Training Camp Transcript - Aug. 11

Head Coach John Harbaugh
On if he has ruled anybody out for Thursday's game: "Yeah, you know the guys. You can figure it out. It's not hard to figure out who's not going to play."

On what happened with WR Derrick Mason today at practice: "He probably jammed [his finger]. We'll see. They are going to X-ray it. We don't anticipate any problems."

On if he is excited to see what some new faces will do in the game: "You're definitely excited about a game. We've had two weeks of a hard training camp. We're excited about every day coming out here. This game – we tell our team – is a training camp game. It's an extension of training camp. It's not a practice. Obviously, it's a game. It's an opportunity to keep growing as a football team and growing as individual players. We're not game-planning for the Redskins. They're not game-planning for us. We're just going to come out and run our basic stuff – see how guys play, how they play together and how they execute."

On the amount of time the starters will get in the game: "It's the neighborhood of one quarter."

On which players have been a pleasant surprise at camp: "I haven't thought of it like that. I really don't. I couldn't even pick a guy out. So many guys have done well. The best thing is we've had a really good camp. We've gone to work. We're getting better, but I can't think of a guy, off the top of my head, that has been a pleasant surprise."

On his thoughts about using more of a base defense through the '09 season: "I don't even know. We game-plan every week. To even ask that question is unbelievable."

On how important "game performance" is for some players who have to step up: "That's' going to be real interesting. You talk about the kickers, you talk about all the young guys. It's going to be very interesting to see… To me, the most interesting thing is going to see how the rookies respond in the game situation. They've never been in an NLF game before. We know how… Even the second-year guys like Ray Rice are going to play because we've seen him play. The rookies, it will be new for them. Some guys will really shine – they haven't shined as much in practice. Other guys will not shine, and we'll be surprised by that maybe. That's what we're looking forward to seeing."

On if he has seen a large crowd freeze a player: "A lot of guys have played in front of huge crowds before. But, even the guys that have played at the Florida State's, the Georgia's – even those guys are in awe of an NFL situation, even a preseason situation. It's just different. They'll be looking around the stadium with big eyes, like we all did the first time we had a chance to do that."

On if he is intrigued to see guys play different positions in the game: "We think our guys should know multiple positions all across the board. David Hale was playing tight end in a two-point stance yesterday. Did you see that? That was interesting."

On how he keeps the team morale so happy: "That's our goal. (laughter) We want to keep them happy. It's our goal at camp. We've done a good job. We're very happy with how happy the guys are." (laughter)

On how this camp is nothing like other camps: "The thing our guys did a good job of was coming to camp ready. Our guys understand what the goal of training camp is. It's their training camp. Our guys believe in hard work. They're just trying to stack one practice on top of another practice. The idea – I think someone brought this up before – being away to training camp, the camaraderie part of it, that's a big part of it. So, from that standpoint, it's been a good camp."

On if he thinks OLB Terrell Suggs is missing being out there with the guys: "You have to ask him how he feels about it. I know he wants to play. It's not a major injury. It's a nagging type of injury in the heel. It's one of those things that we're not going to put him out there and bruise it any further. He'll be out here soon. He wants to be."

On if he thinks S Ed Reed is going to play: "You guys can ask me all these questions about who's going to play. You will see on Thursday night who is going to play. We're going to play our team. I don't know what the news story is. It's a preseason game. It's an extension of training camp and you get to see who's going to play. As far as Ed Reed goes, when he takes the red jersey off it is because he's tired of Joe Flacco seeing the red jersey back there all the time knowing exactly where he is at. So, it's strategic on Ed's part."

On whether he's taking a different approach into this year's preseason games:"Well, yeah. Last year I didn't even know how much I was going to play and didn't really play until [there were] like five minutes left in the game. This year I'll be starting the game, and we'll see what happens from there. But it's a lot different. It's a lot different mindset, and you know, we'll be ready to go."

On whether performance is important at this stage or if he just wants to go out and get re-acclimated:"No, you want to go out there and you want to play well when you're in there, and that's what we're excited to do. We're excited to go out there and play in some live action and play well."

On how camp is going thus far for him personally:"It's been all right. You know, we're getting better as an offense and we're working hard each day to get better and better. Some guys get hurt here and there, and we need to get those guys back healthy and fighting through it. But, I think for the most part, we're improving each day, which is the most important thing right now. You've got to grind through these days, and I think we're doing a good job of doing that."

On whether it's tough to see some of the injuries happen, especially when WRs go down:"It doesn't matter. I mean, we've got a bunch of guys and they're rotating in there anyway. So, I'm just going back, dropping back, and finding my open guy and trying to throw it to him. It doesn't really matter who it is."

On whether the game has slowed down for him a lot between his rookie season and now:"Well, yeah. You definitely get more comfortable with things and it slows down. It slowed down as the year progressed last year. We'll get back out there in the preseason game and we'll have to get acclimated a little bit, but it's definitely slowed down, and I feel pretty comfortable."

On what happened between CB Frank Walker and WR Yamon Figurs at practice today: "I don't know. I was sitting back there, didn't really see too much of it, but saw the end result. I don't really know what happened, to tell you the truth."

On whether he's interested to see how the offense does against another opponent: "Definitely. We're excited to get out there and play a live game again. We've been waiting a while to do that, and you know, when you're here in camp you kind of want to get away from your own team, and you want to get away from this college and go out and play a game in front of some fans. We're excited to do that."

On whether he knows how much he will play in Thursday's game: "No, I don't. So we'll see."

On whether he looks forward to having some game action to see on film: "Yeah, I guess so. It'll be… Like I said, it'll be exciting to get out there and play, and then we'll look at the film and see what we can do. But, it's going to be like another practice. We don't really make too much of a game plan for these games. We go out there and we play football, and try to react to what we've been taught throughout camp. So, it should be fun and we should definitely have a good film to look at afterwards."

On whether he has any feelings at all of a rivalry with the Washington Redskins: "I have no idea. I've been in the league one year and we've played them [once]. We played them in Baltimore. It seemed like a pretty exciting game on a Sunday night, so it should be fun to play them on Thursday in the preseason."

On whether he and C Matt Birk are still working on their continuity: "He's a center. He snaps me the ball. Besides that, I think we're doing pretty good. He gets me the ball – that's his job. From there, they're protecting and I'm trying to get the ball out of my hands. So I think we're doing a pretty good job, and I feel as comfortable as ever behind him."

On whether the team feels like it's a "necessary evil" to come to McDaniel College for camp: "I don't know. I think the biggest thing is it's just kind of fun to come out here and have people be able to come out and watch us. You know, if we were back at our own facility, it'd be tough for people to come out and enjoy the day, watching our practice. I think that's the most important thing about being out here. And, you do get a chance to get away from everything and concentrate on football." On Thursday being the first time to get out in front of the fans since last year's AFC Championship: "It's always fun to get out there for the first time and strap them back up and see what we can do. So, we're all excited about it and can't wait until Thursday."

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