RAVENS WEDNESDAY TRANSCRIPTS: Week 6 vs. Bears
Head Coach John Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, S Tony Jefferson, C Ryan Jensen, LB C.J. Mosley & OLB Terrell Suggs
Head Coach John Harbaugh
You said you would watch the game on Monday. What did you see in the rookie, QB Mitchell Trubisky?* (David Ginsburg)*"With any quarterback, probably, there are pluses and minuses – rookie or veteran. You try to look at those things and determine the best way to defend the quarterback. But he looked good. He is athletic. He is a talented thrower. He can move – a very athletic guy. He made a lot of his plays with his feet and his arm on the run. He looks like a dangerous quarterback."
Watching the Bears' two-point conversion, what was your reaction to that play? (Pete Gilbert)"I thought it was a great play. I loved it. I loved it. It was very creative. It looked like the punt fake. You try to figure something out there. It gets your creativity kind of going a little bit."
LB C.J. Mosley in his fourth season now and he is leading the team in tackles. What makes him so good, in your opinion? He is just really good. He is young, and he is good. (David Ginsburg)"He is. He is just a talented guy. He is big, he is fast – he has size and speed – but he's more athletic. He has great body control. He has great awareness of the game. He has a real feel for leverage, so he is a tough guy to block. He has a knack for getting off blocks and getting to the ball carrier. That is not easy to do. When guys are pulling around on you, you are hitting those guards in the hole. He has a way of slipping those blocks and making plays, which is probably what the great ones do as linebackers."
Going into this year, LB C.J. Mosley talked about how he kind of wanted to take the next step from a leadership standpoint. Have you seen that, and how has that manifested? (Garrett Downing)"I have [seen that]. C.J. is not the most talkative guy ever, as you guys know, but he has led by example and he has led vocally, too. He has talked to guys individually, and he has also talked to the group at times. He is the leader on the field; he is the play-caller. He does a great job of communicating the play calls to the guys and whatever tips we may be trying to get to the guys before the play starts. He is an excellent communicator that way."
We may talk more about other offensive linemen, but how valuable has it been for you to have G/T James Hurst over the years? It seems you can plug him into four different spots whenever you need to. (Childs Walker)"That is a really good observation. It is hard to play offensive line. It is hard to play any specific spot on the offensive line, but to be able to play all five, or at least four, [is very special]. He has worked at center, but hopefully we won't have to put him there. He is just invaluable that way. He is a very versatile player, and he has played them all well."
Going back to when you saw the fake punt, was your reaction like, "It is good they got that out of the way," or do you think about having to prepare for something like that. What goes through your mind?* (Jerry Coleman)*"The fake punt? Both of those two things [including the two-point conversion], probably. You feel like, 'OK, well, they aren't going to be able to run that one again unless we just hand it to them,' which we should not do. It speaks to the mindset that they have, in terms of that they are going to pull out the stops that they think they need to in order to win the game. It broadens your thinking, in terms of what they may do against you. You have to be looking for all of those types of things, really, from all three phases."
We talked a lot about confidence last week, but with RB Javorius Allen, are you starting to see a guy who is realizing all the things he can be for you? This past week in particular, he did a lot of different things well. (Peter Schmuck)"I do agree with that. For him to have a vision … He has been very determined. He has worked very hard. He probably is not happy with the fact that he has not broken out earlier, but it takes a lot of hard work. I think for him to understand the type of back he is, his own skill set and what he does best, I think he is coming into his own that way. He is a versatile guy. He is very smart. He can do a lot of things in all three phases of the offense. I am pretty excited about him, and then, there are things he can get better at. He will tell you that. Just in terms of the way he carries the ball and maybe getting some more yards after contact, those are some things he is working on."
I know you talked a little bit about C Ryan Jensen on Monday, but when you look at his evolution, what do you think was the most important step that he took to master that position, which is such a specific position? (Childs Walker)"That is a good question. If I was to pick one thing, it would be something he is still working on – snapping the ball. That is the most obvious difference at center. You have to snap the ball and move and block your people. The other part is the communication and really understanding the offense inside and out, because he makes a lot of calls in there. I think he has done a good job with all of those things. I am not surprised that he is playing well. We expected him to play well. We knew what kind of player we had there, potentially, but he is in the process of making a name for himself."
Is a lot of snapping the ball for C Ryan Jensen just comfort and doing it enough that it becomes second nature? (Childs Walker)"That is probably part of it. Repetition is a big part of that. It is complicated. It is probably the second most complicated position on the offense, next to the quarterback."
You have played at a lot of opposing stadiums. What is it – especially from an opposing quarterback standpoint – that makes it tough playing in Baltimore? (Jamison Hensley)"Well, probably two things. Probably the crowd, first of all. Our crowd knows football. We have a very football savvy fanbase, and when they get in that stadium, they do what they can to affect the game, which is very valuable for us. The other thing is our defense – our defense putting pressure on quarterbacks in ways that make them think and trying to do that under the dome of the sound, which makes it harder to communicate."
You guys have had a lot of success against rookie quarterbacks. Is that also due to the defense being a little bit exotic? (Ed Lee)"Yes, I do think that. I think it is part of it. We have been able to confuse … It is not so much rookie quarterbacks, but obviously, that is a big part of it, because they probably are going to be most affected by gameplan problems that you present them. But you try to do that with every quarterback that you face. That is something that, coming to Baltimore, teams are pretty aware of."
Going back to Monday, when we talked about the formula, you said it was a week-to-week situation. Understanding that, I just wanted to use the phrase that sometimes you talk about. What about imposing your will and making sure that they have to play your type of game? (Jerry Coleman)"That is the thing you try to do every week. That is what you do try to do, and that is a good point. How you want to play the game and how you plan to play the game is what you shoot for. That is really what imposing your will is, whether it is running the ball, protecting the quarterback, completing passes down the field, blitzing or stopping the run. Whatever those big picture things are, those are the things that allow you to play the way you want to play. It does not always play out that way. That is what the week-to-week part of it is, but that is what you shoot for."
Along those lines, you want to present all the challenges you can for an opponent to prepare for. Last week, the run game was there, big plays were there, and the offensive line was good. How satisfying was it that they have to prepare for a whole lot this week?* (Pete Gilbert)*"Well, I don't know. I probably would not use the word 'satisfying.' It is important to be able to execute your gameplan. You can't be one dimensional, because you are not executing well. If they take something away, if they over-defend something, then you would like to think that you can attack them in a different way. But if you are taking away elements of your game in any phase of football because you are just not executing something, that is self-inflicted. That is just the opposite of imposing your will. That is what you try to avoid."
QB Joe Flacco
On if he expects confidence to carry over into the next game:"Of course I do. You can see guys late in the game there. I just picture Mike [Wallace] on the sideline with a big smile on his face, and that's what we want every week. That's what we strive to go out there and do. I definitely think it's going to continue to carry over. We're working hard in there, and guys are definitely ready to go and want to be involved and make a splash. I think we're working hard to do it, so therefore, I believe it's going to carry over."
On if there's a difference in everyone's mood this week compared to last week: "Of course. After you lose a football game, you can't wait to get to Sunday, just so you can get that feeling out of the building. There's always a little bit of that. Obviously, after you win, it's not quite the same feeling, but you still have to make sure you have that same sense of urgency you had after a game where you didn't play so well. We want to make sure we come out swinging in this game, just like we did last week – even though there's a little bit different feeling around the building."
On if the offense relaxed after the big opening throw to WR Mike Wallace: "I just think it's what we're good at. I don't know if there's a 'sigh of relief' or anything like that, because you're not thinking that way out on the field. It's just excitement, and that's what conquers and takes over – just the excitement and the play-making ability and everybody feeling like, 'Here we go!'"
On if offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told the offense to open up play: "A little bit. He said, 'Listen. We're going to come out here and we're going to throw this at them, right for the first play. This is what I'm thinking.' He said it earlier in the week. So, I think there was definitely a point of emphasis with it."
On C Ryan Jensen becoming a confident center: "Ryan is a confident person. I think he has always been that way. The thing that you see with him the most is how nasty he is on Sunday and the style that he plays with."
On if an offense needs some "nasty" guys on the line:"We play football, so, yes, that's what it's all about. You need that kind of player. You love to have those guys on your side."
On if it's entertaining to watch C Ryan Jensen's interactions with opposing players: "Of course it is, yes. After you win a football game, you can rewind the film, and look for little things like that. It's definitely entertaining."
On if it's unusual for the center to be feisty: "I never really thought about that. I just kind of think of the offensive line as a whole. A lot of those times, those guys are really nasty, and that's the way they like to play."
On the satisfaction of being able to have drives for extended periods of time:"Yes, that's huge. I think there had to be about eight minutes left when we got the ball back there in the fourth quarter. Obviously, to be able to run as much clock as we did there was big, and to get three points out of it to further separate the game – that was a huge drive. Like I said after the game, you have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line and the way the backs ran and held onto the ball late."
On WR Breshad Perriman's development: "He's just like anybody else. We have to get him involved. Right now, there are not a ton of opportunities out there. You hope that when he gets in those situations, like he was on Sunday, he can make the play. I think that's going to do wonders for our offense, and for him, moving forward – just to make a couple plays like that and prove to himself that he can go do it out there. It also gives that whole wide receiver room a big boost of energy, to see that they're all getting involved, and they're all playing their role."
On his confidence in G Jermaine Eluemunor: "I have a lot. I think I said this after the game, too, but in those first couple weeks, we rotated guys in there, so he's gotten some playing time. He should be ready to go. We have all the confidence in the world in him going in there and knowing what he's doing, playing physical and contributing."
On how long plays affect a defense: "I think you have to ask the defensive guys. I know we came out in the third quarter, and [Oakland] started playing more two-high [safeties] and probably trying to take away Mike [Wallace] and those big plays. I definitely think it can have an effect on the defense. I think, even if you complete some of them, even if you throw some of them incomplete, it definitely puts it in their head that you're going to do that, and it can affect them in certain ways. So, I think it's huge for the type of offense that we run and what we're going to do moving forward."
On if there's more confidence around the team after the win:"Yes, that's what you have to do; you have play well. Constantly, every week, you have to prove to yourself that you can play consistently and play like that. So, it's definitely a step in the right direction. Listen, I think we're a confident group – but having said that, you have to go out there and prove it to yourself all the time. Having two weeks the way we did, a couple weeks ago, you just don't want any bad thoughts to creep into guys' heads. So, I think last week was definitely big for our group. We just have to keep it going."
On having the ability to scout the next two opponents on Monday Night Football: "I can watch about five minutes of those games before I'm falling asleep in bed. I wish I could say I watched the whole game, but no; I don't last. I'll wait until the next morning, open my iPad up, and check it out that way. It's really tough on the East Coast for me to stay up for those games."
On if RB Javorius Allen brings different momentum than RB Terrance West:"I think they all have their own different styles. I think 'Buck' [Allen] is doing a great job in pass protection. You saw, he was creating some room Sunday, running physical, and doing those things. He had a couple where he just almost slipped through there for some big plays. I think he can be big in the passing game, once we get the screens going. They're all a little bit different in their own, individual good way."
S Tony Jefferson
On the Ravens' offensive performance on Sunday: "I think it is a performance they have been waiting to have happen. They looked loose. They got Mike [Wallace] on a long route on the very first play. I was loving it – great ball, great route."
On if he stayed up to watch the Chicago and Minnesota game Monday night:"No, I was actually in the community being a great guy in the Baltimore community. (laughter) I did miss the Monday night game, but I watched the game on tape. [Mitchell] Trubisky is nice; he was balling."
On what he liked about Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky: "He can throw the ball very well on the run. The guy has an arm; he is accurate. I did not know he was that athletic."
On the Bears' running attack: "Their backs are the heart of their team. They have two very good running backs."
C Ryan Jensen
On how he feels about his performance so far this season:"It is good. I feel good about my performance. I feel good about the offensive line performance. Granted, we have been meshing together really well. We have injuries and stuff like that, but we are plowing forward, and we are getting there."
On how we would describe his style of play: "I just try to be as physical as I can and try to assert my play and my physicality on guys."
On LB C.J. Mosley referring to him as a "butthole" sometimes: "I take that as a compliment." (laughter)
On if it is important to bring a fiery nature to the offensive line:"Definitely. I think it sets the tone, and with our offense, it is a tone that needs to happen with the type of running offense we want to have."
On when he started playing football:"I started playing football when I was 7 years old."
On how many fights he has been in since he was 7:"Honestly, I do not know. Probably countless." (laughter)
On if he has always been confrontational: "I think it is just the red hair in me, it is kind of ornery. I used to have a really short temper, and now I've kind of controlled it."
On if the Viking tattoo on his arm relates to that tough spirit: "That is kind of my heritage, so that is what that is for."
On how gratifying it is to be starting and if he ever had any doubts about himself:"Yes, my second year when I got released, there is always a little doubt that gets put in the back of your mind. Working through that is big."
On when he felt comfortable at center: "I played tackle in college, so it probably took a year-and-a-half, two years, to get comfortable with my hand on the ball. I played center most of my life growing up, but four years in college of playing tackle, you kind of get out of that funk."
On being a center in high school: "I was a center in high school and growing up. It is kind of a natural position for me, but obviously, playing tackle for four years [in college] … The position is way different."
On if he has to think more while playing center: "There is thinking that is involved at every position. There is a little more thinking at center. You have to ID the front and set the protections and stuff like that. For the most part, we are all on the same tune, so it is not too much thinking with these guys."
On having a large number of players play next to him at guard due to injuries:"It has been a long ride, but we are finally starting to get some cohesiveness. With Matt Skura [becoming injured] … But Jermaine [Eluemunor] is going to step up and do great."
On the versatility of G/T James Hurst and if they feel he is a weapon:"Yes, definitely. He is obviously our starting left guard right now, but for him to be able to play any position on the line is huge with the way the league is with injuries and stuff like that. If somebody were to get dinged up, he can move around."
ILB C.J. Mosley
On if ILB Patrick Onwuasor's and LB Kamalei Correa's style of play are similar:"I feel like each player has their own playing style. I feel like with 'K.C.' [Kamalei Correa], his footwork [makes him] very agile; he can move around. 'Peanut' [Onwuasor], is one of those guys that can just find the ball, try to blow up everything that gets in the way. I think they bring their own type of play to the table. The way we they've been doing it the past few weeks is just, whoever has been having the best practice, most production in practice, has been starting. Last week, that was 'Peanut,' and it showed in the game. He had a very good game, made that big play on our first drive. For both of them, they have to continue – because they're both playing special teams – they have to continue to get better at that and keep building their days."
On if ILB Patrick Onwuasor's forced fumble is indicative of his potential:"Yes. If you remember in the preseason, he was forcing fumbles then and did the same thing in practice. If you practice it, you'll do it in the games. He just has to keep getting better at that"
On if he enjoys watching teammates' explosive hits when reviewing film:"Yes, anytime any of our players get a big play or big hit, we rewind it, and we laugh at it. You want to see that; you like celebrating with your teammates and seeing everyone make big plays. Hopefully you get to make those plays yourself, because it's always fun when you're celebrating and winning."
On what he attributes his success to this season:"[It's] just being in shape, really. That's the first thing, [because] you have to run to the ball when the play is not in front of you. I always give my credit to the D-linemen, because they do a great job of taking on the double team, absorbing blocks. We also have a great linebackers coach in coach [Don] 'Wink' [Martindale] teaching us the formations. And, just God [is] blessing me with the talent that I have. Coach Dean [Pees, defensive coordinator] putting us in the right play calls [is also important]. We just have to go out there and make plays. I'm a linebacker, so you're supposed to make tackles. So, I have to do it."
On if his transition from college to professional football was really difficult:"I mean, not so much. I've been at a great place like [the University of] Alabama, with a defensive mindset. A lot of the defensive plays that we ran there are similar to what we do here – just the verbiage has changed up for me a little bit. Once you get comfortable with your teammates, the new surroundings … At the end of the day, you're here to play football, and once you get comfortable with the defense, just go out there and play and make plays."
On if he watched the Monday Night Football game and his impressions of Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky:"Some of it. He's a mobile quarterback – that's always dangerous against a team like us, because we like to show different things, put [on] pressures and play 'man' defense. We just have to do a good job and try our best to keep him contained. You saw how that could hurt us last week. The Raiders got a few plays on us, where the quarterback got out and made some plays or ran for the first down. I mean, pass rush works both ways. We have to do our job in the back end covering, and the front has to keep their quarterback contained. And with their running backs, too, you saw how [Chicago] played against the Steelers – that was a big game for the running backs, too, in the pass game and run game. We just have to make sure that we go in the same way we came in with the Raiders. We have to be ready to try to throw the first punch, and try our best to stop the run."
On facing a rookie quarterback in his first road start:"All of that is going to play into effect to a certain point. We're definitely going to do what we have to do, try to keep them guessing, show different things. But, it's the NFL; he's here for a reason. He showed signs of that on Monday. Once he gets out of the pocket, he can hurt you running the ball and throwing it off the run. We respect all of our opponents, but we're definitely going to try to take advantage of his first road start and him being in our house."
On the defense's confidence after the Oakland win:"It definitely gives us confidence. First play [the offense] starts, they throw deep and get a big play, then they go down and score, gives us momentum to want to get them back on the field. [We] try to get a quick three-and-out, and the first two series for the offense and defense worked out perfectly. We had a touchdown, then a fumble recovery for a touchdown. That just builds up momentum when we get three-and-outs. The offense wants to go out there, keep the ball on the field, go down, score and get a field goal. Then, that leaves the special teams with a kickoff to get all the guys hyped; they're running down there to make the big plays. So, it just keeps going when everyone gets that momentum going."
On how annoying C Ryan Jensen is to defenders: "In season, it's not bad. In camp, he gets a little feisty; he'll throw a helmet here and there. He's a great competitor, and you want that kind of play with all your players, especially on the O-line. He's not going to let anyone [bully] him. He's always going to get the better end of it. Playing against him in practice, that keeps you aware. Even though you think he's being a butthole, he's actually making you better, because you're protecting yourself. If this happened to me in practice, then it can happen during a game. It's just the way he plays; it makes the other players better."
On the meaning of playing the same position as Ray Lewis:"It means a lot. Growing up, my two favorite linebackers when I was watching the NFL were Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. I always watched them play and always played defense, even when I was little. Now, to be here with the Baltimore Ravens, being the next man up at the linebacker position … I wouldn't say it's a lot of pressure, because this is what I've been doing for a long time, but it's just what I love to do: play defense, play linebacker. It's always good to be looking at something as I get older. As long as I keep up the good work, guys are going to be talking about me along with his name. That's always something to look forward to."
On Chicago RB Jordan Howard and RB Tarik Cohen: "They both can be downhill [runners], going outside, and they both have a big-play capability. The other two things that some people may not notice is they're really good in the passing game. They can turn a checkdown into a 30-yarder or a touchdown run. They are both very versatile, and they both have their different play styles. Cohen, he's a speedy guy. He can cut back, reverse the field. Howard is more downhill. But, we definitely know what it takes to get both of them down; that's everybody running to the ball and getting hats on them."
On if there's an emphasis on putting pressure on a rookie quarterback: "It's a little bit of both. You want to stop the run, because that's what we're built on – like any team. When you have a young rookie quarterback, you definitely want to get them second-and-long, third-and-long, to get them out of running the ball so we can put more pressure on them. Our No. 1 job is to always stop the run, so we can put ourselves in better positions to get to the quarterback, get interceptions, stuff like that."
OLB Terrell Suggs
On playing against a rookie QB in Mitchell Trubisky, who is making his first NFL road start:"You know me. You can't take anything or anybody for granted. He is a guy on their team that is going to touch the ball every play their offense is on the field. With that being said, he is a problem for us. We accept the challenge, just like he does."
On if it is an advantage to play a rookie quarterback:"Not in this day and age. These guys have kind of been in NFL packages since they were in high school. You can't really … Some definitely catch the game faster than others, but if he is starting under center for them, they think he is the best man for the job. So, he can definitely play at this level, and that is how we are addressing it."
On if the defense has to watch out for QB Mitchell Trubisky's mobility:"Definitely. He showed some things, especially on the Monday night game. He is definitely one of those quarterbacks that can extend plays with his feet. We are taking all of that into account."
On if he heard from the NFL about the mask he wore in pre-game warm-ups against the Steelers:"No. Why would you ask that? It is kind of like, 'We haven't heard anything yet.' Let's just hope they are looking the other way right now. I think the league has bigger fish to fry right now. (laughter) We are all right this week, so far."
On if he has an encore planned:"No, there is no encore planned. It is usually just that one team, I try to give our team something extra to get hyped for, because the rivalry has kind of changed as the personnel has. I just like to spark it up for that game. There aren't any encores. Maybe Joe [Flacco] will come out with something."
On how his birthday has been going: "The birthday has been really good. I am looking forward to getting home tonight. It has been really good."
On how he would describe C Ryan Jensen's style of play: "He is a savage. He is a savage. He is definitely an old school, mauler tough guy. He likes to rumble, likes to fight. We have to remind him that we are wearing purple in this damn locker room, because he will take off on one of us. We just want consistency out of all our guys. He had a good game [last week]. The only way we are going to validate that is if he has a good game this week. We all have to have good games."