WEDNESDAY PODIUM AVAILABILITY: WEEK 7 VS. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Head Coach John Harbaugh
Opening statement: "OK, [it's] good seeing everybody. I appreciate you being here. What questions do you have?"
The Bengals, their wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, what challenges does he pose for a defense? (Jamison Hensley) "Well, he's playing like a veteran guy. I think he's averaging 24 yards an attempt on his deep routes. He's running the deep routes. They have a connection on the nine routes out there, pretty much every coverage – slants, crossers. He's just doing a great job. He's playing like the high pick that he is. He and, of course, Joe Burrow have a connection, I think, based on … They go back a long way. So, they have an understanding of each other, and you can see it."
With the T Ronnie Stanley news yesterday, did you get a clear explanation that you're able to share about why the first procedures didn't have the intended effect? (Childs Walker) "I probably did get a clear explanation, but that doesn't mean it was clear to me. They took a [model] foot and an ankle out, and they showed me all the different things, the moving parts in there, and I went, 'Uh huh. Uh huh. OK. OK.' So, that's about what I know." (laughter)
Was it something from Week 1 though [with T Ronnie Stanley]? Or was it just a combination that it wasn't quite ready? (Morgan Adsit) "They didn't really pinpoint when it happened; it just didn't work out, I guess. That's the best way I could explain it. Maybe Ronnie [Stanley] … He's much more involved with it. He's talking with the doctors all through it. He probably could explain it better than I could."
The Bengals' defense is much improved this season. DE Trey Hendrickson has 5.5 sacks, and DT B.J. Hill … What have you seen as far as their ability to get to the quarterback? (Todd Karpovich) "Yes, they're doing it. You're right, they've brought in some guys … I feel like they've brought in four or five good players up front. They have a good middle linebacker. Of course, [Trey] Hendrickson has 5.5 sacks already [and] numerous pressures. It's not just him; [Sam] Hubbard is still doing a great job. [D.J.] Reader is playing well inside. [Larry] Ogunjobi is playing well inside. Those guys are also pass rushers inside. They're blitzing every now and then, bringing Vonn Bell. They're just doing a really good job with playing their defense, and they have good players doing it."
Only six games in, there are worst places to be than on top of the AFC. What's your message to the team about where you are right now? (Jerry Coleman) "Our guys are focused on the game. We have a huge game coming up on Sunday, a division opponent. We're playing in the AFC North; there's nothing more important than division games, especially division games at home. We understand that, and we're just trying to get ready for the game."
After going back and looking at WR Rashod Bateman, obviously we see the four catches that he made, but the whole job with blocking, running the routes [and] all the little things, for his first game, what did you see from him? (Luke Jones) "I would say for his first game, [it was] very good. You just don't know ... You just don't know. Someone asked me, 'How do you think he's going to do?' [I said,] 'I don't know, I think he'll do well.' But he did really well. Now, he can be so much better. I think he's excited to have that one behind him now. You get a feel for where you're at, and then it just kind of goes forward from there."
After the Lions game, there was video of QB Lamar Jackson going over film with WR Marquise Brown after his two drops in that game on the plane ride back home. Is that something that you would have seen from Jackson his rookie year or his second year as far as his leadership in that way? (Martenzie Johnson) "That's a great question. I would say the answer is yes. He's been doing that since the day he took over. He's been on the plane, [and] he watches the tape. He grabs guys … All of our guys do [watch tape on the plane]. It's not … It's Lamar [Jackson], certainly, because he's the quarterback, and he does it from his role. But when you get back on the plane after we play, and you walk back there, all the guys have their iPads out, and they're all watching the game. They talk about it, and coaches [are going] back and forth, talking about different things. It's very football oriented, which of course, as a football coach … Now, I don't think I walk back there and all of a sudden, they pop their iPads up, as far as I know. (laughter) But that's kind of what I want to see."
How great is it getting TE Nick Boyle back, finally on the field and then maybe in games soon? (Kirk McEwen) "It's great. We'll just have to see how he does in practice, but he seems strong. He's been rehabbing out here really strong with the training staff and with the strength staff. I've seen him out here working for, really, months. It'll be a good test today to see how it feels in a football practice, even if it's just the individual period. So, we'll see what he can do out here today and probably have more for you going forward."
You lead the NFL with 17 players on injured reserve. I know that's not a stat you particularly like to lead the league in, but you're also still 5-1. How is this team able to continually overcome injuries? (Jamison Hensley) "I just think our guys, we keep faith. We do a good job of that, and guys step up. Those two things, that's what has happened. Guys have kept the faith, and guys have stepped up and played well – that's really what it boils down to."
Another offensive line first-round pick G James Carpenter, what are your thoughts on him and how he'll help in the interior? (David Andrade) "We're bringing James [Carpenter] in and a couple other guys in, too, you've probably noticed. He's going to … Our personnel staff does such a good job. I see [executive vice president and general manager] Eric [DeCosta] and [director of player personnel] George Kokinis and [senior player personnel executive] Vince Newsome and all those guys in that department – [executive vice president] Ozzie [Newsome] is watching tape all the time – they're always looking for guys. They kind of know the league so well. I think James is coming off an injury and hasn't been in camp or anything. So, this will be his first practice [this season] out here today, which he did remind me of to make sure I took that into account. But he's excited – he's all smiles. That's a good football player that's done well in the league [and] knows what he's doing. That just gives us more depth. As you can see, I think if you watch around the league, depth is really important."
With T Ronnie Stanley, is there a timetable for him? Is there any concern about that ankle getting full flexibility back after these surgeries? (Jonas Shaffer) "That's a great question. I don't know the particulars of that. I'm sure there are concerns. That's probably one of the concerns, I would assume. The target would be next season. Having it done now as opposed to after the season probably helps in that sense. So, we'll just have to see what happens."
We also saw on BaltimoreRavens.com that OT Brandon Knight did not report. Is there anything you can share on that? (Jonas Shaffer) "I don't really know the details of that. That was a personal decision on his part, so he'd have to answer that. I don't know, but he decided not to report."
Is there any update on RB Latavius Murray's situation? (Cordell Woodland) "He has an ankle sprain. So, we're just going to have to monitor that day to day and see where we're at. [We'll see] where we're at – it's one of those deals."
One guy we haven't talked a lot about is FB/DL Patrick Ricard. He's coming off his offseason procedure and kind of got his strength back. What have you seen from him as this season from what's gone on in the early part? (Ryan Mink) "That's a great question. I've seen him get stronger and better every day. It takes time; you're back, but you're not fully back. I've seen him getting fully back now, the last couple of weeks, to his [normal] self even better. He looks really strong right now."
I don't know how much you recall last year's game when Cincinnati was here. Do you remember how close you were to shutting them out? (Jerry Coleman) "No, I don't remember that. It seems like a long time ago." (Reporter: "Well, 'Wink' had some things to say about the late field goal, that's why I was asking.") "Well, [Defensive coordinator Don Martindale] 'Wink' will be up here tomorrow. 'Wink' is never shy about speaking for himself."
The last time ILB Josh Bynes was here a couple years ago, people talked about his coaching potential. I don't know if you agree with that, but how does that manifest itself? Not in tackles on the field, but how do you see him interacting off the field with players? (Bo Smolka) "Absolutely. That is a strength of his, for sure. I see him working with Patrick [Queen] and Malik [Harrison] a lot and Kristian [Welch]. It's good to have a player perspective. I think we have one of the absolute best linebackers coaches in the whole world in [inside linebackers coach] Rob Ryan. He's a great defensive coach, and he does a great job. That's part of it – that's the main part. But when you also have a veteran player that can kind of say, 'OK, this is how I see it, or I feel it in there,' doing that has to help a young player. I talked to him about that last week about maybe coaching. He said, 'Oh, I've never thought about that. Maybe I want to do that someday.' [I thought,] 'Just wait a couple weeks before we …'" (laughter)
At that position, you have five guys now that you'd probably like to play every week in an ideal world. Does it create a little bit of a roster crunch to figure out every week with that inside linebacker group? (Childs Walker) "It does. We've had five 'backers up before, but wherever you go heavy, it creates a roster crunch. Sometimes, it's been outside 'backers, as you know. Sometimes, [it's] inside 'backers. But the good thing is those guys can pretty much all play special teams. So, what we'll do is just spread their duties out on special teams, because they're kind of spread out on defense now, and just try to balance it out that way."
When you've had a great deal of success against one team for a couple years, as a coach, do you maybe say something or show something where you don't want these players to overlook a team they've had a good deal of success in the past against? (Jamison Hensley) "You might have to, but [with] this team, I haven't felt the need to do that. This team just doesn't view things that way. They're telling me what I'd want to hear. We were at the leadership meeting this week, and they guys were, that's what they were talking about. We just have great leadership on this team."
Do you have any clarity on C/G Bradley Bozeman's injury at this point and where that stands? (Childs Walker) "[It's] day to day, I would say. It's not serious; not long-term serious at all. It's day to day."
QB Lamar Jackson
*On how it feels knowing the University of Louisville plans to retire his jersey: *"It feels amazing. It's like a whirlwind. It's a huge accomplishment. I wasn't looking forward to that. Probably after I was long, long done with football, probably, but for it to happen so early, it's something I'll cherish forever."
*On if the Bengals' defense looks different than the ones he's played in the past: *"Yes, for sure. [They are a] sound defense. They're flying around. They've bumped the defensive line up, linebacker corps, secondary. They look pretty good on film. They look great on film."
*On how he keeps the focus on the next game: *"We know how it feels to have losses under our belt; we know how it feels to be on a roll. But now it's … We just take it a game at a time; don't peak too early. [We're] trying to get better each and every day, and we're just focused on our assignment. That's what it is – Cincinnati Bengals – right now."
*On WR Rashod Bateman's NFL debut last week: *"He just hit the ground running, like I always say. He got out there, he blocked, he ran routes, he ran corners off [on] run plays and stuff like that. He just had a tremendous day – like he had already been in the league already, like he already played gamed under his belt, even thought that was his first game."
*On WR Rashod Bateman's stiff arm and first-down reception, not looking like a rookie: *"I know. He looked mature. He's been like that ever since he walked in the building. He's been the same guy – laid back. [He] just wants to work, and we saw that Sunday."
*On how bizarre it is that it's Week 7 and this is the first divisional game for the Ravens and if his mindset changes: *"Yes, that's crazy. We have the same mindset – focusing on each other, just look at the defense, look at those guys and try to go out there ready – that's all."
*On if this game is more important because it's an AFC North game: *"No, [we'll] keep the same focus. We've been locked in for the last few weeks, and we're going to keep the same focus."
*On winning against the Chargers despite not playing his best: *"I was good. (laughter) I was good. We won. We got the 'W.' I wasn't mad. I was made at the interceptions, but that was it. I don't think I played bad. (laughter) I should have gotten on Instagram Live, huh? I didn't do that. Yes, I didn't do that. I should have done that. I don't know why I didn't do it, but I wasn't mad at the game. I was happy we got the 'W,' for sure."
*On winning despite him not playing as spectacular as in other weeks: *"Everyone just played their part. The defense played their part, special teams played their part, offense did, too. The run game was just great. We just hit the ground running. Our guys, all [of] our running backs scored; the offensive line was pushing guys out the way. There wasn't a need for me to do anything spectacular."
*On the chemistry he has when handing the ball off to the new group of running backs compared to that chemistry at the mesh point with RB Gus Edwards: *"Me and Gus [Edwards] have been doing it for like three years – three, four years – and those guys, we've just been on it for a few months, so that's probably why. We've just got to keep being consistent with it, a lot of practice with it, [and] we'll be fine."
*On how comfortable he feels in the pocket behind tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Patrick Mekari, as T Ronnie Stanley will be out for the season: *"Ronnie [Stanley] played in one game this season with us, and 'Al' [Alejandro Villanueva] has been doing a great job filling in for Ronnie, and [he's] just been playing his butt off. He's a grown man; he knows what he's doing, and there's going to be a lot more playing time for him, since Ronnie is on IR, even though that's my guy. It's all good, because we've got 'Big Al.'"
*On how he's helped keep this offense together, given the injuries and changeover in personnel: *"Just staying poised, staying locked in on what's in front of us. All of our guys … Coach always says that: 'Next man up.' Those guys know that; I know it. My job is to just score points, move the ball downfield, and that's what we do. We're not worried about the guys who are out and stuff like that."
*On if TE Mark Andrews is even better this year: *"He definitely is. I don't know what it is; it's just his hard work ethic, I'll say. When we were in Arizona [during the offseason], he was getting after it in Arizona when we were working out. He just wants to be the best, and that's what you need out of your players. Your tight end – whatever position they play – you want the best out of them, and that's what he's shown."
*On if he could see TE Mark Andrews' improvement all the way back in the spring when they were working out: *"For sure. Yes, he was ready then – to me."
*On if the chemistry with TE Mark Andrews has been even more important, given the wide receivers who have been in and out of the lineup: *"It's always important for any of my guys, not just Mark [Andrews]. Any one of my receivers, I want to have good chemistry with those guys, because they're out there trying to make things happen for us, as well."
*On if he's seen anything different from defenses this year compared to last year, as far as how they're trying to contain him: *"Yes, it's pretty much a week-to-week [occurrence when] the defense tries to change it up on me. From things they did on film, they might not do it this week when they're playing us, but we've been having success. [We've] just got to keep doing that, for sure."
*On how his style of play might affect the way defenses try to contain him: *"I don't know; I'm not on the side with those guys trying to figure it out. I'm doing me, trying to focus on getting better each and every day. I don't really know what they're thinking over there. All I know is what we've got going on over here; we're trying to beat every opponent we play against."
*On if he's increasingly had to sit down after a few series, review film on the sidelines and make adjustments: *"Yes, but I wouldn't say just sitting on the sideline. It's me being out there on the field and looking at those guys. I'm seeing what they're doing. I'm dropping back and seeing what the defensive line is doing, linebackers are doing, safeties are doing. So, that's it – me being on the field."
*On if this game is more important given that the winner would be atop the AFC North: *"The games [have] been important. We're out there; we're trying to win regardless. We're not worried about the rankings and stuff like that. It's still early in the season. We just want to win, that's all."
*On if the iconic run he had a few years back was his "coming out play": *"Was that my coming out play?" (Reporter: "Your MVP season – it seemed like that put everybody on alert.") "I guess so. I don't really know what was my coming out play or game or whatever. I just want to go out there and play to the best of my ability and come out with the win."
*On if there are any updates regarding his contract situation: *"No."
*On if he's wearing a new chain: *"No, I've had it. (laughter) I've been wearing it. You've been interviewing me every week; how have you not seen this chain? (laughter) No, this is not new."
*On how much more comfortable he feels in the pocket compared to previous years: *"I feel [very] comfortable in the pocket. I just feel like it's a maturity thing. I'm still young, but it just took a couple years for me to just stay down in the pocket [and] go through more reads if I could. But I feel like [I'm] doing better."
*On how he tries to not overlook a team that he's had recent success against: *"You can't overlook anybody in the NFL – no team in the NFL. That's just … [If] you're doing that, you might as well [not] even play football. These are grown men, and these guys are trying to feed their family, and it's, 'Any Given Sunday.' A team can be 0-15, and then they play you, [and] they might play their hearts out and come out with a 'W.' So, you can't just go into a game overthinking or overlooking any team."
*On if there was any discussion within about the team having the best record in the conference: *"No, we're trying to win game by game. We're taking it a game at a time."
TE Mark Andrews
On the passing game and if his chemistry with QB Lamar Jackson is the best right now: "I think it's going great. I don't look too far into if we're doing the best or whatnot, but I think we have guys that are flying around. You look at our receiving group, those coaches [and] those players, they're all balling out. I think that makes a difference, man. Our O-line is blocking incredibly, and then tight ends are obviously doing their thing. So, I just think it's a team effort of guys doing their jobs. We're taking advantage of our opportunities."
On if the receivers have opened up the game for him: "Yes, for sure. There's definitely more room. We have a lot of dangerous receivers [and] dangerous pieces that 'G-Ro' [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] does a great job of using. So, it's not like you can guard one guy. Like I said, everybody is taking advantage of the opportunities. When you do that as an offense, it's hard to guard as a defense."
On TE Nick Boyle returning to practice: "I'm obviously excited about Nick [Boyle]. It's been a long time, but he's been working hard to get back and to get healthy."
On how much TE Nick Boyle wanted to get back on the field and how difficult it was for him to be sidelined for so long: "Incredibly difficult. I just … I think everybody on the team knows how much he wants to be out here playing. This means so much to him, playing here and playing with his guys – it means a lot. So, for him to be able to be getting healthy and eventually coming out, that's the type of guy we need."
On if he felt like he was more locked in this offseason after QB Lamar Jackson came out to train with him in Arizona: "I always feel it. (laughter) No, I always treat my offseasons very … I'm very kind of rigid about how I'm thinking. I want to have big years. I want to help this team. It was great for Lamar [Jackson] and those guys to come out and see where my head is at when I'm in Arizona."
On what it means to him to be tied for first with Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce in receiving yards: "That's cool. That's cool. But obviously, it's very early on in the season, and there's a lot of work left to be done. The job is not finished yet. At the end of the day, there's really only one thing that I care about, and that's at the end of the season."
On if it's tough losing T Ronnie Stanley for the rest of the season: "Yes, it's tough. We've obviously been hit by a lot of injuries and that sort of thing this year. But you've seen the type of resiliency this team has showed. Obviously, Ronnie [Stanley] is going to be on the sideline supporting us. I love him to death, but he's going to be there helping us out [and] helping those O-linemen out like a great captain and great teammate – that's what we expect from him."
On if he feels like he's a receiver trapped in a tight end's body: "No, man – I'm a tight end. Especially [because] it's National Tight End Day, I think, this Sunday. So, I'm excited about that. I'm a tight end, man." (laughter)
On how he plans on celebrating National Tight End Day: "Going off."
On the difference in QB Lamar Jackson's ball placement from his first two years to now: "I think just his reads … Everything – he's maturing, he's growing, [and] he understands this offense so well. He's always had great ball placement [and] great eyes, but just the way he's seeing the game, the game is progressing. It's slowed down to him a bunch. I think you just see the way he's able to facilitate it. I think every game we've played, there's been nine, 10 [or] 12 guys touching the ball from his passes – that's big."
On what's going through his head before a game when he's rocking back and forth on the sideline: "[I'm] ready to go, man. Football is a game of passion and heart, and it takes a lot of courage to be able to go out there and go play as hard as you can. So, I'm ready to go to war with my brothers. I know they have my back, and I have theirs. That's just the intensity."
On how the Cincinnati Bengals defense looks differently than the ones he's faced in the past: "They're going to be good, man. Every time we play a division game, at the end of the day, it's going to be physical [and] it's going to be a good game. They fly around. They're a physical team. Up front, it's going to be a handle to block. So, we have to be on our 'Ps' and 'Qs' this week. Obviously, [it's] a huge game this Sunday at 1 o'clock. [I'm] expecting the '[Ravens] Flock' to show up."
On if he's being defended differently than he was earlier in his career: "I think it's kind of grown. Every year is a little bit different. Every year, defenses try to do certain things to maybe stop Lamar [Jackson] and do that type of thing. But that's when execution, 'G-Ro's' [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] scheme and all that stuff comes into play. I'm not noticing anything too much different; just trying to go out there and make plays when I can."
On establishing the trust between teammates: "I mean, it starts long, long before the season. You think about training camp and everything that you have to go through, the grind. Obviously, we've had a bunch of injuries on this team, but that hasn't deterred us from our goals. We've gotten closer. So, I think there are a bunch of things that kind of go into the chemistry of a team, and it's beautiful here in Baltimore. From the top down, [Ravens owner] Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti and Coach Harbaugh, they preach the right things [and] they do things the right way. When you have an atmosphere like that, and you have great players that they recruit, that's a recipe for success."
On how FB/DL Patrick Ricard has impressed him this season: "'Project Pat,' 'Pro Bowl Pat,' [Patrick Ricard] man, he's incredible. He really is incredible. Just his … Obviously coming in the league as a D-line/fullback, and now, he's like a legit tight end – you know what I'm saying? He's doing everything that tight ends do. He's so versatile. 'G-Ro' [offensive coordinator Greg Roman] asks a bunch of him, and every game, he brings it. He's driving his feet. He's moving guys five, 10, 15 yards off the ball. So, he's invaluable to our team. He has a huge role for us."
CB Marlon Humphrey
*On the Bengals' duo of QB Joe Burrow and WR Ja'Marr Chase: *"They look really good. [Ja'Marr] Chase has added a lot of juice to their offense. All the receivers, it seems to me, they've just stepped [it] up a notch and put a lot of weight on their shoulders to run [that] offense. So, they're definitely a new duo there, but [they're] kind of almost like a new, just fully revamped offense."
*On if WR Ja'Marr Chase is doing the same stuff in the NFL as he was doing in college: *"Yes. It's actually been really surprising; he's really made the NFL look pretty easy. I know it's, of course, a lot better players, but there really hasn't been many speed bumps in the road. It seems like being that Joe [Burrow] and him played in college together, it's not really a new relationship. So, it seems like they're like a fifth-year tandem [and] that they've been doing it for a while. That's kind of how easy it's looked on film."
*On how having ILB Josh Bynes in the middle made a difference for the defense against the Chargers last week: *"Yes, there were definitely times when we all gelled really well with Josh [Bynes] in there. But I think even with 'PQ' [Patrick Queen] or whoever was in there, the biggest thing [is] we just took a more relaxed approach that I felt we weren't taking early on in the season with the defense. We were just taking it … I think we all came to the realization that we're better than what we are; we're just all kind of sometimes panicking. So, we tried to take a step back, still bring the same energy, bring the same juice, but just kind of take a more relaxed approach and be like, 'Let's just do … Execute the defense, and we'll be fine.'"
*On how his leadership style has changed throughout his career: *"When Marcus [Peters] went down … He was such a big part of the defense; he spoke a lot. I think I've said before, he talked to me a lot, telling me different things: 'Hey, watch out for shots. Watch out for this.' I've kind of tried to do that a little bit, with me and 'Ant' [Anthony Averett], the secondary and defense as a whole – just being a little bit more vocal now that 'MP' [Marcus Peters] isn't there to do those things. I've kind of tried to pick up the little bit of slack that I could pick up there with Marcus being out. So, I think it's changed a little bit from that right at the end of training camp injury to now."
*On forcing a fumble that got returned for a TD last year against the Bengals and how much he's looking forward to his first forced fumble this season: *"Yes, I haven't had much luck in the turnover department this year, so it would be a good homecoming to get my hands on some footballs this week."
*On how much he recalls about the near shutout the Ravens had against Cincinnati last year: *"I actually haven't re-watched that game here in the game preparation, but I remember it was a really good game. It seemed like it was one of those games when everything kind of went right – the blitzes hit, the coverages hit. I think this is a much more experienced team now, so we expect to have a good game, but that was probably just one of those games that happens every two to three years. [They're] a lot different [of a] team, but I'll look back on that film to see what we did right and see what we can kind of replicate and go from there."
*On what has jumped out on film with QB Joe Burrow: *"A big thing that I see is he'll stay in there and take a hit. He's not one of those quarterbacks that are really scared to get hit. He'll take off and run, as well, and another thing is, when he throws the football deep, he really lets it fly. He's not one of those quarterbacks that kind of halfway throw the fade, kind of throw the fade out of bounds, kind of like, 'If my receiver catches it …' He really puts the ball in a position where his guy can make a play, and he's very confident. I think that's something that I noticed when he was beating up on Alabama [in college]. (laughter) So, he's very confident; that's one of the things I've seen since college, along with [since entering] the [National Football] League."
*On if the secondary can take advantage of QB Joe Burrow's confidence, in the sense that maybe they don't allow him to do something he thinks he can do: *"Sometimes; it all just depends. Joe [Burrow] is just one of those quarterbacks [who] picks his guy over yours. He does that very, very often. So, you just know you've got to be on your 'A Game,' because whether you're in position, out of position – mainly when you're in position – a lot of times, as a corner, you think, 'Oh, I've got this guy covered so well that he's not going to throw this ball.' But he [Joe Burrow] is one of those guys that's like, 'I think my guy is better than yours.' So, when you've got matchups like that, you get excited, but you've just got to know you've got to always just be ready no matter how good you think you have a guy covered."
*On how to balance being aggressive with WR Ja'Marr Chase at the line and making sure he doesn't get around you: *"[From] watching film – like I said earlier – he's been able to make it look really easy. I think when you've got a guy with that type of speed and a guy that … I think he's Top 5 in the league right now in receiving yards. You've just got to change up different looks on him, depending on the defense, know what you can take advantage of different 'man' techniques and different things. But the biggest thing with him [is] you really want to stay on top, because he has that … It's like when the ball goes up in the air, he kind of takes it into another gear. So, we've really got to be careful with him. He's definitely a young receiver, but he's looking like a vet pretty early."
*On how bizarre it is that it's Week 7 and this is the first divisional game: *"That has actually been a little strange – when I've looked at it. It's a little strange, but I don't think it really matters too much. [It's] just a little strange, because it seems like [in] the AFC, this is really the game to figure out where it's going to go, who is kind of going to be in that front. So, it's a big game for us in our division."
*On how the past month has been for his good friend and teammate T Ronnie Stanley: *"It's definitely been rough for Ronnie [Stanley]. I know he's one of those guys that hasn't really let his own circumstance really affect his energy in the building. He's still showing up, talking to the guys, giving tips, coming to the games. So, it takes a true leader to be able to do that. He's a guy that battled back. I was with him some in the summer, [and] every day, he was faithful with the rehab he was doing, even when we were kind of on vacation. So, he's one of those guys that … It sucks to see him go through that, and we'll be with him as a team and keep him close to our hearts as he goes through his surgery and his recovery."