HEAD COACH JOHN HARBAUGH
Opening statement: "Good seeing everybody, I appreciate you guys being here. [We] had a good afternoon, guys worked hard; we're excited about the challenge. A divisional opponent coming in here Sunday in the Browns, a rivalry game, so what questions do you have?"
What does WR DeSean Jackson's experience, style and personality mean to this team? _(David Andrade) _"We'll see, it's a great question. We'll just see where it goes. He's on the practice squad, did his job today on the practice squad. [He] looked good, looked like he's in shape. We'll just take it from there."
What did you guys see in WR DeSean Jackson's tryout? _(Noah Trister) _"It was good; he looked good. He was fast. He looks [like] he's in great shape, fluid, healthy. It was a very good tryout. Tavon [Austin] also was very good, just so you know. I thought both of those guys looked really good in the workout."
How do you think DT Justin Madubuike has progressed so far this year? _(Ryan McFadden) _"Great question; he's actually going to be a game captain [this week]. It's his first time as a game captain; he's a young guy. It just shows you how well he's playing. He's playing at a high level [with] flashes of dominance, really. [He is] quick, twitchy, explosive, very physical [and] really coming into his own."
If WR DeSean Jackson progresses the way you hope he does over the next three days, is there a possibility he will be available for Sunday? _(Shawn Stepner) _"I don't know; we'll see."
RB Nick Chubb leads the league in rushing, and you've had a lot of games against him in the past. What makes him such an effective runner? _(Todd Karpovich) _"The thing about Nick Chubb is his downhill just combination of explosiveness and power. You're not going to throw an arm in there, you're not going to throw a shoulder in there, an elbow or something like that, and knock him down. You have to bring everything you've got. You have to wrap him up, and then everyone else has to come too, because he's going to be running and bringing it 100 miles an hour with a lot of power. [He] has great vision. They built the offense around him, essentially, so he's right there. If he's not the best back in the league, he's one of, for sure. So, we have a lot of respect for him [and] their whole offense, the way they're built, but he drives it."
Is there anything that you can do at practice to improve finishing games in the fourth quarter? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Yes. It's one of those things that you don't want to overthink. It's not one of those things that you want to make more of than it is. We're going to try to finish everything; you try to finish the first play just like you try to finish the last play. So, keep playing football, keep doing what we do, and we'll be fine."
Does any of that relate to how over the first three quarters you guys are playing well, and over the course of the season things tend to stabilize? _(Jonas Shaffer) _"That's exactly what it is. The foundation is there. It's not that I'm looking at it, or anyone's looking at it like, 'Hey, we really have some things to worry about.' We know we're playing good football [on] both sides of the ball. Just keep striving, keep trying to get better, keep building on what we've done in the past, and we're going to be good."
We didn't see TE Mark Andrews at practice today. Is everything OK with him? _(Jamison Hensley) _"Yes, Mark [Andrews] had a rest day today."
How much do you think the success of the running game can be attributed to the offensive line getting healthier and really coming together? _(Jeff Zrebiec) _"I would say so. The offensive line is coming together. They're time on task, and I just think that they're playing at a really high level right now, but we have to keep doing it, keep building it. [This week is] another big challenge. The Browns are going to be very determined to stop our run game, and we're going to have to have an answer for that."
With the additions of WR Andy Isabella and WR DeSean Jackson it calls into question what's going on with some of the receivers who are already here, like WR James Proche II. What's your assessment of where he's at? _(Cordell Woodland) _"I wouldn't overthink that. The new rules in the NFL give you an opportunity to really be creative with your practice roster, so that's it. You bring guys in, you give them an opportunity, see how they do, you build them into what you're trying to do and see if there's a future. Specifically to James Proche, he's a guy that we have a lot of high hopes for. I think James Proche is going to step up in the next few weeks, and you're going to see him make some plays. We were in some bigger personnel groups last week. The team we were playing – the Giants – that was a bigger team and we felt like we wanted to match big for big a little bit in certain situations. So, that group wasn't on the field as much; James only had what, three plays, I think. He's going to be playing a lot more in the future, and he's going to be making plays for us. I have no problem with James Proche."
What are you hoping for over the next few weeks as you ramp up TE Charlie Kolar? (Jonas Shaffer) _"It's going to be interesting. [Today] was his first day of practice. He was excited. He got the word yesterday that he was going to get a chance to come up. He was in the training room, which he's been spending a lot of time there, and everyone was really happy for him. They wanted to give him a cake or something, 'It's time to graduate out of the training room.' _(laughter)He had a good day today, so I think he's going to be fine. We'll see. I'm excited. We have three weeks to determine it, and I would expect in three weeks – by then at least, maybe sooner – he should be out there."
QB Lamar Jackson came out to practice late. Was there anything behind that? _(Jamison Hensley) _"No, just getting him warmed up. He had a full practice."
QB LAMAR JACKSON
On practicing with WR DeSean Jackson:"Oh, it was awesome. He looked like the DeSean [Jackson] when he first got to the league, got introduced to the league. [He's] still floating around, running great routes. I'm excited."
On the mentality in the locker room after the tough loss:"Our attitude … We're pissed off about losing – everyone is. Our fans are pissed off and all of us are pissed off, but at the same time, we can't dwell on it. We've got to move on here and get focused on the Browns. And the young guys, they're dialed in, as well. Everybody is focusing up. We're just ready to go out there and put on a show, because we're so mad – real talk."
On balancing trying to make a play versus doing too much:"Oh, man, it's football. Like you said, I'm very competitive, and sometimes things don't go as planned. Sometimes mistakes happen when you don't need them to, when you don't want them to; you're going to have to live with them. But hopefully it doesn't happen again."
On what the return of WR Rashod Bateman can do to help the offense:"Oh, man, it'll do a lot for us. That's our No. 1 guy. He runs great routes; he's a fast receiver. He's our top guy, so we definitely need him back out there, but he [should] just take his time. When he comes back, I feel like we're going to need him at the perfect time."
On the improvement of the offensive line:"I feel great behind the offensive line. We got Ronnie [Stanley] back. Tyler [Linderbaum] and those guys [are] kicking butt, 'Zeit' [Kevin Zeitler], Ben [Powers] are playing wonderful, and 'Mo' [Morgan Moses], Pat [Mekari], sometimes when he's in; those guys are doing a great job. We've just got to keep stacking and score points. Because they're blocking so good, we need to score points for them – for sure."
On how much finishing off games is about mindset:"I feel like we need to stop putting that on our mind, because we know we should be doing that anyways. We're the offense; [when] we get in the red zone, we should score points; not over-emphasize that like, 'We're in the red zone; we need to score!' Me and some of the guys were talking … We've just got to go out there and do us, because we've been doing it without thinking about scoring in the red zone or scoring from here – we just went out there and did it – and we need to get back to it."
On the Ravens' 2012 Super Bowl team being honored this weekend:"Hell yeah, that's exciting, man. I feel like that's going to pump us up. Having those guys who did it already just giving us an extra boost, extra motivation to get where they were – for sure."
On what WR DeSean Jackson can offer:"Oh, man, I feel like guys are going to have to play him [DeSean Jackson] off, because he's still flying. Even though it's Year 15 for him, it looks like Year One. He's going to bring a lot to the table for us; we're just going to have to see if he gets out there."
On if they talk about closing out a game:"Yes, we do that a lot, like, 'We've got to score right here in the red zone.' That's why I said we shouldn't be putting that on our minds. We know what we're supposed to do. We're the offense; our job is to score points. We're not trying to rely on 'Tuck' [Justin Tucker]. The only time we should rely on him is for extra points. That's how I feel. We need go out there and score points as much as we can, because I feel like we've got the guys to do it. We've got all the talent in the world. We've just got to execute. And we had opportunities; we just missed them. We've got to try not missing our opportunities."
DT JUSTIN MADUBUIKE
On why he thinks he's been more consistent this year:"I think it started last offseason, just putting in the hard work, trying to take no days off, seeing my family for a little bit and then getting back to work. It's just developing that mental, habitual, 'Keep working, keep getting better.' So, I think that bled over to camp and just to the season."
On if there have been specific teammates or people who have helped him adopt that mindset:"I think myself, in a sense. Just pushing myself, but I would say vets like Justin Houston, I was working with and stuff like that. I definitely made an emphasis to myself to push myself to be the best I could be, for sure."
On the challenge of facing Browns RB Nick Chubb this week:"He's one of the best backs in the league, for sure. We definitely have to keep him back there [and] not get him going early. So, those are things that we're trying to do to eliminate his run. It's going to be a good challenge for us as a defense, so I'm looking forward to it really."
On DT Travis Jones' potential and how he's progressed:"He's super, super strong, super athletic. [He's] always trying to find ways to get better, always asking me about moves that I think he can do that can be successful when it comes to game day and stuff like that. So, he's growing and developing in front of our eyes, so he's definitely a great guy, a great player and I'm glad he's on our side, for sure."
On what it's like to hear praise about his sky-high potential and trying to fulfill it:"Yes, they say that. I talked to Calais [Campbell] about it, and he said when people are patting me on the back and stuff like that, it's easy for you to get complacent [and] it's easy for you to feel like you're that guy, but you have to always keep working, always keep it in the back of your head – just keep working, keep grinding [and] keep striving to be the best you can be. That's what I've taken into account for myself – just not getting satisfied [and] always trying to find a way to get better, every single day."
On if he feels a similar vibe now to his college days when he was deployed primarily as a pass rusher:"Yes, all thanks to myself. I work for that. I work at – especially in the offseason – my pass-rush game. I feel like I was lacking on that last year, and I feel like it's just showing now. But we have a bunch more games to go, so the grind continues. But yes, for sure."
On if he has a sack number he'd like to reach this season:"Yes, but it's in the D-line room; just keeping it in there." (laughter)