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Ravens Wednesday Transcripts


Head Coach John Harbaugh, G Tony Bergstrom, CB Brandon Carr, QB Joe Flacco, OLB Terrell Suggs & DB Lardarius Webb

Head Coach John Harbaugh

Opening statement: "It is good to see everybody. I appreciate you guys being here. We are preparing for the Jaguars. We are way deep into it, and we are looking forward to practice this afternoon."

What have you seen from RB Leonard Fournette on tape? (Ryan Mink)"Well, probably what we expected to see after evaluating him in college and the kind of player he was in college. He's the same kind of player in the NFL – hard runner, downhill guy with speed. He is 240-plus pounds, and he's fast, and he runs with a little bit of an attitude. They have two great running backs. Chris Ivory is another one. They have two of the best running backs that you are going to find, young guys. Chris Ivory is also a very hard runner. They are very similar, hard-running guys that break tackles."

You have several players that have gone to London before. How much can you lean on them for their advice and their experience? (Ed Lee)"There is a little of that. It is funny, because we ask them, and they really don't have much to say about it. They talk a little bit about the footing. They talk a little bit about the time change and the sleep and all that. But basically, guys just say, 'You know what? You go over there and you play the game.' That is what guys have said, so that is what we are planning on doing."

CB Brandon Carr was telling us that when he went it was a full week and you guys get the short one. Was that preferable to you? (David Ginsburg)"That seems to be what most teams are doing now, as far as how they are doing it. I do not know if any teams lately have gone over the whole week, in our research that [Ravens president] Dick Cass did. Dick really spearheaded this for us. He was out in front of this and did the homework on it and came up with the basic format for what we are doing and did a great job with it."

Have you been able to get to sleep earlier to get your sleep schedule ready?* (Jamison Hensley)*"You know, it is funny. That was part of the plan; we had a presentation yesterday to the guys, and I was asked that this morning by three different people and the answer was, 'Nah.' *(laughter) *I felt bad about it. I wanted to do it the right way, but I think it is more important for the players to get on their pattern than it is for me."

You have familiarity with the Jaguars now that you have played them three years in a row. What are the advantages and disadvantages of that? (Keith Mills)"That is a great point. We have played them in two really hotly-contested games the last two years. One at our place, one at their place, and now we get the third place. They have just been really good games. We do know a little bit about them. They have had some coaching changes; their scheme on offense has changed quite a bit. Their scheme on defense has stayed … Even with the change and the coordinator situation, it has stayed pretty much the same with some nuances. You look at all of that stuff every year, and you to try to play the team that you are going against now."

You have maintained eight defensive linemen on the roster. How spirited is the competition during the week for these roster spots to be active, and how difficult is it on Sunday to make decisions? (Jeff Zrebiec)"The competition at D-line is heated. You are right, it is tremendous. Those guys want to play, and they are fighting like crazy in practice. It makes our practices better. We have young players that need to get better, and when they get their chance, they need to play well. Carl [Davis] stepped up and played well last game. We will see what happens."

I know you are not going to see many of the sights in London. How much free time are you going to allow the players that Saturday? (Jamison Hensley)"It is pretty much the same schedule we have in our normal home game-type situation. We will have Friday after practice a little bit. It is a little tighter, because we have to travel more to practice, obviously, than we do here. Then Saturday, the same type of Saturday afternoon; they will be on their own, just like here."

From what you have been told, why is it so much different going there than going to San Diego? It is a couple hours more on the plane. (Peter Schmuck)"I don't know. I'm not a sleep guy. But, I think the biggest thing is probably the time zone. It is a six-hour change as opposed to a three-hour change, and you are going in the other direction. But, the main thing is that it is a five-hour change. That is probably the biggest difference. I have to bone up on my sleep science. We have a football game at 2:30 London time, I know that. We will be there. We will be on time. We won't be late, I promise you. Unless of course, the buses get stuck in traffic. I have heard London traffic is pretty bad. We have our fingers crossed for that." (laughter)

Offensively, you have got the run game going. QB Joe Flacco has connected intermediately with the tight ends. How important going forward is it going to be to get the downfield stuff and get WR Mike Wallace and WR Breshad Perriman involved? Obviously, WR Jeremy Maclin has already made some big plays. (Jeff Zrebiec)"It is very important. All of those things are going to be really important, in terms of how we attack people from week to week. We are going to need to attack people every different kind of way. Those are two playmakers. We have some real playmakers at wide receiver. Those guys being involved and making plays is really important for us."

QB Blake Bortles has had trouble at times. What are your impressions of him as a quarterback? (Ed Lee) "Blake is a third pick and a very talented guy. We are really preparing hard for him. We are looking forward to the challenge. They are running the ball quite a bit – play-action, quick game, all of these things he does well. Movement stuff, he is really tough out of the pocket. It is a big challenge for us, and we are looking forward to it."

After the game, S Eric Weddle was kind of down for his standards. He is a joyful kind of guy. I think the idea in his mind was that even though there were five turnovers, there were some things on defense that he didn't like. How much of the turnovers masked a little bit of anything?* (Pete Gilbert)*"You win a game any kind of different way you can win a game. All these deep, intricate, analytic types of studies that people want to do about how good a unit is or a team, that is all for those people to look at. We are just trying to win a game.

"All right, we are good? Nothing about the Queen, the face painting deal?"

What about the face painting deal? (Jamison Hensley)"I just think it is important to remember that ravens do guard the Tower of London. Keep that in mind." (laughter)

G Tony Bergstrom

On his comfort-level with the offense:"It's one of those things [where] you keep growing in it. Things slowed down in the game once things got going, and it definitely slowed down this week. It's one of those things where everyone is getting more comfortable – myself, included."

On if he feels pressure in replacing G Marshal Yanda: "I wouldn't say it's necessarily pressure. There's just a lot of opportunity around here for everybody. It's one of those things when [if] somebody goes down, everyone behind him has to step up and play well, and everyone around him has to step up and play well. So, everybody has that opportunity to step up, I guess."

On if developing chemistry with the other offensive linemen will be a challenge: "Chemistry is always something – a constant thing on the O-line, constantly working, constantly changing, and that's kind of how it is. The O-line is one of the more cohesive groups on the field and something that really does require that chemistry. Everyone has to have a feel for how guys around you do things. So, that was definitely a challenge, but it was surprising how quickly that picked up as the game went on."

On the challenges the Jacksonville Jaguars present:"[They're] definitely a talented group. There's no question about that, by far one of the more talented groups we'll face this year. They've kind of always been that way. They have really good players up front, then they added [defensive lineman] Calais Campbell in the offseason, so they present a unique challenge. They do what they do really well. Those guys are good in every facet that they do on the field."

On the trip to London:"I did it once before with the Raiders and [have] been down to Mexico City with the Texans. It's a business trip. I think the first time I went there, it was kind of, 'London!' It was a big deal. Now, you go all over. You're flying to win a game, and that's what we're going there to do – to play and try to come out of there with a win."

On what advice he is giving teammates about the London experience: "Start sleeping now. It's basically the same thing that everybody will tell their team. You know, start trying to get that clock set early. The biggest thing is, once you're there, whatever time it is, that's what time it is. You kind of just figure it out. It just takes you a day, and then you're good. I think there's a little more buildup than needs to be there, but I think it shouldn't be different than any other trip."

On the biggest culture shock in London:"Shoot. I didn't see much culture shock. The hotel we stayed at when I was there looked like Hogwarts. It was cool. That was pretty much it for me. The accent was a little … They speak the Queen's English over there, so you have to get used to that. We have a couple of guys in the building that speak kind of speak that way, too. So, it's not a big deal. We're used to it." (laughter)

On what players speak in a British accent:"I'm not going to start naming names." (laughter)

CB Brandon Carr

On what advice he has given to his team about playing in London since he has done it in the past:"We went to London. We had the entire week. I kind of like the idea of having a short week and keeping it business-like. I told guys just to embrace the different cultures. The food is going to taste different – your average soda, the ketchup is going to taste different. At the same time, it is an opportunity for us to play this game of football that we love to play, but also just to be able to embrace and to learn new cultures. It is going to be a great experience for us. The weather is going to be different. During the game, the fans are different. They cheer for everything. You are going to see every jersey of all 32 teams, so it is going to be a fun affair. It should be a business trip for us. Just stay locked in, but also get some time away to see some of the sights."

On the difference in the ketchup and the soda: "I think they don't use all the other artificial stuff that we use over here. Their stuff may be more healthy, I don't know."

On if too much is made of the time change and the traveling or if it is a legitimate thing:"It is real. I have been there a few times, one for leisure and one for business. I am really trying to stick to the script this year as far as what the doctors were telling us, as far as getting my sleep cycle ready for that. A five-hour time change or six – whatever it is – that is a big-time change. We have some time to get prepared for it."

On how he adjusts his sleep cycle: "They suggest that we just try to get some sleep earlier throughout the week this week before we get there. Sleep on the plane of course, but just try to fight it when we get there. Find things to keep you up throughout the day and go to bed at their normal bed time. We will see how it goes, but at the same time, I think we should be jacked up to play football on Sunday. We will be ready to go."

On his plans for the long flight: "I am going to sleep on the flight. I have no problems sleeping on a flight. I like sleeping, so I am going to enjoy that time."

On some of his favorite sights from the first trip to London: "One that we saw as a team was the Crown Jewels, and that was something special for us to see. I did London and Paris at the same time, so I went back and forth and we are going to figure it out. We don't have too much time, so we are not going to do too much sightseeing. We are still locked in ready to take care of business and try to get to 3-0."

On how contagious turnovers can be and S Tony Jefferson's comment that he wants to create his first  turnover with the Ravens after seeing his teammates create turnovers: "You want guys to feel that way, because that means we are competitive. We all want to go out there and make our plays and be successful on the field. I told Tony, 'It is only Week 2. We have 14 more games left. Just keep on playing your game, relax out there, and it will come to you.' We have a lot of guys that can force situations and allow us in the back end to make plays. Don't fret about not making plays yet, but picks and turnovers come in bunches. We harp on it every single day. We come out here every single day to try to make those turnovers so they can translate to the game."

On how to fix the coverage breakdowns that the secondary was upset about after the Browns game: "In order for us to be the dominant defense that we say we want to be, we have to play 60 minutes of lights-out, focused football. We can't have those one or two drives in the game where we have those breakdowns, whether it is conditioning or whether it is mental errors where teams are allowed to gain momentum and make plays on us. That is what we have been harping on, to clean up our mistakes and our communication across the board."

On QB Blake Bortles and the Jaguars' offense: "They have two amazing backs that they rely on heavily. They do not put too much on the quarterback. Those guys make one cut and get downhill, they put the ball in their hands and keep the passing game short and simple for them. We are looking for some deep throws. He has a big arm. Of course, he can run the ball, as well, in certain situations. We expect a lot of runs, and we expect for us to be ready to tackle this week."

On if he anticipated leading the team in interceptions: "I always anticipate this. Every single year. This is the 10th year, and I have always had this goal in my mind. Sometimes, the ball bounces your way."

QB Joe Flacco

On if he hopes to sightsee while in London: "No, honestly, I haven't really thought about that. We're not going to be staying downtown or anything. So, it's going to be really a tough trip to go and do that stuff. I don't think we're going to have a ton of free time, just travelling, trying to make sure we get the right amount of rest and all that – I'm going to be more worried about that – and getting a good meal. So, I'm not going to have time to look at anything. I'll have to rely on some family taking pictures and things like that."

On if he doesn't have any plans to sightsee: "No, I don't plan to do anything. What's going to happen when we get over there? Who knows? Like I said, I'm going to bank on getting some rest, a couple good meals, and that's about it."

On if he sleeps well on a plane:"Not usually very well. I think this plane will be pretty comfortable. So, I'll do everything I can to make sure I give myself the best chance of getting a good night's rest over there. It's not going to be a full night. What's the flight out there, like-six-and-a-half hours, maybe, or so? So, even if you sleep the whole flight, you're going to get an abbreviated night's sleep. I'm definitely banking on trying to fall asleep on that flight, because if not, Friday is going to be a long day."

On if he has been able to start adjusting his sleep schedule:"I go to bed pretty early during the season anyway. So, moving that bedtime up, for me, would be pretty impossible being that my kids would probably start running the house. They don't necessarily fall asleep super easy. I go to bed pretty early anyway, so hopefully my cycle would be pretty good."

On if he has asked WR Jeremy Maclin and WR Mike Wallace about their previous London game experiences:"No, I've asked a couple guys like, 'Hey, have you gone over there before?' Really, just to see if they've done it; I haven't really picked their brain about it. The one thing you're curious about as a quarterback is what the atmosphere is going to be like on Sunday, just in terms of crowd noise and things like that. So, that's the only thing I've asked a couple guys."

On what players have told him about the atmosphere: "From what I understand, it's a pretty constant noise. I don't think it's going to be anything that's super loud for an extended period of time. You have some Ravens fans, you'll have some Jaguars fans, and then you'll just have people trying to become football fans, or watching the game trying to figure out what's going on. I'm anticipating a constant noise, but nothing like playing in Pittsburgh or anything like that."

On his familiarity with Jacksonville: "They're a talented football team. They're very fast, and they've played us very well. It's one of the most talented groups that you're going to see. We're going to have to be ready to play 60 minutes and do the things that we know how to do well, so that we can have the best chance of winning down the stretch. They're a good defense, and it's going to take a lot to go in there and break them."

On if it's an advantage or disadvantage to knowing the team so well:"I definitely think it helps to have played them the past couple years. You somewhat know what to expect. We know that what you see on film definitely shows up on the field. They run around, have a lot of speed, play hard, they're talented, [and] they have good players everywhere. It's not something that you can just see on paper and say, 'Does it translate?' We know it translates. They're a good football team. So, I guess it helps a little bit in that sense."

On if there's a focus on having WR Mike Wallace and WR Breshad Perriman more involved in the passing game: "This is NFL football and they're my teammates. They're a part of this team, and they're great players. I think there's always a focus to get as many people involved as possible. When you go out there on Sunday, you run your game plan, and the game plan is to get everyone the ball and get everybody involved, because that's when you're operating your best. But, sometimes reality is a little different. You go out there, and certain things happen throughout the course of the game, and obviously it hasn't panned out for those guys necessarily in these first two games – but it's still early. I mean, you guys know what those guys are capable of, especially Mike [Wallace]. On my end, I want to get Mike [Wallace] involved, just because I feel like the more you get him involved early on, the better he becomes throughout the course of the game. So, maybe that's a little bit of a focus, but at the same time, we have to let the game come to us – especially in the types of games we've been playing. We have to play patient, offensive football. Our defense is playing well, and we can't try to do too much early on in football games. We have to let the game come to us and pick our spots to take it over."

On if WR Mike Wallace is in his ear, letting him know he's available:"No. I can tell [and] you can tell when Mike [Wallace] wants the ball and when he's open. But at the same time, he's been good about it with me. We have good conversations about it, for sure. I wouldn't necessarily call it … I feel like there's a negative connotation to him 'being in my ear,' and I do really think that's the way it's been."

On if he would classify it more as a conversation with WR Mike Wallace: "Yes, I mean, not even really. It's just one of those things. I think Mike [Wallace]  …  I think everyone wants touches. But at the end of the day, Mike knows how it is. I think there's a trust there."

On what has to work in the offense to succeed without G Marshal Yanda: "When you lose a guy like that, something is … You're going to have to … You don't want guys to press and step up, but we're going to have to help guys along.  We're going to have to do some things to make up for the fact that he's not there, but at the same time, we still have to stay patient and play our football. Come Sunday, we can't be locked in to the idea that we don't have our starting right guard there. It's something that you think about, kind of, when it happens, but when you take the field you have to clear it out of your mind and have complete trust and faith in the guys who are out there. And you rely on the coaches to put a good game plan together to somewhat protect the young guys who are going to be in there, but at the same time, give them an opportunity to go play aggressively and do what they do well."

On the spark that RB Alex Collins provided: "You could tell during the week when he got the ball in his hands during practice that he had a little bit of something to him. So, it was cool that that showed up in the game on Sunday. I thought he ran the ball really hard, and he'll definitely create something for us, and I look forward to giving him the ball and seeing him to continue to progress."

On if getting the ball out quicker is now of emphasis without G Marshal Yanda on the offensive line:"You're still going to have to go out and run your offense. We have quick game built in, we have some quick play-actions, and all those things we normally do. But, you can't become a team that does one thing and one thing only and expect to be successful over the course of a season. We still have to play our game and do what we do and just be somewhat conscious of it."

On if he has seen opposing defenses drop safeties to guard against the long ball: "Honestly, the teams that we've played, they played their defenses. I think last week, Cleveland was very aggressive, whether that's because of the way they are or because of the threat of our run game, you don't really know. I tend to think that they were an aggressive defense. When you watch the film, what they do showed up – bringing their corners, playing Tampa [2], and playing 'man' and all those things showed up. I tend to lean towards the fact that most defenses do what they're comfortable doing and do what they're good at doing. There may be a couple plays in the game where you can really affect them based on what you've been doing, but that usually shows up late in the game after you've been able to do some of that stuff for an extended period of time."

OLB Terrell Suggs

On the Jaguars' offense and RB Leonard Fournette:"He is very explosive. He is one of the running backs of the future of this league. He is probably one of the backs of right now. He is a very hard, downhill runner. It definitely is going to take a lot of helmets to get the guy down."

On how the team feels if DT Brandon Williams can't play due to injury: "Hopefully, Brandon will be able to go. We are very optimistic about it. We will cross that bridge when we have to. Until then, we will anticipate Brandon playing. We play defense together around here. It has always been an 11-man job. That is always how it has been around here, and that is how it is going to continue to be."

On if he is looking forward to the trip: "It should be interesting. We never have done an international trip before. It should be pretty interesting. We are just looking forward to the game on Sunday. It is a business trip for us. We are going to go in, and we are going to enjoy playing away over there."

On if the sleep schedule will get to him: "No. We aren't too worried about anything. At the end of the day, it is football. Once it is time to play the game, that is pretty much what it is going to be. We aren't really worried about everything else."

On if he is able to sleep on the plane: "I don't know. It is going to be different. Sometimes you like to watch movies or you might catch up on some sleep. I might even write a couple scripts, you never know. We will see how I am feeling after tomorrow."

On if it will feel weird to get back on Monday morning and preparing for the Steelers:"No. The only thing ahead of us is the Jacksonville Jaguars. We are not really worried about anything else. Wednesday is here, and we are worried about the best Baltimore Ravens we can be on Wednesday. Tomorrow will be Thursday, and we will approach Thursday and we will handle Sunday and so on and so forth. We are not really looking at anything else right now but the Jacksonville Jaguars."

DB/RS Lardarius Webb

On how he enjoys playing nickel in the slot: "I'm just enjoying being out there on the field, actually. It doesn't matter where I'm at. Just being a part of this defense, with the talent we have on this defense, is amazing. I'm just loving the role that I'm playing."

On if they can expect five turnovers every week: "I hope so. We're going after those turnovers. It's something that is very important to us in the secondary. We think that's how you change games; we know that's how you change games. So, that's what we want and that's what we're going to go after every week."

On the key to causing so many turnovers:"When things go your way, things go your way. I'm going to [credit] Ozzie Newsome and the organization [for] bringing in a lot of talent. Over the last few years, we've been young, and some of those young guys have grown up now. With Ozzie [Newsome] bringing in some extra guys to make us more of a veteran defense, those players are starting to come in. We drafted Tyus [Bowser] and Tim Williams, and with Terrell Suggs playing the way he's playing [and] getting the pressure on the quarterback – it's making our jobs easier. I could just go down the line and talk about the whole defense: Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce, those two, and just those two alone makes a difference. [Matthew] Judon – I can keep [going] – the way C.J Mosley has started off this year playing makes our defense what it is. It's [like] back when the defense had Ray Lewis in the middle; the defense was good. While we have C.J. [Mosley] in the middle, he makes sure everything goes, and [Eric] Weddle is in the back making sure everything goes. So, we have like a different leader on all levels of the field, with Terrell Suggs, then C.J. [Mosley], then [Eric] Weddle. That's a great thing to have."

On if he anticipated being tied for the team lead with interceptions: "No, I did not even plan on being on the field – seriously. But I am, and I'm blessed to be on the field. Some unfortunate things have happened for me to be on the field. Tavon Young, he went down, which I'm sorry that that had to happen, but he'll be back strong. Maurice Canady went down, also, and we really didn't expect that when he was having such an amazing camp. We can't wait to get him back. But, those were the guys who probably would've had that job, and I was going to be teaching them; I was the player/coach. I'm blessed to be where I am today and I'm just enjoying it. I'm just enjoying every day I can."

On why he thinks he's playing so well this season: "It's the guys around me. I'm going to stick to that. With the guys playing the way that they're playing, the way they attack the quarterback, rush the quarterback., the way [defensive coordinator] Dean Pees is calling the plays for us, putting us in the right position, I'm able to make plays."

On Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette and the priority of stopping Jacksonville's run game:"I think they have a good run game. They have two great running backs [Fournette and Chris Ivory] that run hard, quick and can change the game. I'm going to put it on my front seven, the guys that I just named. I believe and I trust in those guys that they'll handle the run. They trust that we're going to handle the pass. It's a team game. If I see [Leonard] Fournette, I will hit him. Hopefully, Brandon [Williams] will get him first." (laughter)

On visiting London for the first time: "I'm not looking forward to the flight. It really is a business trip for us. As much as a lot of us want to see London, and just see it, we still have to come back 3-0. We've been through this before, travelling to the West Coast. We started off in Denver and then stayed over there to play Oakland [in 2015], and we didn't have a good year that year, because I think we didn't look at it as a business trip. We were just having fun, I guess. Not saying the coaches … We practiced our butt off. We had a young team, and going over there kind of affected us. Now, we understand, those young guys grew up, and we're going over [to London] and we're going for a win. Then we can enjoy it and enjoy that [long plane] ride on the way back."

On what he's going to do on the long flight:"My iPad is fully loaded – it's ready [with] all types of movies, TV shows and games. I'm ready."

On if he knows what movie or TV show he'll watch: "I'm on 'Criminal Minds' right now. So, I just downloaded all 'Criminal Minds' [episodes]. I actually downloaded 'London Has Fallen;' I love that movie. When I need a go-to movie, I can go to 'London Has Fallen,' and it's going to give me all the action in the world. But, I wonder what the guys will think when they see me watching it. (laughter) But I got it. I'm ready to watch it."

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