking forward to having a healthy Devin Hester out there. It's affecting him in two ways: one is just his ability to move, and the other is his ability to practice. It's a tough skill, and he needs to practice. The practice he's been getting is in pre-game warm-ups, and that's not enough. I'm hopeful these next two weeks he'll be able to get healthy and be able to be out there next time and do better in the ball security areas. We have a lot of confidence in Devin; he's a great returner. This hasn't been his mark over the years. We anticipate better ball security as we go forward."
With WR/RS Devin Hester Sr.'s health in mind, have you considered other options in DB/RS Lardarius Webb or other guys? (Edward Lee)"We've had to, because [Hester Sr.] has been unhealthy. We've already used Lardarius out there. We'll play the best players as we always do in every situation."
From the outside, it sounds so simplistic to just catch the ball. Is he not approaching it well, or is it his technique? (Luke Jones)"He's got excellent technique. As I just said, I think the issue right now is his ability to move and his ability to practice. He has to get out there and practice. That, I think, will be a big issue."
Did they spot the ball right after the blocked field goal? (Luke Jones) "You can call the NFL office and ask them that." (laughter)
Did you guys point that out? Did you not challenge that? (Luke Jones) "We tried."
It's not a challengeable play?* (Luke Jones)* "The next play already ensued, so there was nothing we could do after the fact."
P Sam Koch talked earlier about how you sort of revitalized his career. Can you elaborate on when you first met him and what sort of things did you work on? (Edward Lee) "It seems like a long time ago. I guess it was. Sam, his talent is obvious. He's a highly-skilled athlete. When I arrived, Sam was doing one thing with the ball. He was punting one direction, and he really had just that one skill. He couldn't punt left. He couldn't punt right. But he was really powerful and athletic and all of the things that we all see all the time. When I arrived – in this building as a matter of fact – it was winter. Back in the day when the offseason schedule was different, we could be together most of the winter. We just started working on different ways – a different way of dropping the ball, a different way of approaching punting. He went to work. It was one of those 10,000-rep issues that we talk about. He had all of those in probably one month. He altered it with the way he dropped the ball, and then he changed the way he punted. He's been at work at that ever since. Still, every day, he's out there doing the same thing."
How unusual is it for a punter to be with the same team for 11 years? (Edward Lee) "I don't have any stats. I think you'll find that specialists are highly valued, and when you find one that's as good as Sam is you, want to hang on to them as long as you can, because they're not easy to find – guys of that high quality. You can look around the league, and I think there's some history in this league of guys being in one place a long time. It's just a matter of if they get off to a good start. I think it's really important, because clubs have the tendency to get impatient, and punting is a very difficult skill. As they grow to the end of their rookie contract, that's when they really have to perform. As we've seen in recent times in the NFL, guys don't make it that far. They try another guy. That's always hard. Then you're starting from scratch again. It's really been a big benefit for our organization that we've had continuity with our specialists."
Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
Opening statement: "The play in last week's game wasn't good enough. We did not run the ball very well. We didn't pass the ball very well. We did some things in spurts in the first half. Now, we are excited to get better, and I think we got better today in practice. We have got to be much more precise in everything we do. I am excited about getting better, and typically, if you have that mentality to get better every day, good things tend to happen. So, that is our mentality."
During the four-game slide, the offensive line has had their fair share of struggles. How much of that is due to injury? How much is it due to ineffectiveness overall? (Ed Lee) "If a man goes down, the next man comes in, and we expect him to play as good, or even better, sometimes. That is our mentality. We can go create some reasons and all that stuff. All of that stuff does not matter. We have to play at a high level on Sunday."
*In terms of pass protection, QB Joe Flacco has been getting hit a number of times, and there has not been much push in the running game. Is there anything you can put your finger on as to why the offensive line has not been able to create? (Ed Lee) "*Well, it is everybody. We are all in it together. The running game – the offensive line certainly starts it. But the tight ends and fullbacks are involved. The receivers are involved. The quarterback, to some extent, is involved. Everybody is accountable for that."
Can you put your finger on what happened in the second half in the passing game? You could not run throughout the game, but QB Joe Flacco threw for 200 yards in the first half. (Luke Jones) "Jeez! I was juiced at halftime, really – just being honest. One thing I wanted to do, and I did not get it done, was I wanted to come out and run the ball. Our first couple of runs just were not very good. Then all of a sudden, some bad things happened. It is my responsibility. The disappointing thing was that it happened, but the other disappointing thing is that we never recovered. We have to recover, because you are going to go through some swings up and down during games. There has been an emphasis on when something crazy happens – because they will during games on occasion – we have to counter that. We have to play tough, physical, precise football."
What do you think it will take to get WR Breshad Perriman and QB Joe Flacco synced up? They obviously have not had a ton of time together. (Garrett Downing) "That is a good point. Today, we got an awful lot of work with our timing and precision. Breshad did a heck of a job today. That is one of many reasons that I am excited. We have an opportunity to get better."
What are you seeing from QB Joe Flacco? Some people have talked about his fundamentals, maybe his footwork not being where it needs to be. What are your thoughts on his play? (Luke Jones)"His initial footwork is good. Like you said, when they have a little push, it makes a quarterback bounce back just a little bit and these type of things, which is absolutely normal, when you are getting some push. Certainly, we are working on a few things to get better. But like I said, it is all of us together."
How do you approach the bye week? It is your offense now, but it was a quick change while you were in season. Now, you do have that time to kind of get your thumbprint on it. (Morgan Adsit) "There are several things that we are doing. The first thing today was working on our timing and precision. Certainly, we have installed some things today, and then we will tomorrow to get certain things in. But our precision and timing is going to be a key moving forward here. I say that [because] just during the game, we were unable to capitalize on some easy ones. We left too much out there. We have to get the easy ones. That is what we really focused on today."
Going back to WR Breshad Perriman, what does he need to do to be more productive and be more of a factor in the passing game? (Ed Lee)"Much of it is just simply reps and the timing and precision between him and the quarterback. He has done some really good things. Much of it is reps, because of his past. [He was injured] all year last year and a little bit this year. He is healthy and ready to go – or reasonably healthy and ready to go. A lot of it is reps, reps, reps. We were able to accomplish that today. We will get some more tomorrow. Once again, we get better every day and good things tend to happen. That is Breshad's mentality as well."
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees
How encouraging was it to see OLB Terrell Suggs back? (Edward Lee) "Great. It's always great to see him out there. Anytime you get any of those guys back, it's great. The big thing about 'Sizz' [Terrell Suggs] is not only just his physical ability, but he's our leader. He's our leader. It's always great to have your leader back."
How important is his return with what you guys have gone through the last four weeks? (Luke Jones)"We're all hurting over the losses. No matter what you say, they hurt. You kind of need somebody that gives you a little bit of spark. That's one thing he always does is come out there every day to practice to have fun and to practice, and practice hard. He lightens everybody up."
Head coach John Harbaugh talked yesterday about the poor angles taken on plays. Is that something you can practice a lot in these settings? Is it out of character for these guys? (Luke Jones) "It's out of character. It's something you really practice every day. Every day that you practice, you're practicing those things. It's not a specific drill or anything like that. The problem sometimes, and it happened on that play, is that somebody thinks somebody else is not where they're supposed to be, so therefore, I'm going to compensate and go make their play. Now you have two guys out of position, and that's what happens. Then all of a sudden, you give up a big play. If a guy is out of position, he's out of position. We just have to rally and make the play, and we can talk to that one guy. Then when all of a sudden you try to compensate, overdo it and do somebody else's job … That can happen up front, too, in the run game or anything else. Everybody has a specific job they have to do, and when you try to do somebody else's or you react … I'm not upset with them. I know what they're doing. They just want to make a play. They're trying to prevent the play, but it sometimes actually leads to a bigger one. Basically, you practice that stuff every day."
What strides were you seeing from S Matt Elam before his injury that makes you hopeful in his return? (Morgan Adist)"We thought he was moving around great. We thought he was moving around great. Two years ago, we had a long discussion in the offseason about the season he had when he was on the field a couple of years ago. He was disappointed. We had a great talk about it. He came back, was really eager to go and got another setback. Then he came back, and really, we thought that spring he was really, really playing very well, and moving very well. The only thing that we need to see – he knows it – the only thing we need to see is now take it to the field in live action. Based on everything he did on the field and getting himself ready physically and mentally, he did everything he was supposed to do. Now we just have to hope we're back there again, and we'll see when he takes it to the field."
OLB Matthew Judon had two sacks last game. What have you seen from him? Do you still see him having that pass rush role even when OLB Terrell Suggs returns?* (Ryan Mink)* "I hope so. A lot of that always depends on coach Harbaugh's decision on who is going to be active. That has so many different things. I can never say on defense who's going to be up and who's not going to be up, because based on offense and based on special teams, that's a decision the head coach has to make. Obviously, I'd like to have every guy on defense up, especially him. Hopefully, he can continue his role as a pass rusher. The guy has a lot of talent. He's raw as a rookie, as they all are. The guy plays relentless. He's tough. He has all of the attributes that we like in a pass rusher. We were very pleased with the results last week. We ended up with five sacks, and only one of them was on a pressure. The other four of them were just on four-man rushes. That's big."
Did you like what you saw from LB Kamalei Correa? It looked like he was the one that actually forced the football on the DT Timmy Jernigan play. (Luke Jones)"He did. He did force the fumble. He got a lot of playing time last week. He kind of got introduced to the league a little bit and got forced into action. I thought he did a good job for going in there the first time."
Dean, with some of the injuries you suffered at the safety position, how worried are you about depth at that position? (Edward Lee) "You're always worried about depth at any position. I think anybody around the league would tell you everybody's thin at every position. I thought that [Marqueston] Huff went in there and did a pretty good job. For only being here for a short amount of time, I thought the guy went in there and did a very good job. He had a nice tackle. He had a great coverage on the third down that was incomplete in the red zone when we stopped them on a sudden change – great coverage out of the backfield. I don't want anybody out. I want everybody. Certainly, we don't have enough depth at any position. But I will also say that the guys are working hard that are the backups to go in there and do the best they can."
With S Matt Elam coming back, can he bolster that unit? (Edward Lee) "I would hope so. We'll see with Matt. I hope everything is good. We'll see how things go along. That's going to be, again, up to John [Harbaugh] and the trainers how he progresses here in the next week or so. We're all hopeful. I think Matt can add. I think [Marqueston] Huff does a good job, and I'm hoping 'Webby' [Lardarius Webb] will be healthy, too."
Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo
You haven't had the same starting unit on your offensive line that you envisioned going in since Week 3. How much of a challenge has that been with moving the bodies around? (Morgan Adsit)"I think that's a part of the job. I think, for all of the guys, they know that people are going to get hurt. I think that what it is, is it presents an opportunity for those guys that are backups, because people get to see them play. It's really an opportunity for all of us. You have to take advantage of that. It's just part of the NFL."
What does G/T Marshal Yanda do that is just irreplaceable?* (Morgan Adsit)* "He has heart. You say, 'Everybody has heart,' but he has a toughness. He has heart. He plays hurt. He's a special individual. It's a good thing we have him as our leader. What happens is everybody wants to be like him. If you get everybody in the room wanting to be like him and preparing for games like a professional – Jeremy Zuttah, too, because really, they're the two older players; everybody else is really young – they're good leaders. We have a great room. Everybody works hard. Everybody studies. Everybody prepares, and it's important for them."
You mentioned the injuries being a part of the job, but regardless of who is out there, what needs to happen that hasn't happened to get the offensive line going? (Luke Jones) "Bottom line, you have to win games. That's what we have to be able to do. We have to be productive. You have to do your job. The good thing about this is the guys work hard. When you work hard, good results happen. They happened for you. Look what you're doing – for all of you. The key is to keep working hard. Keep working on the things that are going to make you better. For example, today we were working on run fundamentals. We were working on combination blocks. We were working on staying off our toes. We were working on certain things that make us better. We've been doing that all year, and really, what happens is when you keep stacking them, you become a better player. That's what we're doing."
*How disappointing has it been to not have T Ronnie Stanley out there for the last month? (Garrett Downing) *"He was a first-round draft pick, so obviously, it would be nice to get him back. Again, in the NFL, people get hurt. You have to be able to … The next guy has to step up and do the job. We're excited to have Ronnie. He's quite a character. He's has a good attitude, and he has a good personality. It's fun to get him back out there."
**Has he been pushing you guys and eager to get back on the field? *(Garrett Downing) *"He's been wanting to play the whole time, which I think is really good. Fortunately, our people know when he can play and he can't. He had a great practice today, so he's ready."
Is part of that excitement getting G/T Alex Lewis back inside? (Luke Jones) "Alex, really, he did a good job for us. He wasn't there [at tackle] all training camp. He wasn't there in OTAs. It was something that we decided to move him out there. He played that in college, and I think he kind of grew and got better and better. What he worked at was guard. That's the position he really trained at all offseason. We're excited to have the two back together."
On Sunday, the offensive line struggled to open running lanes and pass protect? Is there anything you can put your finger on to explain that?* (Edward Lee)* "It's all fundamentals. I think we only had 10 opportunities to run the ball, too. That's part of the game and how the game went. That's all fundamentals, and that's what you work on. The protection part is being able to stay square and use your hands. With the run game, you have to be able to get proper fits and play with leverage. Those are the things we're working on today."
Are you happy with how the offensive line has played thus far? (Edward Lee) "The bottom line here is we would be happy if we were 7-0, and we're not. We're all trying to work hard to get better. That's our thing. The good thing is we know when you work hard – you and I know – we all know that when you work hard, good things happen as long as you're doing the right things. We're doing the right things."
Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram
What have you seen from WR Breshad Perriman and his progression? (Ryan Mink)"You just see Breshad gaining experience. He's really understanding what it takes to be really good in this league, and that's work – work on the details on every facet of being a receiver. It's been really fun to see the progression and the learning curve. My job is to keep speeding that up. The more we can force-feed him and him continue to soak all of that up, the more you are going to see more of those types of plays – the big plays down the field and the catch and runs – the more you'll see those show up on the field on Sunday."
WR Breshad Perriman seems to be really hard on himself if he has a tough game. How much do you work with him mentally to make sure his spirits stay up? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think he's mentally strong. I think all good players beat themselves up pretty good when they make mistakes, but I don't see any carryover or any lingering in terms of his work in the classroom. He's just a different personality. I think he's hard on himself, and I think that's a good thing. Mentally, he's fine."
What is WR Breshad Perriman doing really, well and what areas does he need improvement? (Ryan Mink) "He is starting to understand how to really run routes. He's a lot quicker than guys give him credit for because of his size. He's getting good at working his releases. If he can do that on a consistent basis, it is going to help him. One of his strengths, obviously, is his speed. It's shown up in terms of him making a couple of plays down the field. One of them was the Buffalo game, and the other one was a couple of weeks ago against the Giants. The more we can work those releases and get him running, the more we'll have those opportunities to catch those big passes down the field. With Breshad, it's continuing to work break transitions and just fundamental football. He hasn't played a lot of football in this league, but he has a great foundation here in terms of this offense and being around these guys and being in the building. It's his first year on the field, but he has a great foundation to continue to build on."
You spend a lot of time after practice working with WR/RS Keenan Reynolds. How beneficial do you think these reps and this extra work has been to him? How much improvement have you seen? (Jeff Zrebiec) "I think it's been great. Keenan wants to be a great receiver, not just a good one. He's willing to put in the work. The thing about it, and I tell Keenan, [is that] he's never played the position. The learning curve at first was a big learning curve, but I think, for us, it's been a fundamental focus on just him gaining experience. That comes through practice. Us working specific fundamentals after practice, whether it's a catching drill, release drill, running routes in terms of breaking transitions – we just try to have a game plan: 'Here's our goal. Here's our vision,' and just work towards it."
How much have you guys missed WR Steve Smith Sr.? (Edward Lee) "You always miss a guy like Steve and his presence and what he brings and his play-making ability. You'd love to have all of your guys on the field, in practice and in games. A guy like that has been missed, but we have guys – good receivers that have stepped up and made plays."
Has WR Mike Wallace been everything you expected him to be? (Edward Lee) "Absolutely – great teammate, great worker, smart football player. He's been a great addition to the Ravens organization."
There have been a lot of questions about what kind of player WR Mike Wallace was after the last few years, statistically. Do you think he has proven that he can still be that explosive guy?* (Luke Jones)* "I don't really go off of what people say. I go off of what guys do. We studied the tape, and I think everybody in the building knew he was still a good football player. You bring him here to an organization like the Ravens – the culture here, the toughness, the kind of guys we have in our locker room and just the men of character we have throughout the building – I think he has thrived in that environment."
I know the receiving room is crowded, but what about WR Chris Moore's potential as a guy to get more time on the field. What have you seen from him so far? (Cliff Brown)"He's growing. He's working. Chris has contributed some throughout the year. Like you said, we have a lot of guys that are making plays. I think Dennis [Pitta] – I know he's not a receiver, but you look at Dennis – and Mike [Wallace], both off those guys are in the Top 20 in receptions in the NFL. You're not even talking about Steve Smith, because of the last few weeks. How many balls are there to go around? Chris is a worker. He's diligent about his craft. He has good hands. He's a good receiver, and I look forward to watching him continue to progress. I think with that experience, that game experience and this week right here, was big. This practice was big for him and Breshad. I thought they came out and they both put in great work to get better. That's what it's about, constantly getting better as a receiver."
Secondary Coach Leslie Frazier
Opening statement: "[It was the] first day of the bye week for our guys to get out there and get some work. It was really good for our DBs. I am really looking forward to tomorrow, as well and just to keep trying to improve. It was a good day for us."
This is your first year here, but what have been your impressions of S Matt Elam? He is a guy that struggled earlier in his career, and he has had some injuries and is now back on the practice field. From the spring and summer when you saw him, what were your thoughts on the kind of player he was? (Luke Jones)"I was really encouraged with what I saw. Up until his injury, he was really having a good camp for us. He did a good job in OTAs and everything we had done in the offseason. In the preseason as a coaching staff, we were really looking forward to watching him progress over the course of the preseason. Then an injury occurred. Now, we will have to wait and see how he progresses over these next few weeks as we are trying to make a determination whether to get him back up again. But his ball skills, his toughness, his athletic ability – it was showing up. We will see. We will see where he is."
With some of the injuries you guys have suffered at the safety position, how much are you expecting S Matt Elam to bolster that unit? (Ed Lee) "We think he would be a great addition if he is able to come back from the injury and be where he was prior to the injury. Because as I mentioned before, his toughness … He is a smart safety, [he has] athletic ability. He has the tools you are looking for at the position. He can run; he has some range as well. If he can get healthy and get back with the injuries that we have, he would be a good addition. He would be a guy who is familiar with the system. He understands what we are trying to get accomplished, and he has a lot of experience as well. It would be great to have him back."
There is a lot of talk about DB/RS Lardarius Webb making the move from corner to safety this year. What are your thoughts on how he has fared seven games in at his new position? (Luke Jones) "He has had some good moments, and there are some moments where I'm sure he would be the first to tell you he would like to have another chance at. But he has done a lot of good things. I think it was a good move for him. He has a lot of range and a lot of athletic ability as well. He is still learning as he is going through the process. There are some things that are going to come up that he has not been exposed to. As much as you try to hit some things in practice or some things on tape, it is not the same as a game situation – the reaction time [is different]. But I think overall, he has done a good job at the position. I think he will get better as the season goes on. Now we have to get him healthy again."
CB Tavon Young is asked to do a lot as a rookie. Can you talk about his progression and also moving forward, have you guys determined if he is going to play outside or inside and where you can best use his strengths? (Cliff Brown)"Tavon has been a shining star for us. As you mentioned, we have asked him to do a lot in his rookie season, and he has responded. He has done a very good job for us. It was a great draft pick by our organization. Being able to come in and play the slot position in the National Football League – you are like a starter. He has held his own against some really good receivers. That pick he made against the New York Giants, that is one of the finest interceptions you will ever see in man coverage. It was just an outstanding play. He has had some of those in practice, and then you see it in the game, so it encourages you. Then he goes outside, and he is matching up against the DeSean Jacksons of the league and other guys as well. The sky is the limit for him. As far as whether he is going to be better inside or outside – at this point, because we have so many needs – you don't want to pigeonhole him. He has proven that he can do both, and we will just see how things go as the season goes on. The fact that he has that kind of versatility is great for us."
Has it surprised you that CB Tavon Young has been able to go outside the way he has? When he was drafted, everybody said that he was going to be an inside guy. But he has gone out and played and played a lot out there. (Garrett Downing) "You are right. When we picked him, it was primarily to be a nickel corner. That is what we were thinking when we made the pick. But because of the things that happened with injuries and so on, when we moved him outside, he has done a terrific job. We saw it in practice and training camp that he had the potential to do it. But we felt like we would be stronger if he could hold up inside. It has been a pleasant surprise for all of us that he could match up with some of these receivers and do as well as he has. He is not the tallest guy. But he is so competitive, and that is what separates him from some other DBs – his competitive spirit. He is a feisty guy; he gets after you a little bit. He can tackle as well. He has been a good addition to what we are trying to get accomplished."
CB Jimmy Smith has been through a lot with the foot the last couple years. Do you feel like he is coming on and getting back to the player he was a couple years ago? A lot of people thought he had a good chance to make the Pro Bowl in 2014. (Luke Jones) "I think Jimmy is having one of the finest seasons of any corner in the league. You see the work he did this past Sunday against one of the top receivers in the National Football League in Brandon Marshall. You look back to the first half before he had the concussion against the Giants and just take a look at what their offense was doing up until that point. Jimmy is an underrated guy in a lot of ways. He can tackle. He can match up on top receivers. He is having an under-the-radar outstanding season, and hopefully he can stay healthy and it continues. He allows us to do a lot of things. One of the reasons we were leading the league through five games with the least amount of big plays had a lot to do with the play of Jimmy Smith. As soon as he goes out for a period of time, we had some explosive plays. Getting him back was a big plus, and hopefully, as I mentioned, he will stay healthy."
CB Jimmy Smith shadowed WR Brandon Marshall for a lot of that game. Is that something you would like him to do more of? WR Antonio Brown is coming up in the next game. Is that something that you can see him doing again? (Garrett Downing)"It comes up sometimes. We did it against Sammy Watkins in that first ball game. We had him shadow Sammy, and it just depends on the game plan and how Dean [Pees] sees things. But he has proven that he is more than capable of getting it done."
You have had CB Jimmy Smith on one side. What are you looking for from some of the other guys to solidify that second spot? (Ed Lee) "We like for them to when they have the opportunity to make plays – make plays. That is the one thing that Tavon [Young] has done for us. He has some opportunities, and he has made plays. The other guys that come in and play that spot … That is all you ever hope for as a coach. You try to put them in a position to make plays and then you want the players to make those plays when those opportunities come. When they do, they get rewarded. That is all you can ask for."
Is that position still in flux for you in terms of who you think might be the right guy to be the everyday starter at that position? (Ed Lee)"I think we have a good idea as a staff of how we want to go going forward. Part of it is how healthy we are, as well. We have an idea of the direction we would like to go, but we will see how our health is coming out of the bye."
In terms of the health, if more guys get banged up, is DB/RS Lardarius Webb definitely going to stay at safety, or is he somebody that in a need, you could slide him back to corner? (Garrett Downing)"Well, ideally … We made the move for him to be safety. That is the ideal spot for him at this point in his career, we think. But due to injuries – even last week – we talked about possibly moving him around. We know he has the capability to get us through a ball game if we had to at corner or the nickel position, which he has played and played them well. He gives us some flexibility. You have seen us at times match him up on the third receiver this season because of his cover ability. He gives us some flexibility. Hopefully we can stay healthy enough where he does not have to be moved. But we know he is capable of doing it if he has to."
Linebackers Coach Don Martindale
How challenging has it been the last few weeks not having ILB C.J Mosley inside and OLB Terrell Suggs and OLB Elvis Dumervil outside? (Luke Jones)"It's been a challenge, but that's professional football. I know that sounds like a standard answer, but it really is. If you even go back to the Super Bowl year with all of the injuries we had in my room, specifically, that everybody played. It's something, unfortunately, that sometimes you get used to. You'd rather not have to get used to it, but it's just all a part of the game."
OLB Terrell Suggs returned today. How much of a boost is that? (Edward Lee)"It's a boost. You guys can see it. As a matter of fact, you guys can hear it. (laughter) It's always a boost. It always brings up the energy of the practice. You have one of the greatest linebackers of all time coming out there, and he gets things stirred up. It's fun to be around."
With the harness, how much of that is a limitation for him? Is it something he can just work through? (Edward Lee) "It's going to be somewhat of a limitation, just like if you put on a brace. It's different, but he'll work through it. He's a professional athlete. He'll get it fitting just right, and he'll be ready to go."
**Do you have to be cautious with him because of the biceps injury? *(Edward Lee) *"Sure, but you're talking about a guy that's been in the league as long as he has. He knows what he can do and can't do. He really monitors himself with everything that he does."
What are you seeing from the rookies like LB Kamalei Correa and OLB Matthew Judon at this point? (Luke Jones) "It's all a part of a process. It's just like Albert [McClellan] when he first got here or Zach [Orr] when he first got here. It's all a part of the process. They're earning their stripes on special teams, and they're getting more action there. Once they got more action on special teams, then they play more snaps on defense. It's all a part of a process that rookies go through."
With Correa, defensive coordinator Dean Pees has talked a little bit about putting too much on his plate cross-training him in the summer. Has simplifying it a little bit with focusing just on outside 'backer helped him out? (Luke Jones) "I think it has, but I think the whole experience is what has helped slow things down now. We did the same thing with Zach [Orr]. We've done the same thing with any young linebacker we get. They play a bunch of different positions, and then that way they understand the entire defense. That's a good question, but I think just time has helped smooth things out with him."
Just to be clear, do you view LB Kamalei Correa as an outside guy now? Or is he somebody who could still play inside? (Garrett Downing) "I view him as a linebacker. That's the same way I viewed 'Bert' [Albert McClellan]. You saw that. He's a linebacker. They can play all three spots, and they can play things on the defensive line, too. That's part of their versatility."
How hopeful are you that ILB C.J. Mosley will be able to come back in time for the Steelers game or shortly after? (Edward Lee) "I am very, very, very hopeful – very hopeful. We'll see what happens. He's been working hard trying to come back to it. It's just as frustrating for him as it is anybody else that he's not out there. I think Bert, Zach and C.J., all three together [with] the chemistry they had, they were all playing at a high level – a very high level. C.J. and Zach especially together inside, they were playing really well together."
Not a knock to any of the guys who are in there now, but have you seen how valuable ILB C.J. Mosley is when he's not out there?* (Garrett Downing)* "Anytime you have your leader in the middle of the defense and he's missing it's like – not a knock to any second-string quarterbacks in the league – but it's like having a second-string quarterback out there. It is different. Sure, you would like to have C.J. out there all of the time."
Are you worried that OLB Elvis Dumervil's injury could be an extended, long-term one? (Edward Lee)"I'm no doctor with that. I know, like I said, I know he's working hard. 'Harbs' [John Harbaugh] answers all of the injury stuff. I know that he's working hard. When he's ready to go, he'll go."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On why he wants to play through a torn biceps injury: "Man, who am I? What team do I play for? I come from an era where this is just a bump in the road. It may be season-ending for somebody else, but it is not season-ending for a Raven. I played through it before. I told you guys that; it was always the plan. Last time I tore it, I missed the first game, came back and struggled through the second game. Then, I slowly, but surely, got it back. It [the injury] came at a good time. We have nine [games] left. We are still in second place in the division, and we can still do some things. I want to be here when we do them."
On if coming back against the Steelers provides some extra motivation:"Absolutely. Your greatest opponents always bring the best out of you. It is a good opportunity to come back and play against those guys. Everybody knows what it is riding on it, so it is going to be a big game. Like I said, I want to be a part of it."
On if it is similar to the last time he injured his biceps: "They say torn biceps – 'torn biceps.' I am not getting into particulars or whatever. I can play through it, and I am going to play through it."
On if playing through his injury is a pain tolerance thing: "It is most definitely a pain tolerance thing. But it is also a win tolerance thing – how much you want to win and how much you want to play."
On why it is important for him to play as opposed to go to Injured Reserve: "Have we met? *(laughter) *I am not going on IR unless I absolutely have to, if I tear another Achilles or something."
On if playing the Steelers adds to the motivation: "Absolutely. That is definitely a motivation. The unfortunate incident happened at a good time with the bye week coming; it is a good time to kind of heal it. Now, go out there and play against your greatest foe."
On wearing something to protect his biceps at practice:"I had a little apparatus on it. It is just something to help me diminish the pain. It is going to hurt regardless."
On if he wore a brace last time he hurt his arm:"I didn't. They offered me a brace, but I was young and dumb. I wanted to be the Hulk. I was like, 'No, I'm not going out there with a brace. Tape it and let's go!' I am damn sure going to wear one now."
On where he feels the team is going into the bye week: "I don't think we need to hit the panic button. Wins and losses are wins and losses. You also have to consider we did not have anybody. Losing C.J. [Mosley] and Marshal [Yanda] was huge. We are getting those guys back coming back after the bye. We are getting a few more people that were banged up or on IR to come back. We are getting a lot of the pieces back, and that can change a season. We are definitely banking on getting our veteran guys back. It all starts with the guys that we have now. That is why we are all here working. We are going to continue to work. We have a tremendous amount of fight; we are warriors. There isn't any quit in us."